Posted on May 9, 2015
SGT Tele Communications Officer(Tco)
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I heard some comments about today's Army being an officer's Army - that NCOs don't have the power they used to have. How do you feel about this?
Posted in these groups: United_states_army_logo ArmyOfficers_logo OfficersImages-20 NCOs
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COL Charles Williams
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I have to disagree.

The Army, as it is today, is the Army as it has always been. Officers Command (Plan, provide vision, and resource) and are ultimately Responsible for all that happens or fails to happen. NCOs, are the backbone of our Army, and make our Army vastly different (better) than most any other Army on the planet. NCOs are the ones who make everything happen day in and day out. Officers Command, NCOs make it happen.

Officers and NCOs have very distinct roles, which if you need to read it, is laid out quite well in AR 600-20.

Command Sergeant Majors, as an example Command Nothing. I heard that from a my Battalion CSM, when I was a Battalion XO. As he explained, their (his) power, all NCO power comes from the Officers, and what they enable. That can be different, based on the individual Commander.

For me, I enabled and empowered my NCOs to do whatever needed to be done. I always told our Soldiers (include my officers) if PSG, 1SG, CSM said it... you can assume I was saying it. NCOs in my branch are the X-factor. MP Branch is essentially a squad based branch.

NCOs have very distinct roles and responsibilities, as do we Os.

If I succeeded as an officer and as a Commander, it was all because of the NCOs who had my 6.
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LTC Gene Moser
LTC Gene Moser
1 mo
Actually, in combat German NCOs had great leadership.
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PO2 Timothy Underwood
PO2 Timothy Underwood
1 mo
LTC Gene Moser - Were they not handicapped with having to get permission from a superior authority before changing the battle plan?
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CW4 Craig Urban
CW4 Craig Urban
1 mo
And you better have a good warrant. Especially a QM.
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LTC Gene Moser
LTC Gene Moser
1 mo
PO2 Timothy Underwood - My understanding is that NCOs in a company could make decisions. At higher levels, no. Let's not forget that in WWII Hitler gave orders to generals down to division level and maybe even lower.
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CPT Infantry Officer
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Edited >1 y ago
I hate to break it to them but Officers have always had the power in the Army. I know it may be hard to believe but the Army has always been lead by officers. Now the NCOs have risen and have a greater influence today than they ever have. I hope they realize that there wasn't even a E8 or E9 pay grade until 1958. Until then it was more a position than a rank. Since then NCOs have gained so many more responsibilities and duties. But NCOs don't command any large bodies of soldiers. It is like saying that the Executives of a company run the company. Yeah, they do but they couldn't do it without the managers and workers. And we would be complete failure if it wasn't for NCOs.

I am so tired of this Officers have all the power. Yeah we do but we trust our NCOs to advise us. Every command in the Army is held by an Officer, minus some commandant positions and few rare situations. But we don't have an easy life as others make it out to be. Sure we don't fill sand bags or pull fire guard but that is not what I am here for. There is not a factor of equality in this. A command is very demanding. But so few really see what really goes on. A lot of the times is the lower enlisted that don't see this. If you were to ask a 1SG or a CSM about officers do they will tell you.

NCOs are the backbone of the Army but the backbone is there to support the head. I think a lot of them forget that.
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1LT Platoon Leader
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1 mo
Filling sandbags and digging ditches is fun! You should try it sometime.
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SSG Charles Prussia
SSG Charles Prussia
1 mo
I hate the term lower enlisted no job for you without enlisted period
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MAJ Branch Chief
MAJ (Join to see)
1 mo
Leadership isn't just about power. I try to be the leader I wish I had when I was a Private. I learned over 30 years ago that if you take care of your people, they'll take care of your mission. The people who took care of me, I took care of them and wanted to make sure they succeeded. The people who screwed me, I let them fall on their face when the opportunity arose... and it always does for those who choose self-serving arrogance and power over leadership.
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SFC Robert Walton
SFC Robert Walton
1 mo
1. No matter how you look this it is authority not power. 2 I looked back as far as the Civil war, they had pay grades for 1SGT. how ever no mention of e-grade. 3. Lets not forget that many not all but many enlisted People moved up to Officer rank Hence the TERM Ole/Ol' Man when talking about Commanders they were the oldest in a unit. The ones that didn't make it got out. 4. Not taking away from Officers How ever Officers plan the Mission Pass it down through other Officers and NCO's to align assets and inform the NCO'S who carry out the Mission. 5. Why the big change as our Army/Military changed so did the Mission Other ranks and the amount of Soldiers became Paramount in completing the Mission. Last but not least the ranks have never had anything to do with power but with authority. I think to often we confuse the Two. Oh and I almost forgot NCO'S/PLT SGT's have the delightful fun when assigned a new PLT LDR. of advising guiding and grooming New Officers coming from OCS. at least while I was in. JMT
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
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Edited >1 y ago
Seeing as how all our power derives from and is granted to us by Commissioned Officers, this whole debate seems like a non starter..
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SPC Christopher Anderson
SPC Christopher Anderson
1 mo
Power in the US Army should be a discussion in regards to firepower, torque, HP, or Gen Set capacity. All "power" comes from doctrine, policy, and according laws and regulations. To even discuss who has greater power is akin to asking who has a bigger dick. It's just stupid. Officers state the mission the NCO's make it happen it's that simple. As far as power in leadership, be an actual leader and your soldiers will empower you beyond what you knew possible....
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
SFC (Join to see)
1 mo
SFC Keith Bailey I'm pretty confident you understand that in this context "power" is being used as a generic term for " authority, responsibility, duty, etc...".
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SFC Keith Bailey
SFC Keith Bailey
1 mo
SFC (Join to see) - No I don't. you speak to much of power in a Volunteer force.
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SFC Observer   Controller/Trainer (Oc/T)
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1 mo
SFC Keith Bailey - Power being a colloquial, generic term for authority, responsibility and duty, yes.
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