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NCO Journal May 2016 Articles

The official magazine of noncommissioned officer professional development

This Month in NCO History: May 2, 1968 — a Daring Rescue That Risked Everything

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

He had just been through a harrowing six-hour firefight, and the danger wasn’t over. Benavidez arrived at his forward operating base just west of Loc Ninh, Vietnam, and was placed on the ground amid other bodies that had been retrieved from a battle just miles beyond the Cambodian border. His eyes were caked in blood and tightly shut. He couldn’t speak as his jaw had been dislodged by the butt of a North Vietnamese rifle. The rigors of combat left him exhausted and motionless. A doctor pronounced him dead.

Article published on: May 31, 2016

Third U.S. Army Marksmanship Soldier Heading To 2016 Olympics

By Brenda Rolin - U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit

After seven months of speculation and uncertainty, Sgt. 1st Class Josh Richmond, U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU) double trap competitor and shooter-instructor, is now headed to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Richmond earned the last double trap seat on the 2016 U.S. Olympic Shooting Team May 19 during the 2016 Shotgun Olympic Trials in Tillar, Arkansas.

Article published on: May 26, 2016

5 NCOs among First 100 Athletes Named To U.S. Olympic Team

By Tim Hipps - Army News Service

Five noncommissioned officers are among the first 100 athletes named to the U.S. Olympic Team scheduled to compete Aug. 5-21 in the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rapid-fire pistol shooter Sgt. 1st Class Keith Sanderson, race walker Staff Sgt. John Nunn and modern pentathlete Sgt. Nathan Schrimsher are Soldier-athletes in the U.S. Army World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado. Shotgun shooter Sgt. 1st Class Glenn Eller and rifle shooter Sgt. 1st Class Michael McPhail are Soldier-athletes in the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Article published on: May 26, 2016

Sergeants Major Course Students, Spouses Spruce Up Junior Enlisted Family Center As Class 66’s Legacy Project

By Meghan Portillo - NCO Journal

Class 66 at the U.S. Sergeants Major Academy has chosen to revamp Fort Bliss’ Junior Enlisted Family Center as its legacy project, and the students’ spouses have been leading the way. Mike Menold was elected by his Family Readiness Group to lead the project along with fellow spouse Darlene Carlan. Menold and Carlan attended the first Spouse Leadership Development Course offered this year at USASMA. The project has allowed them to put into use the networking and leadership skills they gained in the course, Menold said.

Article published on: May 24, 2016

NCO Hopes His Experience in Industry Can Help Army Contracting

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

Sgt. 1st Class Patrick Dennis is an NCO in the 51C (contracting) military occupational specialty. As such, he helps the Army buy services and supplies from private industry. “We get contracts and we go out and procure those contracts in the civilian market,” Dennis said. “They place bids on the contracts, and we either award to the lowest offer, or, if we’re looking for specific other things, then we award to another company.”

Article published on: May 19, 2016

Time at Lockheed Martin Encourages NCO to Update Civilian Education Plan

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

As the Training With Industry program rapidly begins adding NCO participation at workplaces that have only accepted officers in the past, there are many firsts. Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Ireland had the privilege to be the first NCO to work a yearlong stint at Lockheed Martin. Ireland, serving his Army utilization assignment as a training developer for 94M (radar repairer) at U.S. Army Combined Arms Support Command at Fort Lee, Virginia, said he had to put away some of his NCO tendencies while at Lockheed Martin.

Article published on: May 18, 2016

Controlling the Seaport: NCO Makes Most of Her Time Training With Industry

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

Tonia Montgomery moves confidently around the seaport of Virginia International Gateway in Portsmouth, Virginia. Everyone seems to know her, and as she shows a visitor around she is constantly stopped by people needing something done. She answers every question, fixes every problem, smoothly moving on to the next crisis.

Article published on: May 17, 2016

Training with Industry Gives NCOs Insight into Civilian Workforce

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

Despite constantly improving NCO education and leadership training, there is still one thing the Army can’t completely prepare Soldiers for: life after the Army. Into that gap steps the Training With Industry program. The TWI program offers selected NCOs and officers the chance to take off their uniforms for a year and work in private industry, observing industry practices, communication tactics and work flow.

Article published on: May 16, 2016

WCAP NCO Asks Prince Harry to Give Her Invictus Gold Medal to Hospital That Saved Her Life

NCO Journal Staff Report

U.S. Army Sgt. Elizabeth Marks won four gold medals in the swimming competition during the third day of the 2016 Invictus Games on Wednesday. Her final medal was presented by Prince Harry, the British royal who created the competition, an international Paralympic-style, multi-sport event, which allows wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans to compete. After he placed the medal around Marks’ neck, the 25-year-old combat medic and member of the U.S. World Class Athlete Program of Fort Carson, Colorado, did something unprecedented — she tried to give the award back.

Article published on: May 12, 2016

Success with Writing Software Is Only Latest Example of Innovation at Fort Hood NCOA

By Clifford Kyle Jones - NCO Journal

The III Corps NCO Academy at Fort Hood was selected to pilot the Criterion writing assessment program last year, but that is just one of the ways the academy has adjusted its curriculum to better serve its junior NCOs. Fort Hood’s NCO Academy is housed in the same complex as the post’s education center, so for years the commandant and deputy commandant have used the center’s counselors and other resources to encourage Soldiers to pursue an education and even to retake the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery to boost the general technical, or GT, portion of the ASVAB.

Article published on: May 11, 2016

Fort Hood Sets Example for Use of Writing Software during Basic Leader Course

By Clifford Kyle Jones - NCO Journal

A year-old pilot program to help new NCOs improve their writing was first rolled out at the III Corps NCO Academy at Fort Hood, Texas, and it has rapidly become just another way the cadre works to boost Soldiers’ performance and help their careers. The program, called Criterion, is a web-based service that scores writing samples almost instantaneously and provides students with an overall score, as well as annotated diagnostic feedback on elements of grammar, usage, mechanics, style, organization and development.

Article published on: May 10, 2016

26 NCOs Part of U.S. Service Member, Veteran Contingent Competing At Invictus Games

By Pablo Villa - NCO Journal

Sgt. Stefan LeRoy was on a routine patrol June 7, 2012, with a small group of cavalry scouts in Afghanistan when disaster struck. Two of LeRoy’s fellow Soldiers — his friends — detonated a pair of improvised explosive devices. LeRoy rushed to his fallen comrades, picking one of them up to take him back to safety. In his dash to the helicopter, he stepped on another IED. LeRoy lost both of his legs, but not his indefatigable spirit.

Article published on: May 9, 2016

Former SMAs Share Lessons with Sergeants Major Course Students

By Jonathan (Jay) Koester - NCO Journal

Five former sergeants major of the Army joined the first senior enlisted advisor to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on April 12 to share lessons with Class 66 students of the Sergeants Major Course at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy at Fort Bliss, Texas. Current Sgt. Maj. of the Army Daniel A. Dailey introduced the esteemed panel, telling the students, “This is your opportunity to tap into more than 250 years of military experience, spanning from prior to Vietnam all the way to present day.”

Article published on: May 6, 2016

Soldiers Urged To Reach Out To PEO Soldier Online

By Martha C. Koester - NCO Journal

Program Executive Office Soldier prides itself on its commitment to the Soldier. To ensure that protection is prioritized, PEO Soldier takes every opportunity to reach out to Soldiers for their feedback by using online avenues such as Ask the PEO NCOs and the Soldier Enhancement Program.

Article published on: May 5, 2016

PEO Soldier NCO Obliged To Return Life-Saving Gear

By Martha C. Koester - NCO Journal

If it hadn’t been for some great noncommissioned officers who provided a steadying influence early in his career, Master Sgt. Corey M. Ingram might not have made it to Program Executive Office Soldier and the job he loves. Ingram is a senior enlisted advisor to Project Manager Soldier Protection and Individual Equipment, or PM SPIE, which is part of PEO Soldier at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. PM SPIE oversees development of helmets, body armor, uniforms, parachutes, and other clothing and protective equipment.

Article published on: May 5, 2016

PEO Soldier’s NCOs Put Soldier Safety First

By Martha C. Koester - NCO Journal

Making sure Soldiers come home to their families is paramount at Program Executive Office Soldier. That’s why it’s so important to the noncommissioned officers who work there to ensure that Soldiers are given the best, most up-to-date protective equipment in the world. Upon arrival, NCOs quickly learn that everything at PEO Soldier revolves around the Soldier.

Article published on: May 3, 2016

Commander, May I Engage?

By Staff Sgt. Christopher Rance

In stability operations, there are no enemy lines to speak of. The enemy blends in with the general population. When faced with having to engage targets with direct fire while avoiding collateral damage, the commander should regard his or her snipers as a vital asset. Using their precision weapon systems, snipers can effectively eliminate targets while minimizing the collateral damage associated with other weapon systems or maneuver elements.

Article published on: May 2, 2016

Achieving Leader Development through Strategic Broadening Seminars: The Red Team NCO Education Experience

By Sergeant 1st Class Edrena R. Roberts and Master Sgt. Jorge A. Rivera

According to the Army Operating Concept (TRADOC Publication 525-3-1)1, the Army must “develop agile, adaptive, and innovative leaders who thrive in conditions of uncertainty and chaos, and are capable of visualizing, describing, directing, leading, and assessing operations in complex environments and against adaptive enemies.” One way the Army is achieving this is through Strategic Broadening Seminars.

Article published on: May 2, 2016