Soldiers' ability to sustain themselves and their fellow soldiers during periods of high stress is built upon rock-hard confidence in themselves and their leadership chain beginning with fire team leaders or the noncommissioned officer of their section.What we have learned and relearned in our Army is that unit cohesion and teamwork are what give individual soldiers the confidence to use initiative, to be resourceful, and to be all they can be.A soldier always wants the best to be at his front, rear, right and left, trained to stay there regardless of what may happen.A special bond develops when leaders live their lives following the fundamentals of leadership.
Look in the mirror, and then figure out how to fix your part of the Army. Experience is what you do with what happens to you.Being a hero isn't hitting 60 home runs- it's what you do every day.The goal of the corps of NCOs, whose duty is the day-to-day business of running the Army so that the officer corps has time to command it, is to continue to improve our Army at every turn. Regardless of the kind of unit you're in, it ought to be an "elite" outfit, because its NCOs can make it one.Citizens everywhere, and especially soldiers, should remember that entrenched bureaucracy, whatever the level, can be overcome.You've got to stick to it, be polite but firm, and just not take no for an answer.Squad leaders, platoon sergeants, and first sergeants can make or break any Army program.I think of the whole process of "people" programs as a kind of inverted pyramid. Many high-level staffs and agencies help establish these policies, each of which carries considerable weight.Beneath the policies in the inverted pyramid are the implementing policies and instructions.There are numerous sources and channels for these, each of which adds to the weight and increases the pressure.Finally, at the bottom, is the apex of the inverted pyramid, the unit: the company or battery, and the platoons, squads, and sections that make up the Army. This is the focal point where the noncommissioned officer can play a major role.The noncommissioned officers who meet professional challenges successfully will be the shakers and the movers, the leaders and the doers, the hard chargers and the thorough supervisors.