FORT BLISS, Texas--The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence held the last Roles and Responsibilities panel for the year closing out a the decade by coaching, mentoring and developing the students of the Sergeants Major Course Class 70.

The panel, held December 2, has two main functions: it describes the roles and responsibilities of senior NCOs through the NCO Common Core Competencies (NCO C3) and enhances the students understanding of the complexities involved in that role through personal experiences of the panel members.

Panel members were Command Sgts. Maj. Jimmy Sellers, Michael Henry, deputy commandant of the NCOLCoE, and Sgts. Maj. Matildo Coppi, vice-chair for the Department of Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational; and Gerardo Dominguez, instructor for the Department of Force Management.

Each of the panel members spoke in relation to the six NCO C3s which consist of readiness, leadership, training management, communications, operations, and program management.
Sellers explained how the NCO C3s came to be, and why.

"Through our warfighting efforts, [senior noncommissioned officers] lost focus and in the process lost important skill sets that include coaching, teaching, mentoring, and developing our Soldiers," he said. "Therefore it is important to add these common core competencies back into the entire NCO Professional Development System."

The NCO C3 topics support the four Army Learning Areas and include subjects that are sequential and progressive, and based in Army doctrine.

"The NCO Creed is our framework, for how we operate on a day-to-day basis," Sellers said. "The NCO C3s are our foundation for how we operate."

Sellers encouraged the students to keep the NCO C3s in the forefront of their minds when they move on to their next duty station and engage their officer counterparts.

"As you are asked what you can do for the organization, or how can you better the organization, your answer should be framed around the NCO Common Core Competencies," he said. "A response can be, well sir or mam, one of the best things I do is communicate, I understand the commander's intent and I know how to communicate that effectively across all aspects of the organization, then give examples."

Sellers reminded the students as they move into leadership positions, to coach and mentor two levels down, and understand the idea behind "This is My Squad".

"The basic premise of TIMS is ownership," Sellers said. "We need to focus on developing our Soldiers, and empower squad leaders to replicate excellence."

Sellers added, the students need to think of TIMS with a positive approach.
"Everyone in my squad is physically fit, mentally tough, trained and tactically proficient. This is My Squad," he said adding, "explain the why to the next generation of Soldiers, be involved, be present and show them you care."

Other topics from the panel members included talent management, readiness, heraldry, history and a discussion on the revamped NCO Guide.

"We need to look to empower when we are looking at talent management utilization within the organization," Command Sgt. Maj. Henry said. "You need to get to know your Soldiers, and be present."

Henry, quoting Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, Army Leadership and the Profession, gave the students the Army's definition of leadership.

"Leadership is the activity of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation to accomplish the mission and improve the organization," he said. "The Army wrote it, learn it, live it, and believe it, because it is not your definition, it is the Army's definition."

Caveating off of what Seller's said, Henry let the students know they need to be present, and be part of the team.

"You need to have self-awareness," he said. "Know how to control your emotions, and how to extend your influence. Because you will be in the formations, you will be leading by example."

Henry also explained the importance of counseling and how it relates to building social skills.

"You need to counsel your people," he said. "You can do it orally, written or both, but it is about extending your influence."

Before ending his portion of the brief, Henry recapped the importance in the utilization of the systems and processes the Army has in place.

Coppi, voiced his experience and ideas about readiness.

"You have to drive readiness," he said. "By driving readiness you create trust."

Coppi let the students know they not only have to be compliant when driving readiness in their organization, but they need to be committed.

"When you prioritize resources you need to use the Army seven-step process for military decision-making, MDMP," he said.

Another point Coppi addressed is for the students to focus on key training objectives.
"Know how to leverage your resources so you are meeting the intent and achieving the end state," he said.

Coppi ended his remarks by letting the students know "Readiness is the common denominator that leads to effective operations."

Dominguez opened his brief with a quote from the NCO Creed.

"When I read, I am a member of a time-honored corps, which is known as the backbone of the Army, I think of empowerment," he said. "The empowerment the officers give to us to allow us to execute our missions, assume responsibility and accountability for our force."

Dominguez discussed the importance of actively promoting our heraldry and our unit's history.
"Conduct NCO induction ceremonies," he said. "This not only supports our NCO Guide, but is also ties back to ownership and, This is My Squad.

During his remarks, Dominguez explained the importance of achieving unity of effort within their organization.

"We educate to identify team characteristics," he said. "When we look at, This is My Squad, you need to figure out where you fit in and know your role as a sergeant major."

The panel discussions allowed the students to gain a better awareness of the sergeant major and command sergeant major interactions with the commander, staff personnel, subordinates, and operational and strategic staff personnel.

David Stewart, an instructor with the Sergeants Major Course and moderator of the panel discussion, explained the importance of the Roles and Responsibilities as a sergeant major or command sergeant major.

"Mutual trust emerges when you display all six of the NCO C3s and you trust you're Soldiers," Stewart said. "Develop yourself and develop our junior noncommissioned officers, and empower them."

The NCO Leadership Center of Excellence is the premier institution driving innovative development for enlisted leaders; constantly focused on readiness. This is My Squad.