The Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer
The NCO Creed
No one is more professional then I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps which is known as the "Back bone of the Army". I am proud of the corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service, and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to obtain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.
Competance is my watchword, my two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind- the accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient. I am aware of my role as a Noncommisioned Officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entiteled to outstanding leaders. I will provide that leadership. I will know my soldiers and will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.
Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties, they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initative by taking the appropriate action in the absense of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget. That we are Professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, Leaders!
This is an oath that soldiers say upon reaching the rank of Sergeant and entering the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers or NCO. These are the people that are intrusted to lead today's lower enlisted soldiers and teach and guide them. Without the NCO's, the lower enlisted soldiers have no one to learn from, no one to teach them what is right and what is wrong within the military.
I am a Specialist in the United States Army, serving overseas in Germany as an Air Traffic Control Specialist. I am not yet an NCO, although I am not far from reciving that rank. I've spent the last 4.5 years of my life in the Army, having started in a tactical unit that I deployed with, and having moved to another unit at a fixed base facility that serves as a training unit for both American units and Foreign National units.
I've seen a lot of NCO's in that time, and had a couple different ones myself. I've seen good NCO's and bad NCO's, and I always try to learn from both of them. I've learned (and this is something I knew even as a private in basic training) that a good NCO takes care of his/her soldiers as much as they can, and put their needs above their own. They know their soldiers, not just as a soldier, but even as a person. They know their behavior, what makes them tick, and how they learn best. They lead by example, take their time to teach their soliders, and help make them into good leaders for the future genreations of the Army. Occasionaly they have to berate or discipline their soldiers when they mess up, but they make sure their soldiers learn from their mistakes and are impartial when recommending punishment. They recognize achievements in their soldiers, not because it makes them look good as leaders when their soldiers excel, but because they genuinely care and are proud of their soldiers.
On the otherhand, I've learned that I don't want to be a bad NCO when I reach that rank and it is my time. I don't want to leave my soldiers uniformed or misinformed. I don't want to be the type of NCO that once they achieve that rank, then the power goes to their head and they forget what it was like to be a private. I don't want to place myself or my best interests before theirs. I want to take care of my soldiers and even their families. I want to foster an enviornment of good communication, where my soldiers know they can always come talk to me, about work and personal stuff when/if they need too, and they can know that I will listen to them and help when I can. I want to be an approachable NCO that only needs to yell or get on their cases when absolutely necessary.
I was the ops clerk in my last unit and it was a good learning tool, not just for paperwork purposes, but also lessons in responsibility, organization, and how to deal with other people. It is always very apparent that the better you treat soldiers the more likely they are to help you when you ask for it, the faster they will jump on a task and complete it properly. If you treat them bad, then they don't have the motivation to complete a task with promptness or even the right way, they are more likely to take shortcuts just to get the task complete, and usually that means they get yelled at for missing something and it takes longer, and then they have less motivation to complete the task then what they started with.
The other thing I have learned during my 4.5 years in the army is that you can learn something new from EVERY person you meet, no matter their rank or position. I learn things from my newer soldiers every day, maybe they have a different way or a better way of completing a task, a better study habit or way of remembering something. Most everyone has a different perspective of how to complete a task, or even a different understanding of what is going on. Everyone has a different level of experience throughout life, and people use that experience often. I always learn from my superiors and my peers, but I make it a point to learn from my subordinates, even if it has nothing to do with work or the Army.... people can teach us about life in general. People just need to be more open to learning from everyone around them!
The point of this post is still kinda unclear to me, I just had the urge to write it while I was working on a Leader binder for work, since I am the senior lower enlisted member of my section... which in a way means I am in charge of the other lower enlisted, and they look to me for guidence. They look to me, even now, for direction on how to act, because I am a little more approachable (specialists are always more approachable then sergeants are because they don't wear the stripes and we know a LOT about the army, our jobs, and what not) so they come to me for questions and I want them too. I want to help them, I want to teach them!
I think this is enough rambling for now. Thanks for reading (if you made it this far)