The Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Creed is a foundational statement of values and the guiding principles for an NCO’s conduct in the United States Army. While it has undergone revisions, its core message remains consistent—emphasizing leadership, service, and professionalism within the NCO Corps.
An iteration of the creed includes:
“No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize I am a member of a time-honored corps known as ‘The Backbone of the Army.’ I am proud of the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers and will always conduct myself to bring credit upon it.”
It continues by outlining responsibilities towards subordinates, such as fair treatment and training them to be tactically proficient. It also emphasizes duties towards superiors, including loyalty and reporting honestly on soldier performance without bias or malice.
“I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.”
This line from later in the creed encapsulates ethical standards expected from an NCO—to avoid conflicts of interest, always put welfare troops first above self-interests.
What Is A Non-Commissioned Officer In The Army?
A Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) in the United States Army is a member of the military who has earned a position of authority through promotion based on merit and leadership qualities rather than by commission. NCOs are known as “the backbone of the Army” due to their critical role in training soldiers, maintaining discipline, and ensuring mission readiness.
The rank structure for NCOs typically includes:
- Corporal (E-4)
- Sergeant (E-5)
- Staff Sergeant (E-6)
- Sergeant First Class (E-7)
- Master Sergeant/First Sergeant (E-8)
- The First Sergeant has a crucial leadership role within companies.
And at higher levels:
-Sergeant Major -Command Sergeants Major These ranks involve more strategic responsibilities that may extend across entire battalions or brigades.
As leaders, mentors, and tacticians, NCOs guide lower-ranking enlisted personnel while also acting as an essential link between the officer corps and enlisted soldiers. They play vital roles both in garrison environments—such as conducting training programs and administrative tasks—and combat operations where they lead troops directly into action, making tactical decisions and influencing outcome engagements. A large part successful functioning army rests upon the effectiveness of noncommissioned officers upholding standards of professionalism and competence reflecting core values, ethos service fostering an environment of respect and unity amongst those who serve under them integral part team whose contributions are indispensable to the overall success organization’s objectives domestically internationally alike achieving goals set forth protect nation’s interests secure peace security around globe demonstrating commitment excellence every aspect duty assigned embodying principle “Lead by example” heart what means be a true leader within the military community.