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Chapter III


The Fire Team Leader/Tank Commander

The fire team leader leads the soldiers. He must be prepared to take over as squad leader. He alone must instill in his team the importance of the mission, and he must keep them motivated and totally informed at all times. If he expects them to risk their lives on his orders, he is morally obligated to let them know the score.

The Squad/Section Leader

The squad leader must take the initiative to keep his squad alert so they are ready on short notice to move out on a mission. The squad leader must be ready to act as the platoon sergeant. He must ensure the soldiers receive proper training to standard. He is responsible for their welfare and for the account-ability and maintenance of the squad's equipment.

The Platoon Sergeant

The platoon sergeant must know the platoon leader's job inside out and be prepared to take over the platoon. He must keep current with the tactical as well as the logistical situation. The platoon sergeant is also the mentor and role model of the entire platoon. He must be looked up to by the entire platoon because of his leadership ability and experience.

The First Sergeant

The role the First Sergeant plays in the company's mission is a significant factor in success. In combat the company commander will often be busy preparing operation orders(OPORD) and other command functions, and the XO will be taking care of organizing the logistics and combat support. The First Sergeant will have the responsibility for making sure the logistics system works and that the platoons are preparing for the mission. He will also be ensuring his company NCOs are carrying out their duties. The first sergeant turns plans into action.

The Staff NCO

From company training to division G-3, the staff NCO is critical to a unit's success. He is involved in many different jobs: He's the one making sure everything is running smoothly whether in garrison or in the field. Without him the soldiers in the field wouldn't get the supplies or intelligence they need to accomplish the mission.

Traditionally, in many CPs the staff NCO has been in charge of tent pegs and stoves, instead of using his training and experience. He must support 24 hour operations by his being an integral member of the staff planning, preparation and execution process.

The Command Sergeant Major

The Command Sergeant Major is the "ramrod" of the battalion. He makes sure things happen. He ensures the soldiers of the battalion are properly trained and are being looked after. He advises the battalion commander on troop and logistical, welfare and discipline matters and trains the First Sergeants. He is the consummate role model for every soldier and NCO in the battalion.

Lead by Example

An NCO must lead by example and train his soldiers to a high level of proficiency and readiness in their team skills. An NCO's job is to get things done without having to be told first by a commissioned officer.

The NCO must think ahead at all times and not just sit and wait for things to happen. The team leader must know the squad leader's job and the squad leader must know the platoon sergeant's job and soon up the NCO channel. He must also know the jobs of those soldiers under him. A good NCO must know his job and know it well. It is essential that all NCOs read and study FM 22-100 "Military Leadership" and FM 25-100 "Training the Force." It's also critical they learn from the experienced senior NCOs and leaders in their units. Only a few soldiers have the natural ability to be good leaders; most soldiers have to learn by constantly working on improving their leadership skills. It's critical they learn from the experienced senior NCOs and leaders in their units. The NCO develops his leadership abilities and style by studying and applying both strengths and weaknesses of his leaders. It won't happen overnight, but it takes constant dedication and work.

Table of Contents
Chapter II: Historical Perspective
Chapter IV: Recent Trends

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias