Role Of The Non Commissioned Officer

852 Words4 Pages
I am about to introduce you to my “Leader of Influence,” the man who most shaped my understanding of the role of the Non-Commissioned Officer. Over the years I have learned many lessons in leadership from different NCOs and civilians I have worked under, as well as various commanders. It is my hypothesis that the leader who will most affect one’s career is that first leader who spends the time to mentor the young Soldier. The leader who had the most influence over me was Staff Sergeant James M. (J.J.) Johnson, Junior. He was not the best NCO in the world, but he was the consistent NCO in my world. I met him at my first duty station, Operations Company, U.S. Army Field Station Korea (OPNS Co., USAFSK) in September, 1983. He was one of many NCOs in a very tangled and confusing chain of command, but he was identified as my squad leader. I learned all about event oriented counseling from him, and that there are promotions and demotions. After serving a year at the Field Station, I PCSd to the 102nd MI Bn, 2nd Infantry Division at Camp Hovey, participating in the QuickFix Platoon, a heliborne collection and jamming platform. I hit my first re-enlistment at the 2nd ID and chose USAFSK as my assignment of choice. My platoon also decided that I had grown enough to be boarded for Sergeant, so that was my reward for a wonderful tactical year. I arrived back at Camp Humphreys with a wife and a child, and immediately put in for command sponsorship. J.J. Johnson was now occupying the fictional position of assistant platoon sergeant. He basically ran the day to day affairs of the platoon while the actual platoon sergeant ran the Voice Operations Branch shop, under his second hat of Shop NCOIC. I was given a shift and made shift sup... ... middle of paper ... ...who expanded my skillset, but it was that first NCO who patiently taught me the ropes from the time I was a PFC, SPC, PFC, SPC, and SGT. When chaptered out of the Army in October, 1989, I was under pinpoint orders to be a Platoon Sergeant at the 125th MI Bn in Hawaii. I would not have been chosen for that had I not made my reputation under the guidance and tutelage of SSG James M. (J.J.) Johnson, Jr. Over the years I have had many opportunities to work on basic mentorship with my junior NCOs and Soldiers, just like SSG Johnson taught me throughout the 1980’s. I have tried to minimize my mistakes and maximize my time with Soldiers, teaching them how to soldier, teaching them how to lead, teaching them how to live as responsible human beings and Stewards of the Profession. The legacy I would like to leave behind is that Soldiers come first, everything else follows.
Open Document