42nd RSG CSM: The NCO's role in transformation
By Command Sgt. Maj. David P. Kenna, 42nd Regional Support
Communicating means more than just talking
to Soldiers, it is also listening to Soldier concerns and doing
something to solve their problems.
The United States Army and Army National Guard are in a period of transformation
that will continue for many years. Decisions continue to be made regarding
organizations and operations and will continue to evolve toward the Army’s
The Army and Army Guard cannot transform without the guidance, support
and leadership of its Noncommissioned Officer Corps. Throughout this period,
NCOs must maintain fundamental soldiering at the forefront of everything
we do. That means we must focus on the basics and maintain Army values
to facilitate the transformation.
The best way to lead in a period of fast-paced change is to focus on the
basics. NCOs need to focus on individual Soldier readiness and spend more
time conducting in-ranks inspections, ensuring Soldiers are properly equipped,
fed, paid, and teach Soldiers how to properly wear the uniform we currently
have. We as NCOs set the standards.
Senior NCOs need to spend more time with squad, section, and platoon leaders,
teaching them the importance of counseling, and communicating with their
Soldiers. With this ongoing transformation, some units will close down
and new units will stand up. We must ensure that all Soldiers know that
they will have a position in the New Jersey Army National Guard. This
may require Soldiers to change their current MOS, travel to a different
location for weekend drills or both. Communicating means more than just
talking to Soldiers, it is also listening to Soldier concerns and doing
something to solve their problems. Soldiers do have serious concerns regarding
transformation. Bottom line, NCOs need to train, mentor and make sure
Soldiers have all the necessary information needed to make the right decision
regarding their career.
Whether on active duty for training, unit training assemblies, or deployments,
NCOs need to spend the necessary time with young Soldiers to ensure they
have all the information and receive the required training to be successful.
We need to supervise and develop Soldiers so they too may become NCOs
one day. NCOs need to spend more time enforcing physical training and
weight control standards and be a driving force to help Soldiers meet
Enforcing physical standards here will give Soldiers the physical resources
to draw on when they need them the most - in combat. We take care of Soldiers.
NCOs remain the Army’s backbone and promote readiness during transformation.
I have given just a few examples of setting standards, training, mentoring,
supervising, and taking care of Soldiers, the basics NCOs provide for
Soldier readiness today and tomorrow.
Our common values will sustain us. NCOs are the first line of contact
for young Soldiers who must learn, embrace, and live by the Army’s
values: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and
personal courage. We model Army values so we can credibly train Soldiers,
lead Soldiers, set and enforce standards.
Change (transformation) is going to happen regardless of your own personal
opinions and thoughts. Change will present both opportunities and significant
challenges for the future.
The Army and Army Guard are in the midst of some of the most dramatic
changes in their history (fighting a battle while transforming). Never
before has the Army undergone such a profound transition and yet remained
trained and ready as exhibited in current operations overseas. It is our
duty as NCOs to ensure the welfare of all Soldiers and their families
during this transformation remains our first, last and primary priority.
To be successful, transformation needs the support and action of the Noncommissioned