This focus area directly supports the Adjutant General’s first priority: To provide a competent, ready force for our state and nation. Mentorship in our NCO ranks is critical to maintaining the high level of competence, professionalism, and commitment required of our Soldiers and Airmen today. We must capitalize on the experience of our senior NCOs, ensuring that discipline, standards and training goals are achieved as the force prepares for the next challenge. Communication, participation, and continuous improvement will secure our success as the backbone of the Army and Air Force.
Soldier / Airmen Care
This focus area also supports the Adjutant General’s first priority: To provide a competent ready force for our state and nation. Resiliency is a key factor in maintaining readiness in our force, as well as in maintaining strong Soldiers, Airmen, families and communities. An essential role of the NCO will be to promote and strengthen this capacity in our force. Employment for our Soldiers and Airmen is a critical piece, contributing to the well being of our force and community, and will require a combined effort between civilian agencies, educational entities and the MNNG to effectively address.
Diversity awareness and integration
This focus area directly supports the Adjutant General’s fifth priority: To diversify our military force. Aside from simply being the right thing to do, diversity is a strategic imperative for the MNNG. When we diversify our force we increase the talent pool, ensuring that we are tapping into every skill set available as we prepare for unknown threats in an uncertain future. The flexibility and agility afforded by this force multiplier is a decisive advantage, one that is fundamental to our future success as an organization.
Command Sgt. Major Cynthia Kallberg
Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Adjutant General
Minnesota National Guard
The Role of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO)
in the Discipline of the Force
In today’s military, there are many challenges; everything from the transformation of a warfighting organization into an operational reserve, assisting our Servicemembers in building resilience and combating suicide across the force, and even issues like increasing the diversity of our formations. With ever-increasing mission sets, coupled with ever shrinking budgets, there is one thing that is clear: engaged leadership and leader presence will make all the difference.
That leadership starts at the Squad Leader level and extends to the Senior Mission Leadership. Our Servicemembers want to know the standards, and they want to know that the standard is being enforced. They want accountability for themselves but even more importantly they want leader accountability. What this means to every NCO in the force is that you need to "walk the walk" not just "talk the talk." Set high standards, but make them achievable. Provide your expectations and guidance and then follow up and lead the way in accountability with your actions.
We have to know our Servicemembers. There is an almost universal lack of leader books at the team and squad level, and this is the foundation to knowing and caring for your subordinates. The most effective NCOs are those who are getting back to basic tasks and processes in their formations. Leader accountability for disciplined units is evident in these great mentors.
In his recent address, Sergeant Major of the Army Chandler directed a continued focus on leader accountability and discipline in units, and recommended that the Army profession pillars of Trust, Trustworthiness, Honorable Service and Stewardship of the Profession be the anchors for each of these areas.
In fact, this year Character and Commitment are the SMA's focus areas. Review FM 6-22 and the Army's doctrine on character and commitment.
CSM Burch (former Army National Guard Bureau CSM) agreed, stating that “Standards and Discipline are key components to everything we do as senior NCOs.”
According to the SMA: “The Army of 2020 will be a leaner more agile force. The agility will depend significantly on the character and commitment of our Soldiers/Leaders.”
General Norman Schwarzkopf summed it up nicely, when he said, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character; but if you must be without one, be without strategy”.