Non-Commissioned Officers are deficient in vital areas of leadership due to a lack of training. This leads to inexperienced Soldiers becoming inexperienced leaders. The NCO corps needs to develop and enforce comprehensive interactive training that will challenge the next generation to achieve a functional level of communication skills before advancing to leadership positions. This will generate leaders who can write effectively, speak meritoriously and teach adaptively while training others to do the same.
Growing up in the Army, the most aggravating experiences this author encountered involved Non-Commissioned Officers who were deficient in the skills of writing, teaching and orating. This led to unclear counseling statements, vague verbal instructions and poorly executed training. Everyday junior enlisted Soldiers loose imperative feedback and professional development from of this deficiency, creating a negative cyclic effect. This negative cycle is influencing our junior enlisted soldiers to place little to no emphasis on effective communication skills. As a result, newly promoted Non-Commissioned Officers do not have the tools to accomplish essential tasks such as recommending a well-deserving Soldier for the Army Commendation Medal or briefing a complicated subject with clarity. It is inarguable evident that Non-Commissioned Officers need place more emphasis on effective communication skills. In order to implement change, this author has constructed suggestions to integrate each communication skill into daily training.
Writing is an invaluable skill that every leader must be proficient in to thrive in the Army. During the Non-Commissioned Officer Development Program, the most common flaw this author has observed is classes based solely upon writing a specific document such as an award recommendation. The type of training leads to Non-Commissioned Officers who only know how to do extremely specific tasks and cannot think creatively when writing. Instead, we should focus on the principles of direct, objective focused writing as a whole to foster comprehensive growth. In order to accomplish this NCO’s and Soldiers must writing on a regular basis in a format that is open to critique from leaders. This can be something as simple as an essay on Creed of the Non-Commissioned Officer where leaders can read and offer feedback on ways to improve. This will result in Non-Commissioned Officers who are confident in their writing abilities and can communicate clearly in all forms of correspondence.
Whether in Garrison or the battlefield, speaking is integral to the Army leader. In order to integrate this skill, leaders must first correct themselves. We cannot expect junior enlisted Soldiers to articulate ideas and frustrations in an intellectual...