ALC-CC/BNCOC Day One
The first section is on Army Leadership and Ethics. We start with the NCO Creed.
No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as “The Backbone of the Army”. I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.
Competence is my watchword. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind — accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient. I am aware of my role as a Noncommissioned Officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my soldiers and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.
Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve; seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders!
Good leaders need to embody the Army Values, possess Warrior Ethos and have Empathy. Army Values are Loyalty, Duty, Selfless-Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. The Values spell LDRSHIP, very fitting for a class on leadership!
Presence is the ability to lead without rank. You aren’t a leader because you win “collar poker” and have an inflated pay grade. You lead effectively because you are someone worth following. Having a good presence is about everyone in your command having the perception of your ability to perform and lead troops. They develop this perception based on your bearing, fitness, confidence, resilience and intelligence. If you are the go-to guy that does his homework, instead of regurgitating myth and nonsense, and are the first out, leading from the front, you’ll be perceived as a good leader because you are. That is presence.
Empathy sounds touchy-feely but it isn’t. As one of my commanders put it, you don’t have to like your leaders or subordinates but you do have to love them. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in another’s place. Your decisions may not be pleasant but they must always be fair and ethical.