[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                         July 10, 2009
Mobilization

Year of the NCO has special 
meaning to mobilization CSM

By Tom Michele, The Real McCoy Contributor

The Year of the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) has been explained in many ways in the several months of this U.S. Armywide observance.

Photo: Mobilization Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Uhlig (left) discusses mobilization schedules with 1st Sgt. Ronnie Jackson and Capt. Stephen Love. (Photo by Tom Michele)
Mobilization Command Sergeant Major Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Uhlig (left) discusses mobilization schedules with 1st Sgt. Ronnie Jackson and Capt. Stephen Love. 
(Photo by Tom Michele) 

Eloquent ways. Like Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Uhlig noting, "Any senior officer will say, Ďthere has always been an NCO who set him straight, and thatís what the Year of the NCO is about, to recognize that the NCO is an integral part of what makes the Army tick."

Uhlig, command sergeant major for mobilization at Fort McCoy for the past two years, linked the observance to all NCOs who mobilized, trained and fought for freedom and liberty. Uhlig knows about this firsthand as he has deployed to support Operation Iraqi Freedom.

"For the mobilizing NCO, the Year of the NCO means recognition for the hard work and dedication that NCOs have provided the Army and our nation throughout history," Uhlig said. "As identified in the NCO Creed, mission accomplishment and caring for the welfare of the Soldiers is always uppermost in the NCOís mind. With this, executing the commanderís intent and ensuring that Americaís sons and daughters are well trained, well cared for and well led are all things that are being emphasized with the Year of the NCO recognition."

The Year of the NCO is important to the mobilizing NCO because, as Uhlig put it, "Across America, citizens need to understand the role of the NCO in the Army and sister services. Americaís long war on terrorism has highlighted the reserve-component, citizen Soldiers, as being a large part of the Total Army."

Uhlig said Americans need to appreciate that not only do reserve-component Soldiers have a commitment to their duty as a military professional, but also a commitment to the community, duty as a citizen and to their employers. Combine that with the family commitment ó it truly becomes a picture that, if any one side is out of balance, the whole scenario collapses."

From another viewpoint, it could be asked, is the mobilizing NCO important to The Year of the NCO? Uhlig made no hesitation in answering. 

"Absolutely. In order for the Army to tell the whole story, the perspective of the mobilizing NCO needs to be told. When we look at the significant contributions the mobilizing NCOs make every day, there would be blank pages in the story book without hearing from the mobilizing Soldiers and NCOs."

Uhlig put the NCO aspect into perspective, saying, "Officers plan, NCOs execute. It is a definite partnership where you canít perform without the other. The NCOís experience, knowledge and pulse of the unit is critical to an officerís planning ability. The NCO has the ability to execute the operation ó to get from Point A to Point B ó and to motivate the unitís Soldiers, to accomplish the mission."


"For the mobilizing NCO, the Year of the NCO means recognition for the hard work and dedication that NCOs have given the Army throughout history."

Command Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Uhlig,
Fort McCoy Mobilization 
Command Sergeant Major

"Information is knowledge," Uhlig said. "Everybody in the platoon knows what the leader knows, from the platoon leader to the sergeant to the private, they all see how the plan is to work. Knowledge can reduce fear caused by the unknown."

"A leader may have information and knowledge, but it is only good if (he) can effectively communicate it," Uhlig said. "And thatís how the NCOs drive the train. The platoon leader has the plan and knowledge, he shares it with the sergeant and the sergeant shares it and rehearses it with the rest of the platoonís Soldiers. Then everyone knows the plan and can execute as a team ó team work ó mission success."

"Iím very proud to be an NCO," Uhlig commented. "I enjoy working with Soldiers, seeing young Soldiers grow into mature NCOs. That is a sense of accomplishment for me. I enjoy working with officers, and taking their plans and putting them to work, and seeing the end result of the plan and the hard work to get it done."

"The NCO is the backbone of the Army from which our Army Values and citizenship are built," Uhlig said. "The NCO Corps is our Armyís core foundation. Armies around the world are always amazed by the American military and how responsibilities are entrusted with the NCO Corps. It is that trust in the NCO that makes Americaís Army the best in the world."

Michele is a public affairs specialist for Eagle Systems and Services Inc., contractor for CONUS Support Base Services.)

 

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