I think this is a professional development question. It's my personal opinion that if you, as a Sr NCO, are doing your job then your knowledge won't be lost for the future Leaders of the Army. Taking care of our Soldiers isn't only helping to resolve issues. Part of taking care of them is ensuring that they are equipped to succeed and to help them ensure progression through the ranks. If we are not taking the time to impart our personal knowledge as well as doctrinal regurgitation, we are doing a disservice to them, ourselves, and the Army in general. Teaching doctrine to our Soldiers is what provides the base of knowledge that we all grow from. Our personal experience and knowledge is the food that actually fosters that growth and ensures good professional development of our Jr Leaders. As the Leaders of today's Army, we have a duty to the Nation, to the Army and to our Soldiers to ensure that our future military remains the powerhouse that we are today.
If we go to the field, conduct an exercise and return to garrison just to put our equipment in the connex and go back to "normal" life we're screwing it up. I've got to admit that I used to be a proponent of this method. I grew and learned though. I discovered the hard way that we can't just go out and go through the motions. We must identify our short-comings and work through bringing those things up to standard. This not only gives us the opportunity to fix our issues, but also to develop our Jr Leaders in problem solving, identifying issues, training Soldiers, developing sound training plans and ensuring that mission success is the outcome when we deploy to do what we do.
I said all of that to say this: the short answer is training the right way is the key to ensuring our knowledge survives us.
Right now senior NCO's tend to not relate to the lower enlisted they tend to congregate together or with officers from what I have seen. I know some of the reasons are commonality a 40 year old + senior enlisted doesn't have a lot in common with a 25 year old SGT or SPC. If the senior enlisted personnel became more available, instead of someone your not supposed to talk to except through your NCO chain everyone might be able to absorb some of that experience and knowledge.
By hiring them on to fill those civilian positions that are still related to training and policy, TRADOC has thousands of positions that remain empty yearly due to budgeting constraints, I know for a fact many retirees would work the civilian equivalent of their former ranks mainly for the same pay and benefits that they had prior to retirement and wouldn't have to worry about deployments. And another plus to that is if a SM needed to deploy the civilian counterpart would already be a well trained, maybe even more than the SM replacement for the job in the unit/installation while the SM is deployed. It would also reduce the unemployment rate of veterans and retirees by thousands as well.
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