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NCO Journal March 2016 Articles

The official magazine of noncommissioned officer professional development

TRADOC Opens App Store to Host Official Army Mobile Applications

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command has created its own app store to bring official Army apps to Soldiers on the go. “Everybody has a mobile device these days,” said Lt. Col. Joseph A. Harris Jr., TRADOC capability manager for mobile learning, or TCM Mobile. “They are using those devices to go and search for whatever apps that they may need at the time. So we are trying to quench that thirst and provide them with something that is official — from TRADOC and from the Army.”

Article published on: March 31, 2016


Digital Job Book for Soldiers Debuts

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

The Army’s new Digital Job Book, which makes it easier for Soldiers and small unit leaders to track training, was made available today on the Army Training Network. The new job book records physical training, weapons qualification, mandatory training, scheduled classes and unit training schedules. It uses data from the Digital Training Management System to replace information recorded on paper job books for active duty, reserve and National Guard units.

Article published on: March 30, 2016


Army Resiliency Program Helped MMA Fighter in Cage and As Soldier

By Clifford Kyle Jones - NCO Journal

After winning “The Ultimate Fighter 16,” Sgt. 1st Class Colton Smith struggled to reach the next level in his professional fighting career. An Army program designed to build resilience is helping him get there. Smith has been working with Bradley Williams, a Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Master Resilience Trainer performance expert, several months before he won “Ultimate Fighter” in December 2012.

Article published on: March 29, 2016


Combatives Plays Important Role at Fort Hood

By Clifford Kyle Jones - NCO Journal

The Modern Army Combatives Program’s story began at Fort Benning, Georgia, but a significant part of its future is being written at Fort Hood, Texas. The Fort Hood Combatives School’s chief instructor, Sgt. 1st Class Colton Smith, is also a professional mixed martial artist and signed with the World Series of Fighting after several Ultimate Fighting Championship fights and a victory on the reality show “The Ultimate Fighter 16.”

Article published on: March 29, 2016


Former NCO Burned In IED Blast Wants to Open Restaurant, Empower Veterans

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

Former Staff Sgt. Bobby Henline has spent nearly nine years trying to empower wounded warriors such as himself. Now he wants to help employ them. Henline is working to open a restaurant dedicated to hiring veterans in San Antonio, Texas. The location is not far from the medical facilities he frequents at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, where he has received treatment since 2007 for burns that cover nearly 40 percent of his body.

Article published on: March 28, 2016


Pilot Program to Ensure Soldiers ‘Fight As One Army’

By David Vergun - Army News Service

Select National Guard and Reserve units will soon train more closely with active Soldiers in a program known as “Associated Units.” This pilot program was announced by the acting secretary of the Army, in a March 21 memorandum: “Designation of Associated Units in Support of Army Total Force Policy.”

Article published on: March 25, 2016


This Month in NCO History: March 27, 1945 — Storming the Castle at Lembeck

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

Technical Sgt. Clinton M. Hedrick knew firsthand that victories in war sometimes came at a high cost. He learned that during one of the most iconic battles of World War II and rode that lesson to the nation’s highest military honor. For most of the conflict, Hedrick fought with the 550th Infantry Airborne Division. In December 1944, the division was part of the Allied contingent that resisted a massive enemy force during the Battle of the Bulge, the German offensive in the Ardennes region in Belgium, France and Luxembourg on the war’s Western Front that killed 19,000 Americans.

Article published on: March 25, 2016


Soldier for Life Sergeant Major Aims for No Gender Barriers

By David Vergun - Army News Service

While Sgt. Maj. Billie Jo Boersma said she’s glad all branches are now open to women, she hopes for the day when gender no longer becomes an issue because gender barriers of all types will be gone. Boersma, who is the sergeant major for the Army’s Soldier For Life program, or SFL, said she’s had the good fortune to have not encountered very many gender barriers during her 24-year Army career.

Article published on: March 24, 2016


Strengthening the European Alliance

By Command Sgt. Maj. Jessie C. Harris Jr. - 39th Transportation Battalion

The Noncommissioned Officer Corps has been the backbone of the U.S. Army for more than 240 years. The responsibility to train and prepare Soldiers has not changed; however, the role of the noncommissioned officer continues to evolve. From the cold winters of Valley Forge, to the deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan, the noncommissioned officer has trained and prepared Soldiers to fight, win and survive in some of the most difficult and unique combat situations. The NCO Corps has adapted to the many changes in our nation and Army, all the while never losing focus of its primary responsibility — training Soldiers.

Article published on: March 23, 2016


Wounded Warriors Compete In the Army Trials for Spots in the 2016 Warrior Games

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

About 125 wounded, ill and injured active-duty Soldiers and Army veterans from across the country competed March 6-10 in the Army Trials at Fort Bliss, Texas. The athletes are seeking the opportunity to represent Team Army at the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games, which will be held June 14-22 at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

Article published on: March 11, 2016


Town Hall Discussions Were Wide-Ranging, Vital To NCOPD

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

OK, you missed it live. But it’s a week later, and you still haven’t found the time to watch the NCO Professional Development Town Hall? Allow The NCO Journal to give you a little inspiration. The following are a few excerpts from the conversation to whet your appetite. You can hear much more on these topics, plus plenty of others, by watching the full town hall here.

Article published on: March 10, 2016


Town Hall Sparks Online Discussion; Davenport Urges #Talk2TRADOC Talks Continue

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

Out of sight of the cameras, a team of more than 30 people had just spent two hours quickly and professionally answering questions from noncommissioned officers on Facebook, Twitter and a chat room as part of an NCO Professional Development Town Hall on Thursday at Fort Eustis, Virginia. The team fielded many questions during the night, calling in experts when they could, and passing other questions to the six people filming live in the studio.

Article published on: March 4, 2016


Rapid Equipping Force’s NCOs Keep Soldiers in the Fight

By Martha C. Koester - NCO Journal

During the initial stages of conflict in Afghanistan in 2002 as U.S. Soldiers were clearing caves used by foreign and insurgent forces, the Army found itself in dire need of materiel technology to help thwart IEDs and victim-borne explosive devices. Soldiers were using unsophisticated technologies to search caves and bunkers rigged with booby traps and grenades, resulting in multiple casualties. Urgent solutions were needed to keep Soldiers in the fight. A task force was formed, and the PackBot tactical robot soon followed, giving Soldiers visual confirmation of obstacles on the frontlines.

Article published on: March 1, 2016