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NCOES: the way ahead.

"The whole object of education is ... to develop the mind. The mind should be a thing that works."

--Sherwood Anderson

The whole focus of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) is to produce competent tactically and technically proficient warfighters for our Nation's defense. Our current operational tempo is as high as it has ever been for our Army and we will sustain that tempo into the foreseeable future. Because we are an Army at war, concentrated on a fast-paced contemporary operating environment, the ways that we train soldiers will continually evolve, producing tougher and smarter noncommissioned officers (NCOs) to fight and win our country's wars.

NCOES will potentially have a different "look" by fiscal year 2007 (FY07). The current NCOES is a four-tier system:

* Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC).

* Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course (BNCOC).

* Advanced Noncommissioned Officers Course (ANCOC).

* U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA).

* A three-tier NCOES may replace it. Although a three-tier NCOES has not been approved for implementation, it has approval for further study and a three-tier pilot is still on line for FY06. There are two primary reasons for the hard look at the current four-tier NCOES. First is the total amount of time soldiers spend away from their units (high operational tempo brigade combat teams [BCTs] in particular), and second is the theory that a three-tier system "syncs" better with the BCT life cycle.

As proposed, Tier 1 will train all senior Specialists (SPCs) with promotion potential on how to be a Sergeant (SGT) in a team, crew, and squad. Tier 2 will teach Staff Sergeants (SSGs) with promotion potential how to become effective Sergeants First Class (SFCs) in a platoon and company environment. Tier 3 will prepare Army Master Sergeants (MSGs) and sister Service equivalents to operate as Sergeants Major (SGMs) and Command Sergeants Major (CSMs) in battalions and above.

What we as the Proponent propose is advanced leader training (ALT), which will train all MI Tier 1 graduates and all reclassified NCOs technical military occupational specialty (MOS)-related functions to prepare them to be competent MI team chiefs, crew chiefs, and squad leaders. The training will be MOS-focused and we will train a somewhat younger soldier than our current BNCOC does. Course lengths will vary by MOS--those details have yet to be determined, but the ranges you could expect will likely be along the lines of current BNCOC courses. Look for a few more skill level 20 tasks and a few less skill level 30 tasks, because we will be teaching younger soldiers. Senior leader training (SLT) will be the last time we will formally train our MI NCOs at the Intelligence Center. We will train all MI Tier 2 graduates in a four- to six-week resident course focused on MI senior NCO leadership roles.

Thus, our ALT soldiers will develop and refine their 20- and 30-level skill sets in a resident, proponent-driven technical training course.

Our SLT soldiers will have a 40-level career management field (CMF) focus with senior NCO peers and will have opportunities to interact with the senior NCO and officer leadership here at the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and Fort Huachuca (USAIC&FH).

Remember, these are proposals right now; none of this is definite. If we do not implement these proposed changes, we may retain the four-tier system. We simply cannot accomplish some of our training objectives through distance learning or unit training. We owe it to our soldiers, our Army, and our Nation to give our soldiers every tool we can provide them to continue to fight and win battles from the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan to Iraq's Sunni Triangle.

Let's take care of each other, our soldiers, and our families. You train hard, you die hard; you train easy, you die easy. Peace needs protection.


Command Sergeant Major Lawrence J. Haubrich

U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps
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Title Annotation:CSM Forum; Noncommissioned Officer Education System
Author:Haubrich, Lawrence J.
Publication:Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2004
Previous Article:Always out front.
Next Article:A Warrant Officer Corps in Transition.

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