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50th Infantry Brigade Combat Team CSM: Implied Duties
By Command Sgt. Maj. William R. Kryscnski

Command Sgt. Maj. William R. Kryscnski
Every enlisted Soldier strives to become a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO). When I talk to young Soldiers about their career goals, inevitably they answer, I want to be a Sergeant or an NCO. They also talk about specific career MOSs and special schools; however, becoming an NCO seems to be their top priority.

It doesn’t necessarily mean they want to accept all the responsibilities that go along with the job. So we need to clarify what an NCO’s responsibilities
and duties really are.

The two most important NCO responsibilities are: mission accomplishment and Soldiers’ welfare. NCOs are also responsible for conducting standards based, performance oriented, battle-focused training and providing feedback on proficiency. In addition, Senior NCOs (E-7 and above) also coach Junior NCOs (E-5 and E-6) to master a wide range of individual tasks. Although the definition of an NCO’s responsibilities is concise, the job of being an efficient NCO is immense.

The military has many outstanding NCOs who willingly accept their responsibilities and perform their duties extremely efficiently. However, there are also NCOs who do
just enough to get by. Soldiers recognize this type of NCO very quickly and morale suffers because of it.

I think the vast majority of NCO’s recognize what their responsibilities are. Good NCOs must be able to counsel and coach Soldiers on performance issues and conduct. They must also be consistent in their decisions, enforcing policies and performance.

One duty where most NCOs fail to perform satisfactorily is implied duties. Implied duties often support specified and direct duties, but may not relate to MOS and may not be written. They’re duties that improve the quality of the job and help keep the unit functioning at an optimum level. In most cases these duties depend on individual initiative. They improve the work environment and motivate Soldiers to perform because they want to, not because they have to. Let me tell you what I feel are some “Implied duties” of an NCO.

- Lead by example, be someone that Soldiers want to emulate.
- Enforce uniform, appearance and performance standards without exception.
- Ensure new Soldiers are properly welcomed into your Unit. Have a sponsor contact a new Soldier prior to drill.
- Let Soldiers know your expectations.
- Conduct After Action Reviews (AARs), focus on learning rather than placing blame for mistakes.
- Know your Soldiers’ jobs, this will gain their respect.
- Observe Soldiers’ performance; make on-the-spot corrections or adjustments to improve Soldiers performance.
- Be accessible, let your Soldiers know they can contact you on and off duty.
- Counsel Soldiers in private on performance in writing, always maintain a counseling file.
- Give Soldiers added responsibilities. This will build character and leadership skills.
- Create competition. This will enhance camaraderie and improve morale.
- Attend all meetings so you can better plan your mission.
- Know your Soldiers’ personalities and treat them fairly.
- Ensure all Soldiers know how the Enlisted Promotions System (EPS) works. Also, make sure your Soldiers are reviewing their 4100 worksheet.
- Ensure your Soldiers have school opportunities.

These are just a few implied duties of an NCO that come to mind. We can probably come up with a hundred more. The point is how many of these implied duties that
I have pointed out are you doing now? If you can honestly say that you are doing most of these implied duties, then you are doing a good job. However, if your answer is “None,” then you need to make a change.

The job of an NCO is probably the most important job in the military. In order to gain the respect and confidence of your Soldiers you need to display the individual initiative
to master the “Implied duties.” Field Manual 7-22.7 is the Non-commissioned Officer Guide, or the NCO Handbook. Keep it with you at all times and read it to help enhance your performance.

Many people measure success in the military and in life by awards or finishing first in competitions. Being successful is very simple; set goals for yourself; try your hardest to accomplish those goals; overcome obstacles along the way and continue to move toward your goal. If you do this, then you have been a success.

Table of Contents

Volume 32 Number 4
Staff / Information
(c) 2006 NJ Department of Military and Veterans Affairs