From the beginning of the military in 1775 there has been Noncommissioned Officers (NCO). NCO’s are leaders within our ranks that not only develop and improve themselves, but also there Soldiers. The job of a leader is to shape and mold subordinates, so that they may become better and surpass the leader. Bill Murray stated “The Army needs leaders the way a foot needs a big toe” and he is correct, in his own funny way without leaders the army would be chaos.
The Army defines Leader Development as “The deliberate, continuous, and progressive founded in Army Values that grow Soldiers into competent, committed professional leaders of character”. That does not happen overnight leader development is achieved through life, with training, education, and experiences. As a Soldier during a training environment and put into a leadership position you are in charge, it allows you to make mistakes so that you grow as a leader. Something that leaders overlook is that leader development is merely made of a counseling program, and some leader development sessions. However as a Soldier coming into a leadership position it is up to you to develop the formal and informal aspects of leader development. The formal aspects of leader development consists of counseling, evaluations, promotion boards, and qualifications. The informal aspects are mentorship, team building exercises, and sensing sessions. Informal aspects have the greatest impact on the Soldiers, however many organizations fail to recognize and include them in the leader development plan.
Education is another category that influences your leadership development, and mindset. Education is a huge thing that is preached in the army, and its true to progress throughout the ranks you need education. Basic Leaders Course (BLC) is the first Non-Commissioned Officer Education System (NCOES) School that you go to in the army. BLC is built to train Soldiers who showed leadership potential in the fundamentals of leadership. Although BLC is a leader development course it doesn’t make you a leader, it helps you bring out what you already have and enhance it. In BLC you realize many things on how to be a better leader, you have to see other ideas and point of views. You realize as a leaders you have to work together, no one wins wars alone one team one fight. As you progress you then go to Advanced Leaders Course (ALC), Senior Leaders Course (SLC), and finally Master Leader Course (MLC). Troop schools such as Airborne, Air Assault, Special Forces, and Ranger school are important as well as NCOES schools, as you progress you will enlightened on more opportunities for yourself and your Soldiers. Your military education is extremely important in developing yourself, but with that never forget about your Soldiers.
As a leader