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Non-commissioned officers in the United States Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps are officers who do not have a commission. Common NCOs are corporals and sergeants. Some NCOs lead missions, but training NCOs focus on training military personnel in advance of missions. To do this, they create and implement training programs and courses, provide management and leadership instruction, procure and prepare areas to use during training, and guide junior officers throughout the early stages of their military careers. NCOs are often called the backbone of the armed forces because of the importance of preparing service members for duty.
Prepares Their Units for Missions
To make sure members of their units are well trained in their military occupation specialties (MOS), training NCOs provide instruction on basic military skills. A training NCO in the Marine Corps, for example, might develop training to help familiarize Marines and sailors with unmanned aerial vehicles. They might also lead classes on how to prepare for worst-case scenarios. A training NCO who works at the Transportation Corps trains personnel in eight enlisted career fields that support deployment and move the force. In an article on the Military.com website, Staff Sgt. Jeremy Meadows, a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor, said the best training NCOs are those who are willing to “step in front and show your Marines that you’re willing to do everything they do.”
Runs Simulated Missions
Training NCOs in all branches of the military incorporate simulations into their training programs. Running simulations provides service members with firsthand experience. For example, a training NCO in the Marine Corps might use a Marine Corps vessel and ask members of the Corps to role-play how to capture a large, non-compliant ship and how to overwhelm hijackers or a ship's crew. A training NCO in the Army might lead Rangers through a simulated mission in mountains or swamps.
Links Their Units with Their Organizations
Training NCOs serve as liaisons between their units and their senior officers. They help with mission prep, let their senior officers know about a unit’s readiness, and help plan and conduct the unit’s routine and day-to-day operation. NCOs who train Army Rangers might also work in concert with instructors at Ranger schools.
Assists in Personal and Professional Development
Not all training NCOs focus on mission prep. Some help soldiers improve their scores on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. These types of classes can help a soldier increase her service options since the better she does on the test, the more opportunities she has. A training NCO in the Marine Corps might make information available about advancement opportunities or changes in rules and regulations. A training NCO in the Air Force, known as an Academy Military Training NCO, might counsel a cadet who does not meet academy, performance, or fitness standards, and also help a new cadet adjust to military life.
- Military.com: Army NCO Builds Classroom to Build Test Scores
- Military.com: Marine Trains With Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
- Military.com: Army Ranks
- Military.com: Enlisted Marine Corps Ranks
- Military.com: Female Becomes Transportation Corps Senior NCO
- Military.com: Barnes Center Rebuilds Senior NCO Education Course
- Military.com: Marine NCO Strives to Lead by Example
- Military.com: Army Ranger Training
- U.S. Army: Building the NCO Backbone
William Henderson has been writing for newspapers, magazines and journals for more than 15 years. He served as editor of the "New England Blade" and is a former contributor to "The Advocate." His work has also appeared on The Good Men Project, Life By Me and The Huffington Post.