Essay on Stewardship of the Profession
The Army is constantly changing in a lot of ways, including with the NCO Corps. The days of leader schools focusing on basic soldier tasks (such as land navigation, battle drills, etc) are disappearing. Those things are important, but the Army is now focusing on a more educational way of training NCOs. The Army has implemented a new strategy called NCO 2020. The Army’s new strategy focuses on Development, Talent Management, and Stewardship of the Profession.
The focus of the development phase is having potential leaders attend a leader’s school as a foundation. “Since the 1980s, the Army has allowed ‘conditional promotions,’ where Soldiers could get their stripes without having completed the corresponding professional military education (PME).” Since, being in, I have not encountered any senior leader who earned their position without attending any type of leadership course. The push to send candidates to leadership schools is due to the lack of effective written communication in the Army and it seems to provide an educational background for these leaders trying to leave the Army so they can prepare for a technology-driven world. Currently, some of the mandatory training is using PowerPoint Brief or online through correspondence courses.
The focus of talent management is the expansion of NCOs’ knowledge of their boundaries. According to HRC, their new talent management system has the intent that NCOs will obtain their professional needs and preferences. For example, I have seen many NCOs go for recruiting or NCOs who went and achieved industry-level certifications to broaden their horizons and pick up different positions. While this is very positive, I have not seen a lot of both soldiers and NCOs unable to gain an industry-level certification. For those NCOs who went to recruiting, it also was a long process for them to have approved. Whether it is the unit’s poor time management or too many tasking, an NCO is necessary for the mission. I think the Talent Management element sounds good in theory, but in practice, many units are not following suit it.
The final focus of NCO 2020 is being a Steward of the Profession. “The Army demonstrates stewardship of resources for facilities, infrastructure, weapons, equipment, supply, and maintenance consistently with standards and ethics on behalf of the nation. Stewardship of resources flows from stewardship of the profession and its standards.” The intent is to be the experienced NCO who is sharing knowledge with future leaders of the standards of the Army. This has to be done by maintaining that standard and new ways to communicate the standards. For example, as opposed to someone actually reading a Technical Manual for a military vehicle, the manual can be on a Smartphone.
In conclusion, what I have learned about NCO 2020’s intentions are trying to give future leaders education through the development phase to make them better communicators, give future leaders more career opportunities with talent management, and be a steward of the profession by establishing and maintaining standards for the future NCOs.
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