Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer and How it Affects Leading Soldiers

Table of Content

The noncommissioned officer creed provides guidance for all levels of noncommissioned officers in their leadership of soldiers, from Corporals to Sergeant Majors. Although it may not cover every situation encountered in a military career, adhering to this creed will contribute to success. This article examines the creed and offers advice on implementing its principles in leadership.

It is essential to convey utmost confidence, unwavering authority, and unshakeable conviction when reciting the opening line of the creed: “No one is more professional than I, I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers.” This not only ensures that the listener fully trusts the words being spoken but also assures them of the speaker’s genuine belief in its importance. When you assume the role of a Noncommissioned Officer, there is someone higher-ranking who acknowledges your natural ability to inspire confidence and lead soldiers effectively. The subsequent sentences in the creed further strengthen this initial statement.

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The text highlights the importance of appropriate conduct and integrity for Noncommissioned Officers. It emphasizes that being a part of this respected group known as the ‘Backbone of the Army’ is significant. The author takes pride in the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and pledges to behave in a manner that reflects positively on the Corps, Military Service, and country regardless of any situation. The text concludes by stressing that rank should not breed entitlement but rather, NCOs should serve as role models for their soldiers while actively participating in their training and leadership. Misusing rank or position for personal gain or safety is strongly discouraged.

Leadership requires consistent presence with soldiers, according to the text. It advocates for NCOs immersing themselves in tasks at hand so that soldiers can witness their experience and willingness to participate. Leading from the front is seen as crucial for maintaining soldier morale. The second paragraph of the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer provides a basic guideline on how leaders should conduct themselves towards subordinates.

The second paragraph emphasizes the significance of leadership proficiency in all areas of the job, incorporating both soldier skills and military occupational specialties. The phrase “Competence is my watchword” communicates the expectation for leaders to be well-trained and skilled in their positions. Failing to meet this standard raises doubts about their suitability for the role. The leader must always prioritize accomplishing their mission and ensuring the welfare of soldiers, as highlighted in both the warrior ethos and the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer. This commitment to mission success applies to soldiers at every rank, extending beyond tactical operations. Examples include preparing soldiers for deployments to challenging environments or completing tasks within military installations where families reside. Furthermore, it encompasses being a soldier deployed to austere environments.

Regardless of our job, we must give our best effort and push ourselves to the limit when necessary. “I will strive to remain tactically and technically proficient.” Just like the previous line, this emphasizes the importance for leaders to have a superior understanding of their job. It is essential that we dedicate our own time to constantly updating our knowledge and skills to keep up with the evolving times. This applies to both the technical aspect and the tactical aspect of our work, as we must not only know but also embody the life of a soldier.

Always prepared to defend the country when needed, even if it requires a supply clerk who is a Noncommissioned Officer to be proficient in firing a weapon. All Noncommissioned Officers have the responsibility of knowing the Mission Essential Task List (METL). A Noncommissioned Officer acknowledges their role and pledges to fulfill the inherent responsibilities. This commitment extends to all previous statements and throughout the entire creed.

As Noncommissioned Officers, we are always available to our soldiers, even when we are at home. Our responsibilities do not end with the workday. It is essential for us to provide support to our soldiers whenever they need it, whether it’s assistance or just someone to listen. The concluding sentences in the second paragraph illustrate our dedication to our soldiers. “I will deliver exceptional leadership that every soldier deserves. I comprehend my soldiers and will prioritize their needs above my own. I will keep communication open with my soldiers and guarantee they are well-informed.”

The NCOs’ fundamental guideline for their approach towards soldiers is to be just and neutral when recommending both rewards and penalties. These sentences act as a framework for NCOs, who can expand upon them but cannot subtract. It outlines the expectation of providing more as a leader, similar to the initial paragraph which prohibits using rank or position for personal advantage.

Understanding and prioritizing the needs of soldiers above one’s own has been a long-established practice. For example, during meal times, the lowest ranked individual in a platoon goes to the front of the line, followed by Noncommissioned Officers, and finally the platoon sergeant and platoon leader.

The final section of the Creed primarily focuses on officers and those superior to whoever recites it. The first sentence pledges ample time for officers to fulfill their duties without having to perform tasks assigned to others. This ensures that everyone can concentrate on their own responsibilities rather than compensating for someone else’s job, thus promoting productivity.”If I disregard everything before this point, it will be extremely challenging for me to earn the respect and trust of my soldiers. Nonetheless, the preceding content will make it effortless to gain the respect and confidence of my colleagues.”

In the following line, one of the army values is displayed: loyalty. Loyalty is one of the most crucial army values. The importance of loyalty lies in being faithful to those whom I serve, whether they are my seniors, peers, or subordinates. It is through loyalty that we can thrive as an organization. Loyalty is particularly significant during times of war when stress levels are high. Without loyalty, our accomplishments would be unattainable. To emphasize this point, we have achieved significant success in the past. Similar to the start, the final lines of the creed convey both confidence and boldness.

When promising to take initiative in the absence of orders, it is crucial to convince others that you are capable of acting on it. The statement “I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders” conveys this intention. While not as confident as the initial statement, each subsequent sentence strengthens the commitment. “I will not compromise my integrity or moral courage.” Additionally, the creed highlights integrity as a fundamental value within the army. The Corps of Noncommissioned Officers relies on its members’ integrity for its strength.

If we lack integrity as noncommissioned officers, the corps will also lack integrity. Moral courage is crucial in our line of duty. We are a highly trained military force with the sole purpose of protecting our people from both foreign and domestic enemies. Without moral courage, how can we expect to fulfill this mission? Lastly, I will assert with even greater volume, confidence, and conviction than before: “I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, LEADERS.” This final statement emphasizes that not only will the Noncommissioned Officer remember their responsibilities but they will also hold their fellow officers accountable if they forget theirs. As Noncommissioned Officers, we must set an example for everyone we work with—our seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. It should be evident to anyone regardless of rank (be it Corporal Sergeant or even Colonel) that the Noncommissioned Officer is a consummate professional. The closing sentence serves as a reminder to all Noncommissioned Officers that we are human beings and inherently flawed no matter how hard we strive for perfection.

This is a call for all Noncommissioned Officers to hold each other accountable and be prepared to face accountability from fellow NCOs. It emphasizes the significance of having another NCO present to ensure responsibility for one’s actions. Take ownership of the consequences and refrain from dwelling on past mistakes as it will overpower you. Ultimately, if an individual cannot uphold the values stated in the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer, they are unfit for leading soldiers.

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Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer and How it Affects Leading Soldiers. (2017, Jan 11). Retrieved from

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