Cadets Thrive with Great NCO Leadership: NCOs Thrive in 4-414th SROTC

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NCOs train cadets in field exercises at Fort Hunter Liggett, California in February 2020.

Recall back to when you first entered the Army.

Who showed you what “right” looks like? Who taught you how to pack your ruck or fix your uniform? Who taught you how to shoot or march? Who could you always count on for direction and answers?

Chances are it was a Noncommissioned Officer (NCO), correct?

The Senior Reserve Officer Training Corp (SROTC) develops young Cadets into future Officers in the Army. However, the SROTC needs NCO’s to shape and hone the leadership skills of Cadets before the Cadets commission as Second Lieutenants.

In fact, Lieutenant Colonels in charge of SROTC programs nationwide are asking for more NCO’s to staff their programs. Lt. Col. John Kiriazis, head of the Marquette SROTC department, said that he’s looking for the right NCO’s to develop “hardiness” in Cadets. He believes it’s an NCO that can train the Color Guard Team and help Cadets succeed in competitions like the Cadet Ranger Challenge.

The Army Reserve supports SROTC programs nationwide through the 4-413th and 4-414th SROTC Battalions. These Battalions provide approximately 140 NCO’s and 140 Officers as Adjunct Faculty to SROTC universities nationwide.

NCO’s in 4-413th and 4-414th SROTC serve as guides and mentors to young Cadets. They teach Cadets how to properly execute Drill and Ceremony commands and Color Guard movements. NCO’s instruct Military Science Courses in a classroom setting. NCO’s show Cadets how to care for their feet during a foot march, and how to pack everything into their rucksacks for a Field Training Exercise. NCO’s are the experts to show Cadets how to properly prepare a rope bridge across a water obstacle, and how to adjust and zero their rifles on a range. NCO’s are the experts that Cadets learn from in order to pass the Land Navigation Course and ensure their ASU’s are perfect for the Dining-In. The list goes on and on.

4-413th and 4-414th SROTC Battalions staff instructors nation-wide at universities that host SROTC programs.

 

NCOs are finding out that being an SROTC Instructor is beneficial to their career development as well. The 7 April 2015 Noncommissioned Officers Guide (TC 7-22.7) states:

“When considering leader development in units, assignments of increasing scope and responsibility linked to broadening assignments is key to career management and development….”

Sgt. 1st Class Brett Becker, a recent addition to 4-414th SROTC said “Units are making it clear that staying in a unit and expecting a promotion might put you behind your peers who are going out, doing different things and serving in broadening assignments. Broadening assignments allow you to gain more skills and understanding of how the Army operates on a bigger scale.”

NCOs who are applying to the 50+ open E8 positions throughout the country are even stating “Broadening Assignment” as a reason for why they want to transfer to the 4-413th and 4-414th SROTC Battalions.

Lastly, in 4-414th SROTC, all of the NCO slots are authorized for E8. E7s are encouraged and allowed to apply and compete for openings. This provides a great opportunity for E7’s to do something different, get wider-ranging experiences, and set themselves apart from their peers during the next Board for E8.

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