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A non commissioned officer also referred to as an NCO is an enlisted member of the military who has the authority over lower ranking soldiers but in not an officer himself. A sergeant of any grade in an army or a petty officer of the navy is considered an NCO. The US chief of army staff in 2008 called the NCOs’ as the glue which holds the armed forces together enabling us to accomplish the near impossible every day.” ( They have the very important role of advising the officers u under whom they serve. They also take a lead role in training for military duties and also administer officers’ orders and see that these orders are executed properly. The concept of an NCO is a blend of British, French and Prussian military traditions and became unique to the American military tradition of having an NCO. The contributions of the NCO can be found in the museum dedicated to the NCO’s.

The U.S. Army maintains a Museum of the Non-Commissioned Officer at Biggs Army Airfield in El Paso, Texas.

Promise of an NCO: Creed of the NCO: “I am an NCO dedicated to training new Marines and influencing the old. I am forever conscious of each Marine under my charge, and by example will inspire him to the highest standards possible. I will strive to be patient, understanding, just, and firm. I will commend the deserving and encourage the wayward. I will never forget that I am responsible to my Commanding Officer for the morale, discipline, and efficiency of my men. Their performance will reflect an image of me.”(

Qualities a non commissioned officer needs to have:

1. They should have very high standards. This means that NCO’s should not only set standards but also ensure that these standards keep going higher and higher for people to emulate understand and also recognize the very important contribution the NCO has. This has helped NCO to carry out their work with the standards expected. These standards are a blend of what is expected of an NCO and what the NCO expects of him. These very high standards of service not only to the military but lassos to himself make it one of the most distinguished service . an NCO standard is said to be very high making it not only very exclusive but laso very awe inspiring .

2. They communicate in all three directions upward downwards and sideways. This means that they are the focus of so many directions and directives that their presence is a must and indispensable in the military set up. They not only receive the very important information and orders but also ensure that they are dominated properly. Hence there is no communication hierarchy for the NCO’s .Very many times the information is of crucial importance and so they have to be transmitted sideward too.

3. He must use his judgment to relay information assemble and disseminate information. This information must be used by the NCO to understand how well the information pertains to discharge of his duties.

4. Call of duty: the commitment from the NCO towards the call of the country is very high. People who value their attitudes towards the country much more higher requested towards the duty.

5. Value of life: the NCO’s values the country about his life. He spends all his duty towards the military and towards the oath which he is administered.

Sound judgment:

The NCO by virtue of his position is expected to be very careful in discharging his duties and obligations. The duty that needs to be preferred by the NCO is a legal and a moral obligation. The NCO has to keep a record to issue equipment .of the supplies that are received and issue by him. This requires not only knowledge of record keeping but also the essence of why such supplies should be issued and to whom they are being issues. This is of collateral importance to the duty that is being performed. It is the duty of the NCO by whatever name he is called, first sergeant or vice sergeant to hold the formations necessary for instructing information, assist the commander for supervising the unit operations. It is also his duty to account for the soldiers and see that they receive necessary instructions and are properly trained for the job that they have been enlisted for. This being the prominent job of the NCO it cannot but be explained that he has to executives sound judgment while performing the tasks which are not only tangible but also intangible in nature. Since the duties of a n NCO are varied in nature , exceeding diligence and sound judgment nor only arises from the discharge of his duties but also from the view point of dexterous application of his job. The various qualifiers that the NCO must have in order to keep up to his status as an NCO in line with the objectives for which position was created is to make the very important link better leadership and execution .

Sound judgment comes out of years of very careful training and application of objectives to perform the duties .Since the call of an NCO is very critical to operational excellence of the military and the navy and since these officers do not go into combat it is all the more important that these officers exercise very close calls to duty and to command of superiors.

There are no strict lines of command while positioning himself for carrying out the duties assigned. Every call of duty has to be exercised diligently and to he best of ability. The position that has been created for the NCO is to use the judgment has been bestowed upon him being the very vital link between the combat section and the ground office.

Taking care of soldiers is the top most priority and in such cases the NCO has to look at the very important aspect of choosing to take care of soldiers in the right way and right direction .a well trained solider is always ready for war and makes a good combat person. The NCO uses his judgment of what is good training and from his expertise trains the soldier according to the need of the hour. Using his judgment he makes the solider a war ready soldier .the judgment that the NCO uses in discretionary powers to look at what a good solider must possess and if he does not possess how to make him get that quality .A good leader is one who not executes the directives of his boss but also uses the judgment to understand whether the communication is right and whether the execution is in the right direction. This judgment would make the NCO look for the best possible solution.


The progression of the military army eventually has its pillar on the functions of the private soldier. These operations are explicit reflections on the condition of self-confidence, training, and encouragement to accomplish the task specified. From the traditional time, the non-commission officers are the most dedicated and accountable persons for training and inspiring the private soldiers. For this the NCO’s must be highly qualified and well trained and all the learning will be passed on to the soldiers through continuous communication and improvement. The communication platform will be effective as long as NCO has due diligence and respect for the superior officers and the subordinates who are placed under the charge of NCO. For a sound judgment the NCO must possess qualities such as paying due respect to superiors and treating subordinates equally and always presenting with a positive attitude even at tough situations.

A duty is what any Non Commission Officer much possess for a sound judgment. A duty is to be done by integrity of position and it is an ethical obligation and completed legalized. Consider the duty of the supply Non Commission Officer whose main task is to publish equipment and keep track of unit’s supplies records. There are several duties for the Non Commission Officer that must be worked on sincerely. The duties for an NCO involve guarding the soldiers which must be considered as the primary priority. The sergeants and the Corporals function by cultivating a real care for the well-being of the soldiers. For a sound judgment, a Non Commission Officer must acquire leadership qualities and they must understand and appreciate their soldiers fairly and train the soldiers effectively as individuals as well as in teams to function proficiently. This will provide the soldiers the confidence in their potential to operate competently under the demanding situation of battle. Training and meeting individual needs is the primary responsibility and duty of NCO’s. There is no one in the army who has more potential to train the soldiers than the non-commission officer. When the soldiers are well and competently trained, they are highly likely to survive and accomplish success on the battle field. Soldiers who are well trained accurately perform any tasks provided by the NCOs. A best leader perfectly executes the superior boss’s judgment with great energy and excitement; soldiers by having a look at their leader, accept completely the decision of the leader is certainly the best feasible outcome.

There are three types of duties for a non-commission officer.



Implied duties

Specified Duties:

Specified duties of the non-commission officer are those associated with the particular positions and jobs. Regulation such as Department of the Army (DA) standard orders, Army regulations, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), manuals for the soldier’s, Army Training and Evaluation Program (ARTEP) disclosure and MOS job specification designate the principle duties of NCO. Considering the instance, AR 600-20 describes that NCOs must guarantee that the soldiers possess suitable individual training and nurture personal cleanliness and appearance for every soldier.

Directed duties:

Directed duties of the non-commission officer are not particularized as part of a job position or any regulation or MOS. The NCO’s superior boss provides them through word-of-mouth or in writing. Directed duties involve taking charge of quarters (CQ) or discharging functions as sergeant of the guard, NBC NCO, crew duty officer, company training NCO, these duties are to be performed even though they are not part of the unit’s organization charts.

Implied duties:

Implied duties guides specified duties in most of the cases, but there are some criteria which are not affiliated to the job position of the MOS. The implied duties may not be recorded but it is clear implicit in the instructions. These duties promote the quality of the job and assist in maintaining the unit operation at the best level. In most of the situation, these duties confide on individual drive to accomplish. The NCO’s civilize the work atmosphere and encourage soldiers to function out of their interest, and they are not forced to. Considering the example, while the NCO’s are not explicitly ordered to monitor the personal appearance of soldiers, the NCO’s in-ranks examination is conducted every day to assure that the soldiers equipment and appearance are up to benchmark standards.

Primary Duties of the Noncommissioned Officer:

Supervise the everyday business of the Squadron is present within accepted standards, orders and regulation.

Target is on individual training to promote competency to attain the mission.

The main task of the NCO’s is to training and governing subordinates and teams.

Guarantee that each subordinate team, NCO and subordinate are ready to operate as an productive unit and each team member is highly trained, highly encouraged, prepared and operational.

Examine attentively on established training, performance of soldiers, and professional progression of NCOs and inducted subordinates.

Purse the command and orders of NCO’s and officers in the support pathway.

Accomplish the job in an effective manner.

Establish the associated between inducted men and commanders.

The task of the Non-Commissioned Officer is not only walking around the campus with some stripes. The task includes the commitment and dedication at work and almost most of the tasks is performed while they off the field. The position of NCO is critical and sound judgment of the duties and responsibility must be possessed by the NCO which directly impacts the morale of the army and helps in providing a well-equipped and well quality set of soldiers.


Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) perform as a crucial member in the army, marine corps and air force of the United States military. The NCO assist and guide in numerous ways to frame policies resolve conflicts and to train soldiers for productive results in the army irrespective of the grade and ranks they hold. When NCO’s up the cadre ranging from corporal to sergeant major, they take up additional roles such as leadership and provide guidance to the soldiers under them. NCO always target to prosper the army they work in.The basic responsibility of Non Commission Officer for sound judgment includes:

Cultivating discipline among the soldiers

Equipping soldiers by training effectively

Primary involvement of the NCO’s include guarding the welfare and prosperity of the soldiers

Accomplishing the mission by showing a keep focus on the individual training needs.

Administer daily operations of the army within set of established standards and regulations.

More focus by the NCO is given to the standard measure of performance, training and development of the soldiers and subordinate NCO’s in a professional manner.

Establish the subordinates and soldiers with the personal supplies and accessories and ensure that the soldiers are ready to operate as a single effective unit.

Guide on, and forms a platform and acts as an agent in implementing policy standards and approved by the chain of commands.

NCO responsibility also includes continuously monitoring the credibility. The authenticity in the camp is the responsibility of all the soldiers but particular mention is on the NCOs. Lack of cleanliness and purity can occur at a minimum level during meals and at other times and situation, the legitimacy of the policies and standards must be maintained.

For a sound judgment, the non-commission officer must possess trust and faith to the army and the constitution of the nation and also to other soldiers and unit members. NCO’s and soldiers, who are loyal, support the leadership of the superiors and work together for the prosperity and well-being of the soldiers. Wearing the neat and clean uniform at all times is always a way of showing loyalty to the army.

The higher rank non-commission officers also take up additional roles related to administration and they establish, illustrate the platoons, and make resolution regarding the serving of the personnel working under them.

The Command Sergeant Majors work as a single unit and there is no supervision or delegation of tasks to other command staff in making opinion regarding the promotion of superiors and leaders who are within the battalion or platoon.

For a sound judgment, the non-commission officer must clear understand the roles and responsibilities as representative of the Army. Responsibility means answerable for all the tasks done or failed to achieve by the NCO’s. NCO’s are not only accountable to accomplish their individual duties but also they are equally responsible to establish productive teams and units.

Commanders fix comprehensive regulation and standards, but the leaders must contribute effectively to the resources, assist and supervise the subordinates to carry to out their duties fruitfully. For achieving the mission demands that the NCO’s and the officers must work together to guide, support and acquire knowledge from each other.

For sound judgment, the responsibilities of NCO are sub divided into two types:

Command responsibility

Individual responsibility

Command responsibility:

Command responsibility refers to cumulative or organizational liability and involves how effectively the soldiers unit achieves their missions. Consider the example of a squadron commander who is accountable for all the mission functions designated to the squadron; the superior boss makes him responsible for accomplishing the task on time. Commanders make the military leaders completely accountable for the tasks accomplished or failed in their units, sections or the organizations. Therefore the non-commission officers have complete accountability to establish success in their own duties as well as make their team accomplish the task delegated to them successfully.

For the sound judgment of the non-commission officer, they must possess strong willingness to take responsibility. NCO’s prime responsibility is to take care of subordinates and to correct them at appropriate times, for instance, when they wear improper uniform. NCO has the responsibility to teach the subordinates with actual standards of personal appearance. This also means that the NCO’s should invigilate for suitable serviceability, equipment and clothing of each of the subordinates. The subordinates should follow the footsteps of the NCO’s and they should work to set example for all the soldiers.

Individual responsibility:

Individual responsibility for the non-commission officer describes that they are responsible for their own personal conduct. Subordinate soldiers who are present in the squadron should have their individual responsibilities. Consider the example, in case if you write a check to someone at the commissary, it is the own responsibility to have enough funds in the account to cover for the amount provided in the check. The Individual responsibility for the NCO’s cannot be assigned to someone else; it is applicable only to that particular person. The subordinates are entirely responsible for the operations and tasks done by them, the action taken by them to fellow subordinates, and the respect and following leaders, and at the same time work as a unit. As a leader, the NCO should assure that the subordinates clearly understand their roles responsibilities as representatives of the squadron and as the member of the soldier’s team.

The NCO’s work without any selfishness and target any task with positive attitude. Some tasks or services of the NCO’s need to be written or formulated, they work to attain their duty loyally without giving even a single thought on the appreciation or the recognition. The main building block of the nation army is that they work selflessly and they are completely committed on the welfare of the army and the nation concerned. They continuous work towards improvement and development of the nation and always strive to put extra effort for the prosperity of the army and benefit of the soldiers.


The most important aspect of functioning efficiently is the aspect of diligence. Diligence means the ability to exercise the judgment is given to an NCO. Diligence means the care that needs to be exercise by the NCO in discharging his professional obligations as care giver and caretaker of the country to only the people but to all working under the NCO. The diligence comes from the NCO accepting the understanding of the crucial nature of his work and thereby exercising extra care to see that all work is discharged honorably and to the greatest satisfaction of all concerned. Here the communication chain is considered to be the most important because, the NCO is the vital link between the officer in command and the platoons and soldiers. So every little bit of communication including the very important aspect of direction comes from the NCO. If the NCO are found erring, the entire department is tarnished with chaos and bad communication and this may lead to bad training of soldiers too. So the NCO must exercise care while discharging his functions in the most careful of manner. It goes without saying that to be an NCO one must first be a soldier to take instructions and they have the credence and ability to understand the direction and act accordingly.

Military ethics: Every NCO is expected to adhere to the military ethics code of oath that has been administered to him and he is under oath to perform all these functions in the most judicious of manners. The judgment process comes from understanding the meaning of ethics.

Ethics is seen to be as a person’s values and also as moral principles in every area of life. According to me we see ethics as an ethical thing that is in a manner of ways which can be able to demonstrate. For example it can be demonstrated through practices, or by volunteer work, or by the involvement of community into buying trade products etc…Being ethical means conforming to moral standards which is being applied and accepted to the work environment. It is also being said that the ethical person has a higher standard than a way of behavior or practice because it is illegal. As it is being said that ethics are the standards of right and wrong influencing behavior. We are always at cross roads in trying to understand which path to take and then decide on a path which we think is ethical. An NCO has no such dilemma as his ethical position is very clear.

The golden rule theory very clearly states that “Don’t do things you wouldn’t want to have done to you”.( Matthew ,7:12)“ This is applicable in all cases and especially in this case. Owen would definitely like to have benefited by any little information that came his way which would have resulted in an incremental value to his land, like any of us would do and since Luke was his brother it was but obvious that this information should be given to him.

Virtue ethics as a driving force for ethical behavior describes the character of a moral agent, rather than rules or social context. One such example of an ethical system is the Old Testament theonomists who believe in the abiding validity of the Old Testament civil law. Here the ethical theory standpoint does not affect the broader issues of the community. Virtue ethics testifies that the moral actor is more important than the consequences of the moral and ethical act. The virtue aspect of ethics is guided by what is good for the community. The very nature of the postion of the NCO decides on his moral ethics and virtue ethics .

The ethical philosophy that could be applied here is the deontological theory which propounds the fact about people needing to on to their obligations and duties when faced with an ethical dilemma. The conclusion follows that every NCO needs to honor his obligations to all the soldiers and superiors in his military set up because sticking on to one’s duty is ethically right. But what the duty is as defined by the creed is what the ethical philosophy is all about. It is also self internalization to keep up the image of the organization of not having done anything wrong or rewarding the employee for his exceptional loyalty though for a wrong cause.


The judgment of being sound comes from the authority that the NCO possesses. He should understand where the authority comes from and what his level of authority is. When he is given this authority he is expected to use his sound judgment while exercising the same. The authority that the NCO has is to direct soldiers and take action to act within the scope of the position. The authority in the military department comes from the constitution. The authority from the commander in chief permeates through all levels of the military and the NCO is the support channel through which the NCO can executrices his command. This authority that is given to the NCO then permeates to the next level where the NCO though his authority and direction.

The NCO can exercise two types of authorities .The command authority comes to the NCO by virtue of his position and is inherent to the NCO. The NCO is in direct control of the soldiers so his command authority comes from that . Leading soldiers means that the NCO has the authority to organize direct and control the soldiers who are assigned to him and also the use of the assigned equipment and resources to accomplish the mission for which the NCO has been commissioned to .The NCO has the direct command authority and uses the power of his military judgment to exercise this.

General military authority that the NCO can exercise is given to him by the virtue of his office law, rank and doctrine of the department. This allows the NCO to take broad decisions,. The broad decision making is generally accorded out the general commanding authority that the NCO has given to him by law. It is immaterial whether the NCO is in uniform or not. If the rank is that of an NCO then he can exercise this right of authority using his position and powers of judgment to bring in all respective points under his control and direction as specified under AR 670-Delegation of authority is a very important aspect of and judgment process. Since every activity of the commander in chief cannot be carried out directly, the NCO are applied to carry out this function of delegation of certain shares of activity. Just as Congress and the President cannot participate in every aspect of the armed forces operations, the NCO relies of his judgment to accept the delegation of authority within scope and act according to guidelines given in the same delegation of authority cannot happen if the responsibility of the division is not given to them. To be given the necessary delegation of authority, the NCO should prove himself to be capable of accepting the delegation by using his powers of sound judgment.


The position of the NCO has been specially created by the constitution to experience the very vital link between the combat format and the non combat front. It has also been envisaged that this very important specially designed post will help in bringing out the essential nature of type for which it is created . The NCO has assumed importance in the recent few years due to the complex nature of the war scenario that has occurred. With the hierarchy of war chain in command becoming more and ore complex, the NCO has gained importance. Their communication abilities and their link between the direction and leadership positions has made their obligations and duties indispensable for successful training of soldiers and get them ready for war . Notwithstanding, the criticisms waged against the NCO it has been historically and presently assumed that their position in the military is a must. Presidential .reforms in military have only strengthened the NCO battalions but also ensured that their presence is treated with great dignity. Though they have no special status their very position as that of the non combatant official has made theorem positions very critical and also vital .With every military reform and presidential tenure the positions has grown stronger and stronger and it is seen that the specially trained officers are the best ones to not only use equipment but also train soldiers to use the equipment. Since they are highly skilled and trained in all war equipment and know how to use them, they are called upon for all training programs.

It is also seen that though their position is not clearly defined neither is their presence felt tangibly, their presence is subtly beneficial to the military. President Obama has recognized the great services done by “men of honor “as he called them and has also brought into record their services for the cause of military supremacy of the USA. It cannot be doubted that the various duties discharged by them is based on there ability to take sound judgments which is inherent and intrinsic to the evolving nature of the non combating officers in the army and the navy.

A non commissioned officer is considered to be possessing skills that are necessary for the discharge of his rather special duties which are not only leading but acting sub ordinate to vital functions of the military. Their decorations though n to known by many have nevertheless been recognized by the department of defense. Every military day is made special by the presence of the NCO.


Alma G. Steinberg, Julia A. Leaman, U.S. Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, “Dimensions of army commissioned and noncommissioned officer leadership”, 1990 Ethical Foundation.” Online.Accessed February 17, 2002. Ethical Principles.”Online.Accessed February 17, 2002.,%20Ethical%20Principles.htm

Robert S. Rush, “Non-commissioned Officer Guide”, 2006. States War Department, War Department, “Manual for Noncommissioned Officers and Privates of Infantry of the Army of the United States 1917”, 2004.Edited by David W. Hogan, Arnold G. Fisch, Robert K. Wright, “The Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps”, 2010.


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