Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Essay on Noncommissioned Officer

Why I want to be a Noncommissioned Officer

I have been surveying my options regarding my present and future career plan. As I consider various paths, one option remains outstanding and seems to fit my personality and my skill set to a tee. This option is that of the possible advancement within my region, as I hope to become promoted to a noncommissioned officer. The following essay will summarize the reasons as to what I believe makes a good noncommissioned officer, why I fit these criterion and for which reasons I wish to become an NCO.
I have had much academic and practical training which is relevant to this position. I have recently graduated from the Fort Still Noncommissioned Officer Academy, where I took the WLC (Warrior Leader Course). Upon completion, I was awarded the NCO Professional Development Ribbon Level 4 (the highest possible numeral). I have also taken post-secondary psychology and communication courses that specialized in motivation, team and group dynamics, respectively. These courses have offered me many great insights into the ways one can develop a hard-working, motivated crew or team. Not only have I been preparing academically, but I have also been increasing the duration and frequency of my exercise regimen in order to maximize my potential strength and stamina, as I believe it is very important to lead by example. Aside from this, I have had years of military experience where I participated in combat first-hand and executed successive missions successfully. Throughout my service, I had received multiple awards and praises for my outstanding effort, teamwork, attention to safety, and citizenship practices. Although these are all important factors, I believe the most important part of this position is to be able to communicate with people and lead them according to their individualistic needs.

As I understand, the first thing a good trainer and leader should be able to do is to capture one’s as well as a group’s undivided attention without having to struggle for it. This is just one of the qualities of a leader, a characteristic which is synonymous with the title of NCO. Throughout my life, I have been told that I have a very charismatic personality and I have noticed that people enjoy listening to me for instruction and advice. I have been in many situations where I was left in charge as a supervisor due to my knack for teamwork. As a personal trainer and swimming instructor, I learned that is important to make your words count and admit when you are unsure of something. A good leader will not continue to speak when he or she is at a loss for words, and this ensures that when this individual will decide that it is time to speak, everyone else will decide that it is time to listen.

A good NCO should also be able to relate to his or her subordinates in an understanding way, while maintaining a position of authority. Throughout my professional career, I have seen soldiers have disputes with their sergeant, after which they are scolded for their mistakes and put down for their misconduct. These instances exemplified to me how miscommunications can result in a spiteful and negative attitude, which can lead to idle sections and unproductive military operations. In other instances, when a subordinate made a mistake, he felt comfortable enough to notify his NCO, because in similar situations of the past, the NCO had shown the proper respect and supportive nature which helped the problem dissipate much quicker and without bruised egos. Because I have seen both types of situations on multiple occasions, I will be able to handle the situation accordingly. I will promote honesty with positive reinforcement, even in situations where the subordinate is to be corrected. When the person to whom one must report can also be considered a confidant rather than merely a superior, this will inevitably lead to an open line of communication.

It is clear that an effective officer will motivate his crew by; showing full out support and positive reinforcement when the subject(s) are acting well, correcting the subject(s) when there has been a wrongdoing, and providing negative reinforcement when there is evidence of repeated misbehaviors.

Aside from this system of reward and punishment, there are a few crucial motivation techniques that I could employ as a noncommissioned officer. As a leader, it is important to direct and motivate by example, as motivation is one of the most important components of an NCO’s job. The key is to instill intrinsic motivation in one’s troops via empowerment rather than work by extrinsic motivation by reward and punishment. In order to maintain an enthused crew, the supervisor should show enthusiasm him or herself. When the leader strives for excellence, the team will follow suit. Because I am always striving to exceed standards in everything I do, I believe I would be able to lead my section efficiently and effectively. This, as opposed to bullying, making threats and giving excessive orders, is also a good way to exert power over others, power being a necessary quality for any type of authority to maintain.

I have realized that I really enjoy working close to the field with others rather than just overseeing and managing military situations and I have strong indication of many senior NCOs that this is where I belong. This is why I would prefer to continue my military service as a noncommissioned officer. The discipline I have developed in myself while being enlisted has made me believe in myself and in my ability to achieve great things. I attribute my newfound confidence to my NCOs and I would wholeheartedly love to instill this attitude in others. I would be honored to serve as a noncommissioned officer and give back to the soldiers the way the senior commanders and sergeants gave to me when I first arrived. I am confident that I will make a good officer because the main concentration in my life over the past years has been to take all the steps necessary in order to arrive at this goal. I have prepared myself physically and mentally via rigorous training, education, research, and observation, and I have never been more ready to take the final step.

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