October 15, 2009
- Army retiree writes a poem about NCOs
Moving things forward in a job that has no end,
the NCO is the one on whom the Army can depend.
Marching to the beat like base drums tappin',
staying in step, keeping time, and making things happen.
Officers' jobs are important too but they can't do it alone;
it's tough running an army without its backbone.
Superiors set policy to keep a firm grip;
NCOs carry out orders and tactfully crack the whip.
If someone wants to lead,
it takes a special breed,
while putting Soldiers first,
as it says in the NCO creed.
When subordinates are deficient and refuse to do their best,
NCOs drop them in the front leaning rest.
Born logisticians moving mountains with their brains,
all the while teaching as there's always someone to train.
Forever upholding the values we Americans hold dear,
2009 is special in an NCO's career.
NCOs and officers must work hand-in-hand from basic training to Iraq,
and the hills of Afghanistan.
The NCO's contributions are many and far-reaching;
it's hard not to learn, from someone who's always teaching.
Map reading, orienteering or just chewing the fat,
physical training, common tasks, or surviving in combat.
Who better to train our warriors and make them understand;
nothing is more important than defending the motherland.
From Lexington and Concord, our NCOs were on hand,
Grenada, Panama and Kosovo and Custer's Last Stand.
Having no regard for fame or ambition,
the NCO's goal is to accomplish the unit's mission.
From infantry to ordnance, artillery to culinary,
the NCO's discipline is forever legendary.
A teenager joins the ranks a regular Joe Blow,
then he's turned into a fighting machine by an Army NCO.
NCOs instill discipline and turn boys into men;
there are no excuses when there is a country to defend.
Making a kid a warrior is not always an easy chore,
another selfless patriot down to his very core.
Over on the battlefield a Soldier stays alive,
all because an NCO taught him how to survive.
Combatants return to their families with eyes all aglow,
because they had training from an outstanding NCO.
NCOs are professionals who hold their heads high;
they mastered the art of leadership and never asked why.
Our army needs their skill and willingness to stay abreast;
it also needs their ability to keep us at our best.
A selfless acts of service is what they are all about,
and their dedication to duty is never left to doubt.
An NCO's war face is scary and intense;
they never hesitate when our country requires defense.
With fierce determination, they lead without fear,
so we celebrate the NCO throughout an entire year.
Taking care of Soldiers and managing the mission too,
they deserve recognition for all the work they do.
They know America needs them, respects and holds them dear;
a day was not enough so we gave them a whole year.
Leadership is their watchword and their legend will never decline;
our NCOs are special to us, especially in 2009.
(Editor's note: Author is a retired U.S. Army Master Sergeant (E-8), with 21 years in the Ordnance Corps. He served as battalion motor sergeant and maintenance team chief in Bradley Fighting Vehicle equipped units in various assignments in Europe, Asia and the United States.
During a couple of his tours he was a training developer/writer at the U.S. Army Ordnance Center and Schools.
He attended school as an active duty NCO and took degrees from the University of Maryland and the University of Phoenix.
He retired from the Army at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1995.
He is currently a contractor technical writer for the Aberdeen Data Services Team, Science and Technology Corporation, U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center Automotive Directorate, Tactical Vehicles Division.)