April 13, 2011
The future of the Marine non-commissioned officer (NCO)
Since the creation of the Marine Corps, Marine non-commissioned officers (NCOs) have played an integral role in the Corps' success. Since the inception of our Corps, NCOs have been the 'backbone' and the role of the NCO continues to remain one of the most important leadership roles to mission accomplishment.
Although their responsibility has changed over time, Marine NCOs remain committed to the one principle that has forever been woven into the tapestry of the Corps: leading junior Marines.
The responsibility of an NCO, both in combat and in garrison, is to professionally and personally develop each Marine under his charge. They teach junior Marines how to be professionally proficient by providing them a working knowledge of general military subjects and how to make good moral and ethical decisions while both on and off duty.
Now, more than ever, the Corps remains unwavering in its reliance on the NCO. With the Marine Corps currently engaged in combat operations in
, NCOs are showing unsurpassed leadership proficiency on the battlefield. Afghanistan
Today, sergeants and corporals are leading foot patrols and convoys throughout the mountains of Afghanistan. As leaders, the burden and responsibility of each decision, both good and bad, relies on him. Though tough, Marines are persevering, demonstrated by the actions of Marines like Cpl. Jason Dunham and Sgt. Rafael Peralta.
NCOs have and will continue to be the driving force behind the legacy of the Corps. As we move into the future, the traditions of the Corps will be imbedded in the leadership and actions of each individual non-commissioned officer. It will be up to them to decide the fate of the Corps.