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What is The Army NCO Strategy?

The Army NCO Strategy aims to develop and empower NCOs to leverage their knowledge, skills, and behaviors.

The Army NCO Strategy, coupled with This is My Squad (TiMS), is based on the vision of what an NCO must BE, KNOW, and DO to compete and win in multi-domain environments. Under the pressure of constant change and rapid technological advances, the NCO Corps developed this enduring and flexible strategy to lead us into the future.

The Army NCO Strategy, nested in the guidance and vision of our leaders, reflects our Army values and NCO core competencies. The concept of the Army NCO Strategy will drive the NCO Guide, and the two will evolve in concert to ensure the NCO Corps remains current, relevant, and the best in the world.

What is This Is My Squad?

This is My Squad is a leadership philosophy that focuses on developing engaged leaders who build cohesive teams made of highly trained, disciplined, and fit Soldiers-for-Life.

All Leaders have a role to play: CSMs, Field and Company Grade Officers, 1SGs, and Platoon SGTs are all responsible for the coaching and mentorship of the junior leaders who serve as first-line supervisors for the majority of Soldiers.

Pillars of TiMS


    Leaders at all levels should take pride and ownership in their squad and eliminate the harmful behaviors that hinders building cohesive squads.

    In this sense, a squad refers to more than the rifle or engineer squad. It is the group of people you work with daily, the group for which you are responsible for leading and providing care for.

    Junior NCOs own the culture of small units and must be empowered to care for their Soldiers and Families. Officers trust and empower NCOs to create a work environment where Soldiers want to come to work, train, and grow. At some level, all members of the Total Army Team are part of a Squad.


    As a leader, I’m responsible for the culture of My Squad. This is My Squad is an Army initiative to equip me with the education and technological tools I need to be the outstanding leader that my Soldiers and their Families deserve.


    As a senior NCO or officer, I am responsible for the coaching, mentoring, and developing of the junior leaders under me. The pillars of TiMS are leader-driven and requires guidance and direction from the raters and senior raters of the first-line supervisor.

  • Cohesive Teams begin with trust.

    NCOs must build and maintain trust throughout the entirety of a Soldier’s career. Members of a cohesive team know when a member of that team is having trouble. They know when someone needs a helping hand.

    A cohesive small unit is NOT permissive of harmful behaviors.

    They show no tolerance for sexual assault or sexual harassment. They put a stop to racist and extremist behaviors. The Squad Leader helps each member of the Squad to feel understood and connected.

  • NCOs are responsible for the individual training of Soldiers, squads, crews, and small teams by conducting standards-based, performance oriented, and battle-focused training.

    Every leader must define what it means to be "highly trained" in their organization. This will look different in a human resources section, an aviation squadron, tank platoon, dining facility, rifle squad, etc. It should be driven by the unit's mission essential task list and informed by the MOS individual critical skills and tasks list.

    NCOs continuously develop as leaders through progressive and sequential processes that incorporate training, education, and experience across the three learning domains.

  • An effective leader instills discipline by knowing, understanding, and enforcing standards, recognizing positive behaviors, and applying corrective action judiciously.   

    Discipline is critical and must be modeled by the 'squad' leader. These are the customs and norms that are acceptable or not within the group. Unit climate plays a significant role in how an organization defines discipline, but all leaders have the responsibility to articulate that to the members of their squad.

    These actions instill confidence, build trust among team members, and ensure Soldiers have the necessary technical and tactical expertise to perform their duties.

  • Small units must be fit: mentally, socially, and physically. ​

    The Holistic Health and Fitness (H2F) program includes five domains: physical readiness, nutritional readiness, spiritual readiness, mental readiness, and sleep readiness. FM 7-22 provides the foundation for all Soldier readiness programs. It is the standard to optimize Soldiers’ performance as they move about the Army and the battlefield.

Developing Soldiers-for-Life

NCOs must build and maintain trust throughout the entirety of a Soldier’s career.

Trust starts at the recruitment phase and initial entry training to reception and integration into the operational force. NCOs reinforce trust throughout a Soldier’s career and ultimately their transition from service back to the civilian sector. 

This process includes talent management to provide NCOs with stability and predictability. Effective talent management strives to balance the Army’s needs with Soldier development and personal preferences. NCOs involved in this process will gain a Soldier’s lifelong commitment through their honesty and accountability.

SMA Talks: This is My Squad (Episode 6)

Army Soldiers Discuss "This Is My Squad"

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