Military Review English Edition November-December 2015 - Page 97

SECRET TO SUCCESS and minimizing the differences between the way NCO and officer records are managed. Conclusion Although the human dimension alone does not fully explain the success of the U.S. Army, it is often underappreciated as the foundation upon which the Army is built. Recognizing this frequent omission, the U.S. Army celebrated the “Year of the NCO” in 2009, acknowledging the critical contributions of its career enlisted soldiers.9 While media headlines related to the military consistently mention general officers, much of what happens within the U.S. Army is attributable to its structure and its effective employment of its human dimension resource—specifically, its NCOs and enlisted soldiers. The proof lies not only in the U.S. Army’s successes but also in its sacrifices; of the eighteen soldiers awarded the Medal of Honor (the highest medal for valor presented by the United States) in the post-Vietnam War era, sixteen were enlisted.10 There are no magic bullets, weapons platforms, defense alliances, communications systems, or any other advanced technologies that can replace solid leadership. By pushing power both down and out to expand the influence of competent leadership to its lowest organizational levels, by encouraging the upward mobility of its greatest resource, its volunteer force, and by demanding successful results, the U.S. Army has set a shining example of how to effectively utilize soldiers, especially career NCOs, to the maximum extent of their abilities. Other advantages are important but not nearly as critical. Partner nations of the United States should look internally, within their own armies, and analyze if they are leveraging their own enlisted corps to the maximum extent of their capabilities. It is an affordable military solution well worth exploring. Maj. Jonathan Bissell, U.S. Army, is a student at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs in the Master of International Policy and Practice program. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College. He holds a BS from Cameron University and an MS in international relations from Troy University. A logistician for the majority of his career, he has worked as a foreign area officer in Latin America for the last four years. He has served overseas in Panama, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Peru. Command Sgt. Maj. Carlos Olvera is the senior enlisted advisor for U.S. Army, Southern Command. He holds a BS in business management from Empire State College, and he is currently pursuing an MS in management from Excelsior College. Olvera has graduated from the Joint Staff College Course for Senior Enlisted Leaders and the Army Force Management Course for Command Sergeant Majors. His most recent assignment was as the command sergeant major of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation. Notes 1. Joseph Rank, “Building Partnership Capacity 101: the New Jordan Armed Forces NCO Corps,” Military Review (September-October 2014). See also, Gabriel Marcella, The United States and Colombia: The Journey from Ambiguity to Strategic Clarity, Special Series, Shaping the Regional Security Environment in Latin America (Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War College, 2003), 43, accessed 16 July 2015, oclc/52427009.html. 2. Ernest F. Fisher, Guardians of the Republic: A History of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps of the U.S. Army (New York: Ballantine Books, 1994), 394. 3. Ibid., 392. 4. U.S. Army website, “NCO Creed,” accessed 14 July 2015, MILITARY REVIEW  November-December 2015 5. U.S. Army website, “Oath of Enlistment,” accessed 14 July 2015, 6. United States Army Deputy Chief of Staff G-1, Office of Army Demographics website, “Demographics,” accessed 25 April 2015, 7. Army Doctrine Publication 6-0, Mission Command (Wa shington, DC: U.S. Government Publishing Office, May 2012), 5. The Army promotes decentralized execution through the use of mission orders. 8. Fisher, Guardians of the Republic, 392. 9. Army News Service, “Army Leaders Kick Off Year of the NCO at Texas Installation,” accessed 14 July 2015, army-leaders-kick-off-year-of-nco-at-texas-installation/. 10. Congressional Medal of Honor Society website, accessed 14 July 2015, 91