Since 1775, the Army has set apart its NCOs from other enlisted Soldiers by distinctive insignia of grade.

With more than 200 years of service, the U.S. Army's Noncommissioned Officer Corps has distinguished itself as the world's most accomplished group of military professionals. Historical and daily accounts of "life as an NCO" are exemplified by acts of courage and a dedication and a willingness to do "whatever it takes" to complete the mission. NCOs have been celebrated for decorated service in military events ranging from Valley Forge to Gettysburg, to charges on Omaha Beach and battles along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, to current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In recognition of their commitment to service and willingness to make great sacrifices on behalf of our Nation, Secretary of the Army established 2009 as "Year of the NCO."

Throughout 2009, the Army honors NCOs through initiatives and
events that:

-Enhance awareness and public understanding of the roles and responsibilities of today's NCO.

-Enhance and accelerate the development of NCOs through education, fitness, and leadership development initiatives.

We invite you to join the celebration of one of America's greatest assets, the NCO Corps, the "backbone of the American Army."