The purpose of the Year of the NCO initiative is to enhance NCOâ€™s education, fitness, leadership development and pride in service through the implementation of programs and policies that support the sustainment and growth of the NCO Corps. The Year of the NCO recognizes the leadership, professionalism, commitment, courage and dedication of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps and will better inform and educate Congress, government institutions, and the American people of the roles, responsibilities, and the quality of service of our NCO Corps. The NCO Corps is a national treasure.
Under the Education Initiatives, the Army sustains and enhances the Noncommissioned Officer Corps through increased access to improved military and civilian education programs and a structured development process. The education category contains initiatives that support the enhancement, growth and sustainment of NCO capabilities. It includes both current and proposed initiatives. Current development initiatives will be accelerated in 2009 and new development initiatives executed that bring the Noncommissioned Officer Education System back in balance in support of the Chief of Staff of the Army's initiatives.
Current education and development initiatives to be implemented in 2009 include:
- The Army Career Tracker pilot
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- Phase 1 implementation of Structured and Guided Self Development
- Launch of the Warrior University Web site, which includes College of the American Soldier
- Transformation of NCO Education System
Two new education initiatives to be implemented in 2009 include expanding the number of online colleges nested under Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges Army Degrees (SOCAD), and digitizing the Learning Resource Center at the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.
The fitness initiatives strive to enhance the fitness levels of the NCO Corps through superior mental and physical fitness programs; improved education on health and fitness; expanded health screenings to increase personal health factor awareness; and instilling a comprehensive fitness culture. The fitness initiatives acknowledge the need to sustain and improve both the physical and mental fitness of our NCOs. The Army will accomplish this by implementing Phase 1 of the Master Fitness Course to be delivered through Structured Self Development. Phases 2 and 3 will be implemented in 2009.
Also in development is a health screening program at each of our institutions and the first of five phases of mental health courses - delivered through structured self development. These initiatives combine to make up a comprehensive and integrated physical and mental health strategy for the NCO Corps.
The leadership category combines initiatives that both acknowledge NCOleadership value to our Army and enhance the NCO Corps leadership capabilities. Among other initiatives, the Army will accelerate the implementation of the Senior NCO Management and Utilization System. We will fully implement the NCO Leadership Skills Inventory, matching NCO capabilities with assignments to special duties. The NCO Congressional Fellowship Program will be implemented that enhances NCO development and will, for the first time, assign two sergeants major to the House and Senate Armed Services Committee as official Army Legislative Liaison Officers
Pride in Service
The pride in service category acknowledges the value of NCO leadership and service to our Nation by increasing public knowledge of NCO roles and responsibilities and showcasing contributions of the NCO Corps throughout the history of the Army. This category focuses on initiatives that are potentially impactful to the NCO Corps. The Long Hard Road, a compilation of NCO experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, will be updated and re-published. Also undertaken this year will be the launch of The Year of the NCO Web site, the increased publication of the NCO Journal, the renovation the NCO Museum at Fort Bliss and the production of Army Strong television commercials focusing on NCO Leadership.