Staff sergeants serve an important role in the United States military. Staff sergeants are noncommissioned officers who received the rank of staff sergeant by promotion from a non-officer position (See Reference 3). According to "First Sergeant Duty," an article from bnet.com, a staff sergeant's duties today are little different than when General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben described them during the American Revolution (See Reference 2). Wilhelm von Steuben expected staff sergeants to "enforce discipline and encourage duty among troops, maintain the duty roster, and the company descriptive book (now known as the company ledger)." (See Reference 2).
Staff sergeants must complete rigorous training programs. The U.S. Sergeants Major Academy teaches a 35-day staff sergeant training course at Fort Bliss, Texas (See Reference 2). Here, staff sergeants learn how to manage troops, maintain order, and effectively complete their duties (See Reference 2). Most military posts also offer shorter orientation courses to help staff sergeants understand local customs, ordinances, and policies (See Reference 2).
According to armystudyguide.com, staff sergeants are valuable members of the U.S. military because of their combat experience (See Reference 1). Most staff sergeants were promoted to the position as a result of a record of proficiency on the battlefield or because they have exhibited a talent for leading men (See Reference 1). Therefore, most staff sergeants prepare themselves for the position through years of dedicated service to the military.
Job Requirements and Duties
Staff sergeants must prove they have the ability to manage men on the battlefield. The United States military appoints soldiers to the rank of staff sergeant if they demonstrate high levels of energy, confidence, and if they are effective communicators (See Reference 2).
According to "Military-rank insignia-enlisted," an article from globalsecurity.org, staff sergeants are responsible for the successful development of the troops within their squad (See Reference 3). Staff sergeants usually have 9 to 10 soldiers and usually at least one sergeant under their control (See Reference 4). In addition to utilizing the full extent of their troops' potential, staff sergeants are also expected to help officers maintain order and discipline (See Reference 2). Staff sergeants also provide guidance on issues of leadership and military justice (See Reference 2).
Salary and Benefits
Staff sergeants earn a competitive salary. According to "benefits," an article from goarmy.com, staff sergeants earn on average between $26,000 and $32,500 a year (See Reference 5). Staff sergeants' salaries increase each year they serve in the United States military (See Reference 5). Staff sergeants, like all members of the military, receive additional forms of compensation to cover cost-of-living expenses (See Reference 5). The U.S. military provides allowances that cover food, housing, cost of living, moving and relocation, and family separation expenses (See Reference 5). Staff sergeants also can utilize their position in the military to obtain scholarships for college and/or graduate education (See Reference 5).