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Journey of Perseverance and Accomplishments: Achievements of a Fighting Finance Sergeant Major

Journey of Perseverance and Accomplishments: Achievements of a Fighting Finance Sergeant Major

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Journey of Perseverance and Accomplishments: Achievements of a Fighting Finance Sergeant Major

365 pagine
5 ore
Feb 7, 2014


John Medleys life took on new meaning on the day twenty-one trainee soldiers died. As a teenager, he embarked on the journey of his lifetime to become a fighting finance noncommissioned officer in the US Army. After infantry and paratrooper training, he showed early allegiance to the US Army Finance Corps. The loss of those twenty-one soldiers instilled in him a lifelong commitment to ensuring timely and accurate pay to soldiers and their dependents.

Over his career, he learned to rely on his military training and education to help him face and resolve problematic conditions and situations. He also relied on the acquired, mission-related knowledge that he gleaned from one assignment to the next. His life and career were affected further by the urgency to respond to the families of 248 soldiers who had been killed in an air crash when returning from the Sinai. An encounter with a widow and her two toddlers would change his life again. After the death of her soldier husband, she came to Johns office in search of condolence and relief from her unbearable strife. There, the two spoke of her emotional and financial concerns for her familys future without her husband. Fortunately, John and his team were prepared to help these families through their darkest days.

Join Dr. Medley as he brings you inside the workings of military finance operations and life in the civilian worlds of business, civil service, and academia.
Feb 7, 2014

Informazioni sull'autore

Dr. John S. Medley is a certified public accountant, defense financial manager, government financial manager, and chartered global management accountant. He holds an MBA and a PhD in administration and management. Now retired, he and his wife, Sugi, live in McCordsville, Indiana. He has a daughter and a grandson.

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Journey of Perseverance and Accomplishments - John S. Medley


Copyright © 2014 John S. Medley, PhD.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

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Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them. Nor do they reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.

Any people depicted in stock imagery provided by Thinkstock are models, and such images are being used for illustrative purposes only.

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ISBN: 978-1-4917-1864-3 (sc)

ISBN: 978-1-4917-1865-0 (hc)

ISBN: 978-1-4917-1863-6 (e)

Library of Congress Control Number: 2013923162

iUniverse rev. date: 03/07/2014





My Initial Thoughts

Early Frame of Reference

Pause to Pursue Educational Goal

The Journey

Finalizing My Approach




The Army NCO Creed

Chapter 1   The Roots Of A Working Philosophy

Commitment, Achievement, and Honesty

Fairness and Belief in Fellow Human Beings

Adolescence and Joining the Military

The Will to Succeed

Realization of Purpose

Chapter 2   (1956 To 1963)

Journey To Pre-Noncommissioned Officer

Development of Principles

Values Rechecked

Young Adulthood and Developing Skills

Military Payroll Processing Phases

Manual Military Pay Voucher System (MMPVS) Purpose and Distribution


Manifestation of Skill

Interaction with Senior Officers

No Stripes with Promotion

The Rise and Fall of Achievement

The Advent of Payroll Mechanization

First Overseas Assignment

Chapter 3   (1963 To 1966)

Stripes And The Vietnam War

Innovation versus Unorthodoxy

Wartime Pay Edicts

Unorthodoxy of Innovation

Payday in the War Zone

Mobile Pay Team in Combat

Know Your Boss and His Boss

Merger of Pay Functions

CG Approval to Consolidate

Delivering Citations

Field Appointment Board

Support of the Wounded

The Celebration

Chapter 4   (1966 To 1968)

Promotion And Controversy

Expanded Work Assignments


Controversial Assignment

Resolution of Controversy

Chapter 5   (1968 TO 1969)


Instilling Discipline

Behind Closed Doors

Brigade Rear Relocates

Permissiveness and Empathy

Controlled Permissiveness


Chapter 6   (1969 To 1974)

The Challenge

Lessons Learned

Reserve Unit Training

A State of Normalcy

Arrival of the Visionary

Automated Improvement Concepts

Functional Improvement Processes

Zero-Error-Rate Goal

Chapter 7   (1974 To 1978)

Commitment And Reputation

Efforts to Achieve a Goal

Raising Quality of Finance Support

Fortifying the Roll of the NCO

Expanding QA Function

Braving a Past Achievement

Excellence in Quality

Arrival of a Visionary

Arrival of Replacements

Omen of a Future Challenge

The Premier Career Assignment

Omen to Next-to-Last Career Assignment

The Milestone Cap

Chapter 8   (1978 To 1980)

Perseverance Engenders Excellence

The First Significant Event

The Second Significant Event

The Overlay Principle

Organizing for Success

The Last Significant Event

Conducting the ARTEP

Chaotic Conditions

The Annual Rating


Chapter 9   (1980 To 1982)

Return To Leading Troops

Improving Civilian Morale

The CG’s Challenge

Mobile Pay Team Test

Stabilized Operations

Chapter 10   (1982 To 1986)

The Penultimate Assignment

Enabling Leadership

Negating Challenges

Standards and Goals

DA Nonofficial Test Site

Parallel Careers

Replication of Processes

Reciprocating Solutions

FORSCOM Comptroller’s Office

Gander, Newfoundland Plane Crash16

Well-Trained Soldiers and Caring NCOs

Air Assault Training

Decision from on High

A Time of Reflection

Chapter 11   (1986 To 1988)

The Fruits Of Perseverance

Value of Directional Knowledge

The First Walkthrough

First Issue Needing Resolution

Second Issue Needing Resolution

Last Issue Needing Resolution

Closed-Door Session with CG

Meeting with the Post CG

Implementing Changes

Selecting the USAFAC CSM

Acting CSM Travels

Assignment to Field Network Quality

New Director for FNQ

The Final Offer

Chapter 12   (1988 To 1992)

Computer Sciences Corporation

Project Team Leader

Deputy Project Manager

Deputy Procurement Manager

Boilerplate Approach

Red-Team Review

Marketing Manager

Failed Opportunity

Winning Opportunities

Quality-Assurance Manager

Hit-and-Miss Engagements

Training Manager

The Problem-Solving Exercise

Configuration Control Manager

Closing CSC Indianapolis

Reflections on CSC

Chapter 13   (1992 To 2009)

Transition To Civil Service

Consolidation Decision Model

Training Methodology

Case in Point

Tools of Independent Professionals

Tools of Interactive Leadership

The Consolidations

Stages of Change




Success and Ploy

The Throes of Consolidation

The Accounting Function

Withdrawal of Unused Funds

Balancing Reports

Exhausted Research

The Accounting Course

Overdisbursed Condition

Misstep in Communication

Consolidation to Capitalization

Opposing Views

Chapter 14   (2001 To 2003)

Product-Line Management

Establishing the Product Line

Selecting Staff Personnel

The Hidden Agenda

Travel-Site Reductions

Project-Line Refinement

Deployment-Travel Branch

The Bandwagon Effect

The Penultimate Assignment in DFAS

Brief Pause

Chapter 15   (2003 To 2006)

Return To Ampo

The GAO Report

Congressional Staff Visit

Wounded Warrior System

Wartime Operational Dichotomies

The Commitment to Guarantee



Chapter 16   (2006 To 2009)

Final Assignment In Civil Service

The Challenges

The Rewards

The Pain


Chapter 17   (2009 To 2011)

Journey Into Academia

Building the Budget

Rebuilding Accounting POI

Farewell to Academia

Chapter 18   (2000 To 2008)

President Of Rafinco

Major General (Ret.) Fazakerley

The Rest of the Story

Determination and Resilience

Chapter 19   (1956 To 2014)

Journey Highlights

Character Development

The Value of Reading

Always Prepare for the Next Day

My Working Philosophy

Rules of Engagement

My Military Experiences

NCO Leadership Qualities

NCOs at Fort Bragg (1971 to 1974)

NCOs at Fort Campbell (1982 to 1986)

NCOs in Panama (1981 to 1982)

NCOs in USAREUR (1974 to 1977)

The Path to NCO Leadership


Abbreviations And Acronyms

Appendix 1 Decision Model and Consolidation Algorithms

Appendix 2 Tigers and Customer Attestations

Appendix 3 Tigers Team 6 Attestation


Reader’s Guide

About The Author


Also by John S. Medley, PhD:

Assured Reciprocity: The Universality of Military Leaders and Civilian Business Leaders

Bell & Howell, 1998, UMI: 9819464.

To my wife Sugi and my stepdaughters Melissa and Jessica

To my mother, Margaret Medley

To my daughter Margaret (Medley) Williamson

To my grandchild, Brandon C. Williamson II

Dr. Medley is goal-oriented and achieved the highest of goals during the period that I was associated with him (1972–74 and 1978–80).

—Colonel R. Allred, USA Retired

Dr. Medley’s extraordinary experience over decades of service to the Army Finance Corps, the United States Army, and the nation was always characterized by excellence. His reputation as a leader of unquestionable integrity, his steadfast perseverance, and his deep understanding of the myriad technical aspects of army finance made him the leader of choice to tackle the most demanding challenges faced by the finance community. I have always held John in the highest regard as a leader and an absolute expert in all things finance. An understanding of his journey will serve all leaders well as they prepare for the challenges ahead.

—Lieutenant General E. E. Stanton, USA Retired


Duty, Honor, Country — those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be. They are your rallying point to build courage when courage seems to fail, to regain faith when there seems to be little cause for faith, to create hope when hope becomes forlorn.

—General of the Army Douglas MacArthur


The traits common among accomplished military leaders spring forth during this journey of perseverance. The journey is replete with accomplishments that stem from valuable training and experience traversing the military structure into the worlds of business and academia. As a leader with an interactive style of leadership and having traversed into these worlds, I can attest to the values, ideas, and demonstrations manifested in this journey.

—Colonel R. Allred, USA Retired


My Initial Thoughts

I believe that childhood, adolescence, and adulthood are meaningful life-cycle phases of those destined to serve their country as a soldier and contribute to a highly recognizable value commonly known as the backbone of the army. Countless soldiers over the course of our nation’s history have manifested such value, many with their very lives. Yet others continue to reflect this inbred value in lifelong careers that extend beyond service, no matter the difficulties or the shedding of tears. Tracking the life journey of one soldier’s commitment as a combat service support soldier in the US Army Finance Corps is but a flyspeck among the multitude of noncommissioned officers who fulfill the words of General Dwight D. Eisenhower: "The Sergeant is the Army."¹

As I approached my final years in the military, I began to realize that the leadership qualities I gained from my military training, education, and experiences could be of great value to others. The growing urge within me to document and share my achievements gave new meaning to my memoirs. The urge also brought to the forefront my goal to attain a higher education. Though I made that a priority, I planned to remain fully employed and still accomplish my goal. I came to this conclusion because of my determination, which was derived, at least partially, from exposure to people throughout the years who were deeply committed to their societal roles. I also believed that my leadership practices would be more meaningful if I could convey them as practical rather than theoretical applications. Additionally, many of my leadership practices are rooted in my readings of The Power of Positive Thinking (Peale 1952) and The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (Murphy 1963).

Early Frame of Reference

Reflecting back to my childhood and moving forward, I realized that I had developed a frame of reference that could characterize all my encounters, endeavors, successes, and failures, including the foundational experience of my childhood. It was from this framework that I wanted to write about my development through the hard work, turmoil, frustration, and other emotions that occurred upon encountering and interacting with highly principled people, but I felt I needed more education to be able to communicate that process effectively.

Pause to Pursue Educational Goal

Additionally, I valued my experience as a warrior in the US Army during wartime and thought that my responses to the human aspects that nonwarriors would not otherwise be aware of might be a meaningful leadership quality to share. I felt I could substantiate this inclusion in my writing because 65 percent of my military assignments were in direct support of combat, combat support, and combat service support units.

Thus inspired, I began mentally outlining my approach to writing about my journey even as I paused to pursue my educational goal and a new job in the civilian sector. After four years in business, seventeen years in civil service, and two years in academia, I realized that the leadership qualities I developed in the army were also instrumental in the achievements experienced during these career changes. With my educational goal met, I was prepared to pursue my goal of sharing my journey of perseverance.

The Journey

My journey was replete with problematic conditions and situations. Yet, my military training and education prepared me to resolve such problems by using the knowledge that I acquired from one assignment to the next. As my journey advanced, the demand for my problem-solving abilities increased. My skills became a valuable asset. This resulted in my strong desire to share my experiences and expertise in a manner that would be useful to others. Thus, I pursued and realized a personal goal in developing independent professionals. They, in turn, made significant accomplishments within the Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS).

With that achievement, I decided to write and materialize my goal by sharing my life journey and career trajectory. I wanted to do so in a manner that would be meaningful to others. Thus, I offer in this writing the opportunity for others to partake of my knowledge of tried-and-tested methodologies, values, lessons learned, principles, philosophies, and useful idioms.

Therefore, I present attractive practical, rather than theoretical, applications of tools and methods useful in establishing a success environment. I believe the applications will appeal to those wishing to become outstanding leaders. Especially, those who wish to avoid the kind of pitfalls I encountered during my journey of perseverance from a military career to careers in business, civil service, and academia.

Finalizing My Approach

I used social media and professional associations to contact many of the people who I interacted with over the years to refresh my memories of specific events. I also obtained written authorization from Dr. Joan F. Marques, Associate Professor at Woodbury University, to use her study of leadership qualities to assist in identifying the qualities in leaders I interacted with during my journey. I felt this would add credibility and clarity in describing the characteristics of my interactions with superiors, peers, and subordinates, many of whom were instrumental in my achievements.


As I reviewed my memoirs, I came to realize that there were scores of people who had a significant influence on my values, principles, philosophies, lessons learned, and most of all, my major achievements throughout my careers. They include officers, warrant officers, noncommissioned officers, and young soldiers, civil servants and civilians, including directors, administrators, technicians, technologists, program and project managers, executive assistants, and extremely talented and professional secretaries. They came from all levels of the military, civil service, business, and academia. I remain thankful for each encounter in what otherwise would have been a less-fruitful journey. There were also scores of interactions with people opposed to my points of view in varying degrees. From them, I learned the value of flexibility, patience, and compromise.


In recognition that my leadership qualities and ensuing accomplishments reflect the collective values of scores of outstanding people that I interacted with over the span of my careers, I include this incomplete list. While there are more individuals than I could ever name definitively, I can say most assuredly that without their collective values, this book would not have been possible:

101st Airborne Division (1956–61)

SGM Wilbur Clouser (Deceased)

Bernard Nickolich, US Army Retired

Vernon L. McGuire, LTC (Deceased)

Matamoras? Company First Sergeant (1SG)

173rd Airborne Brigade (1961–66 & 69–70)

Captain Claude Henderson, Finance Officer

1LT Woody, Disbursing Officer

MSG Willie Back, NCOIC

SFC Clarence Knox, US Army Retired

SGT William Tolbert, SGM, US Army Retired

SP4 Minjack, Military Pay Specialist

CW2 Harry Rider, Retired as a CW5

101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division

& Fort Campbell, KY (1966–69 & 1982–86)

MG Karen Dyson, Director, Army Budget (1LT, CPT)

Colonel Marlene Fey, 1LT (Air Assault, Grad)

LTC Wendall Wooten, FAO, US Army Retired

LTC Michael Drake, FAO, US Army Retired

LTC Hacker, FAO (Location Unknown)

LTC William Smith, US Army Retired

CSM Hans Kennedy, 1SG, US Army Retired

*SGM John Null, 1SG, US Army Retired

*MSG Bruce Prater, US Army Retired

*SFC Mary Kay Null, US Army Retired

SFC Sharon Medley, US Army Retired

MSG Richard Mauro, US Army Retired

SFC William Jarred, US Army Retired

SP4 Long, Military Pay Specialist

SP4 Sprecher, Military Pay Specialist

CPT Dennis Lasley, US Army Retired

*Plus—Other Members of the D-Team (1982–86)

82nd Airborne Division and

Fort Bragg, NC (1970–74 & 77–81)

Colonel Raymond L Allred, US Army Retired

SSG Bruce Wolfe, Info Tech NCOIC

SSG Larry Elsom, CSM, US Army Retired

SFC William Tolbert, SGM, US Army Retired

FAD and QA Branch, DCofS, Comptroller,

USAREUR (1974–77)

Colonel Frank Socky, US Army Retired

Colonel J. Claude Wallace, US Army Retired

Colonel Ron Gifford, US Army Retired

LTC Richard (Robby) Robson, US Army Retired

MSG Leroy McGlynn, US Army Retired

MSG Gary Ginter (Deceased)

MSG Larry Wolfe, US Army Retired

MSG Bill Shirley, US Army Retired

SGM Jerry Steele (Deceased)

193rd Infantry Brigade (1981–82)

Major Mark, FAO

Major Grice, US Army Retired

CPT Gibert, COL, US Army Retired

SFC Sharon O’Brien, MPT US Army Retired

SFC Hanks, MPT Test

USAFAC (1986–88)

MG(R) R. G. Fazakerley, CG, & ACOAF&A, Retired

MG(R) R. B. Adams, DACOA, USAFAC, Retired

BG Virgil Richard, CG, (Deceased)

BG Bruce Hall Deputy CG (Deceased)

BG Richard Goetz Deputy CG (Deceased)

Colonel James Watkins, XO, US Army Retired

Colonel Boyd, US Army Retired

Colonel David Mikkelson, US Army Retired

CSM Wayne Ingle, US Army Retired

SGM Lawrence Massy, Finance Corps (Retired)

SGM Richard Puskarich, US Army Retired

SGM Bruce Paul, US Army Retired

SGM Robert Guy (Deceased)

Major Eric Reid, US Army Retired

Doris Combs

SFC Eloy Mendiola, US Army Retired

Kay O’Neal Travel Expert (Deceased)

DFAS-IN (1992–2009)

LTG Edgar E. Stanton III, Mil Dep, ASA (FM&C), Retired

Ernie Gregory, PDEP, ASA (FM&C), Retired

Gregory Bitz, DFAS-IN Director, Retired

Mike Dugan, DFAS-IN Director, Retired

David Burman, DFAS-IN Deputy Director, Retired

Colonel Henry Hunt, US Army Retired

Colonel Bud Klumph, US Army Retired

Colonel Dan Glodowski, US Army Retired

Colonel James Leonard, US Army Retired

Colonel Ken Crowder, US Army Retired

Colonel(R) Aaron Gillison, Director DFAS-IN

Colonel Tom Roberts, US Army Retired

Colonel Al Runnels, US Army Retired

Colonel Pat Shine, US Army Retired

Colonel Sharon Volgyi, US Army Retired

Colonel Barry Baer, DFAS-IT, US Army Retired

Major Dwight Fortune, US Army Retired

CSM Joseph Bouchez, US Army Retired

CSM Frankie Matthews, US Army Retired

CSM Charles Henderson, US Army & Civ Svc Retired

CSM Roman Benavente, US Army Retired

Ted Schardt, DFAS-IN Dep. Acctg. Opns, Retired

William Cannon, Consolidation TF Director

Andy Eikren, Director for Consolidation

Ted Godzwa, Consolidation

Steve Turner, SES, Civil Service Retired

Steve Bonta, SES, Civil Service Retired

Greg Schmalfeldt, Dep. Dir. DFAS-IN

Larry Schmalfeldt, HR Director Retired

Dave Gagermier, Legal Counselor, Retired

Susan Carter, Tiger Division Chief

Bobby Derrick, Civil Service Retired

John O’Banion, Network Support

John Campbell, Disbursing

Neil Singleton, Military Pay Policy

Gene Kincy, Travel Pay Team Chief

Tiger Team Members, Team leaders, and Site Captains

Travel Product Line Loyal Staff (Carol, Candy, Gene)

Lt Anthony Cole, FAO, DC, Colonel US Army

John Stephenson, AMPO

James Jones (J. J.), AMPO

Dorothy Ferguson, DFAS Departmental Accounting

Phil Tincher, Travel Team Lead

Computer Sciences Corps (1988–92)

Mulvin Baker, Program Manager

Paul, Kopczynski, STARFIARS Project Manager

RAFINCO (1995–Present)

SGM Dan South, US Army Retired (Secretary/Treasurer)

MSG Harry Miller, US Army Retired (Secretary/Treasurer)

SGM William Tolbert, US Army Retired

Martin University (2009–11)

Algeania Freeman PhD, President, Retired

William Woodson, VP Administration, Retired

Dr. Nicole Barnett, Dean, School of Business

Dr. Ronnie Hiller, IT Chair Professor

Dr. Mamta Singh, Science and Technology

Dr. Dennis Jackson, Liberal Arts, and Sociology

Dr. Martin Greenan, Academic Affairs

Dr. Brian Steuerwald, Institution Research

Virginia Goodwin, Director Financial Aide


Dr. Joan F. Marques, associate professor at Woodbury University, conducted a study to find commonalities among leadership styles, characteristics, and skills of prominent leaders of different ilk. On Impassioned Leadership: A Comparison between Leaders from Divergent Walks of Life concludes by identifying nine important leadership traits, adding passion as an overarching characteristic and the importance of relationships.²

Dr. Marques’s conclusions provide a frame of reference to identify the leadership qualities of American military leaders. I have used this frame of reference as a basis for demonstrating that leadership qualities among officers and noncommissioned officers (NCOs) are the same, subject only to the degree of personal accountability in their roles as combat, combat support, and combat service support units. In doing so, I rely on my previous work affirming Assured Reciprocity: The Universality of Military Leaders and Business Leaders.³

My observations of situations and conditions from childhood to maturity as a fighting finance NCO support this view of equilibrium in qualities among officers and NCOs. From my early relationships to serving with leaders of different ilk and observing their leadership qualities while developing my own, I saw characteristics similar if not identical to those identified in Dr. Marques’s study.

During my early journey and initiation in the service, I encountered just two types of leaders: authoritarian and persuasive. The teachings preferred the persuasive style to the authoritarian but emphasized a balanced approach consistent with the situation. The situation may range from peacetime training to wartime combat operations that include combat, combat support, and combat service support soldiers. The underlying teaching was that in the absence of authority, as determined by position or rank, leadership always existed, no matter the situation, condition, or size of the military unit. Seniority in rank, time in grade, or age was the final determinate. Therefore, American military leadership is a continuum.

The qualities of leadership identified by Dr. Marques are confidence, hard work, courage, empathy for subordinates, communication skills, strategic insight and vision, appropriate intelligence, determination, and resilience. According to Dr. Marques’s study regarding passion in great leaders, Most remarkably, the overarching theme [woven] through all the qualities that [make the] difference between a mediocre and an unforgettable leader is passion. Her description of passion as the overarching characteristic of leadership can also be seen in my comparative framework. Passion among noncommissioned officers may be rooted in their experiences during childhood, adolescence, young adulthood, and later, as soldiers in adulthood. During childhood and adolescence, for example, school exposes them to the Pledge of Allegiance. As young adults eager to enlist, they take the oath of enlistment. Later, as maturing adults, they accept the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer. The creed holds them personally responsible for the welfare and training of their soldiers, further igniting their passion.

Thus, discipline couples with passion to become the final determinate of a unit’s effectiveness. Therefore, the measure and extent of their passion and discipline is high morale, good order, and discipline. These become the defining measure as young and mature NCOs interact with their officers to meet these measures. In doing so, they may find themselves rewarded by bringing forth leadership traits in each other that may have lain dormant. Discipline instills in NCOs the willingness to accept their commitment to follow the lawful orders of those appointed over them and to lead those subordinate to them. Discipline then engenders passion, and completes the comparative framework.

Passion and discipline in noncommissioned officers may or may not have taken root in early life experiences from relationships among relatives. In any case, they bud with the bonds of early service, growing as the pursuit of their ultimate role gains momentum through training, experience, and education. Their passion fully matures during the mutually disciplined relationships between officers and NCOs. Hence, NCOs have an unquenchable passion and discipline to train and take care of their soldiers no matter the situation or condition—if they do not, their creed is broken and they fail, as only a few among untold multitudes have done.⁴

The NCO’s journey is replete with achieving goals that when realized, come with rewards in acquiring experience, knowledge, and skills that grow stronger during each assignment. The NCO’s maturity comes with lessons learned and the development of values, principles, philosophies, and idioms that make him or her a force to reckon with when he or she attains the rank of sergeant major (SGM). At this grade, the SGM pairs with senior field grade or general officers during their assignments. The union produces a results-oriented environment, once described by a four-star general as where eagles fly high watching over the turkeys and getting rid of the dodo birds!


My journey includes training, education, and experience that prepared me for successive assignments throughout my years in the military. The lessons I learned from previous assignments provided me with the wisdom to overcome misconceptions of my role as a noncommissioned officer and, thus, to defeat—or at least limit—any ensuing frustrations. To quell opposition coming from those superior in rank, I became cognizant of the duties and responsibilities of my current rank and the next two higher ranks. This awareness and the NCO Creed were all I needed to persevere in my interaction with leaders to change direction, in support of accomplishing the mission of the command.

The Army NCO Creed

No one is more professional than I. I am a Noncommissioned Officer, a leader of soldiers. As a Noncommissioned Officer, I realize that 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 at all times conduct myself so as to bring credit upon the Corps, the Military Service, and my country regardless of the situation in which I find myself. I will not use my grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.

Competence is my watchword. My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind—accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my soldiers. I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient. I am aware of my role as a Noncommissioned Officer. I will fulfill my responsibilities inherent in that role. All soldiers are entitled to outstanding leadership; I will provide that leadership. I know my soldiers, and I will always place their needs above my own. I will communicate consistently with my soldiers and never leave them uninformed. I will be fair and impartial when recommending both rewards and punishment.

Officers of my unit will have maximum time to accomplish their duties; they will not have to accomplish mine. I will earn their respect and confidence as well as that of my soldiers. I will be loyal to those with whom I serve: seniors, peers, and subordinates alike. I will exercise initiative by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. I will not compromise my integrity, nor my moral courage. I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, Noncommissioned Officers, leaders!



I was born and raised to adolescence in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I joined the US Army Airborne Corps after graduating from high school in 1956. During my childhood, I fought strongly to control my available time after carrying out my household chores and those tasks that became consistent with my advancing growth and age. The freedom I sought directly related to my desire to see the light at the end of the tunnel.* This expression became important to me in all my assigned tasks and endeavors. I became obsessed with the need to control events when I felt trapped by some requirement, for which I could not see daylight in its completion. Unbeknownst to me, however, my ensuing planning, hard work, and

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