FORT BLISS, Texas--For over a year, the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence worked tirelessly as the proponent in updating the NCO Guide, Training Circular 7-22.7 that released January 6, by the Department of the Army.
Due to the collaborative efforts of the Sergeant Major of the Army, Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston, the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, and Center for the Army Profession and Leadership, a complete rewrite of the 2015 version, occurred.
SMA Grinston shares his insight on the updated guide.
"We really wanted to focus on providing the NCO Corps a baseline for expectations by grade without creating a one-size-fits-all duty description; I think TRADOC and the NCOLCoE got it right and struck that balance in this year's guide," he said.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jimmy Sellers, the NCOLCoE commandant, explains how the NCO Guide is considered a one-stop-shop for NCOs to go to for questions about a specific subject.
"The guide is a comprehensive document that contains the ingredients needed to ensure NCOs are successful as we execute a commander's intent," he said. "By that, I mean, if an NCO has questions about what the Army expects them to be, know, and do on a daily basis, then the Guide can serve as the initial source of information to ensure their success."
The new NCO Guide takes into account the latest changes to Army doctrine, policies, and directives. It is aligned with the NCO Common Core Competencies (NCO C3) and the Roles and Responsibilities of the NCO.
"All chapters needed updates due to currency, relevance, and adding new information," Sgt. Maj Thomas Skelton, a Strategic Initiatives Division analysist with the NCO Professional Development Directorate said.
To ensure the Guide contained the information needed by the force, the SID also queried all Career Management Fields from the Sergeants Major Course Class 69 and senior enlisted leaders across all components for their input.
"The Guide is a framework of the left and right limits NCOs need to be effective, while also identifying gaps in the process and ensuring NCOs continue to contribute to the organization," Sgt. Maj. Jamilah Telon also an analysist with the NCOPDD said.
An addition to the material in the Guide is the six NCO C3s: readiness, leadership, training management, communications, operations, and program management. The NCO C3s are the objectives for the Roles and Responsibilities of the NCO.
"We wanted NCOs to understand the importance, relevance, and understanding of the NCO C3s and how they can be incorporated across all levels of roles and responsibilities," Skelton said.
Sellers shares his experience with the revised Guide.
"The most impactful areas of the Guide include updated and well-defined NCO roles and responsibilities and the NCO Common Core Competencies of Leaders," he said. "Since the introduction of NCO C3s, we've already seen clear examples of Soldiers talking about leadership the same way. Which means the NCO C3s are doing exactly what they are designed to do, which is to help NCOs across the Army share a similar perspective in our common competencies."
The updated Guide utilizes the be, know, do aspects of leadership, to help NCOs think strategically as they progress through the ranks.
"We need NCOs to be critical thinkers, problem solvers, and managers," Telon said. "The Guide is aligned with the knowledge, skills, and behaviors an NCO needs to embody. It is also updated with the latest information on mission command and leadership."
Sgt. Brenton M. Kirk from Camp Casey Korea, newly promoted to sergeant, shares that he appreciates having a clear vision and understanding of his role.
"The Guide provides a vision and distinct guidance on the ends, ways, and means for developing NCOs to exercise mission command," he said. "While also giving us direction to plan, prepare, train, and execute to meet the challenges and issues of the 21st century, and ensure the combat readiness of our force."
The TC 7-22.7 is designed to be both a quick reference and a product that will guide NCO's at all levels throughout their career.
"This is designed to be a common body of knowledge for all NCOs to refer to," Telon said. "It will help them coordinate, collaborate, and, most importantly, communicate."
Across all the components and backgrounds, the Guide is written for NCOs by NCOs.
"The Guide is a diverse sample of all CMFs, warfighter functions, backgrounds, and experience," Telon said. "Remember it is a guide, use it, apply it, but know it does not replace Army doctrine. Instead, it gives the reader the information they need with references to attain more."
Created to develop NCOs from the squad level to the nominative sergeant major, the Guide reaches back to the holistic approach of the NCO Professional.
"Having this information helps me understand the different types of duties required of an NCO," Spc. Cristobal Herrera, a Basic Leader Course Student at Fort Bliss, said. "The specific, directed, and implied tasks are broken down clearly so we know what is expected of us."
The guide also creates a path for Soldiers to embrace NCO history.
"It reintroduces the history of the NCO Corps," Sgt. 1st Class Jonathon Potter, a Fort Bliss Soldier said. "Incorporating the scripts for the NCO induction ceremony and CoR is a great way to gain back what we lost sight of over the years."
By incorporating Leadership styles, NCO training techniques, drill and ceremonies, and the latest Army programs, the Guide becomes relevant to the needs of the force.
"For me, the NCO Guide has always provided broad written guidance that helped keep me on track," said Grinston. "The best way to use this guide is as a part of your leadership sphere of influence meaning -- you have this guide that you and the people in your unit, training, education, and all the other doctrine our Army has produced. The NCO Guide compiles lessons learned from all of those sources."
The Guide provides critical information for the success of today's NCO, therefore if you find something is not being spoken to, write it down.
"Give us your feedback," Telon said. "In the preface, we tell the force we want to hear from them through the proper channels, fill out a DA Form 2028 and send in your comments. During the annual update, we will compile all the data for consideration."
The updated NCO Guide is currently available for download at the NCOLCoE World Campus website.