Advocators for E-10 still working through the issues.....
SENIOR ENLISTED PERSONNEL:
Entire 2002 QRMC report located at http://dticaw.dtic.mil/prhome/qrmc/
An interesting commentary
There is a great deal of truth incorporated.
Further Down The Road To The Enlisted Generals
At a time when our military is suffering from low morale, lack of funds and a rank structure that is increasingly top heavy and short on trigger pullers, some politicians and military leaders want to create a super NCO rank, the E10. Proponents of the move maintain that enlisted soldiers, serving directly with senior flag officers deserve additional recognition, one commentary insisting that noncommissioned officers deserve the rank for serving in command level jobs with far greater responsibilities and longer hours than others. That's right about longer hours, but wrong on command responsibilities. NCOs don't command organizations.
As a former enlisted man, I am a fervent supporter of the leadership contribution that our NCOs have made in our military. I'm also convinced that many have the exceptional talents that, as in other countries, they should be given greater responsibilities, such as piloting certain fixed wing and rotary aircraft, and assume the majority of officer-tagged platoon leader positions in our line units.
What disturbs me about the E10 creation is that it further advances a late 80s trend to pattern senior NCOs after the officer corps, including all the careerist requirements for ticket punching and superficial glorification of the mediocre.
Today even the NCO efficiency report, once a simplistic report, concentrating
on essential and mainly hands-on skills, resembles an officer report card. This
includes overemphasis on the file picture, since prettier must be better. There
is also overemphasis on a rapid succession of career enhancing assignments.
Today's NCO better have been a platoon sergeant,
drill sergeant, recruiter, master gunner, first sergeant, operations sergeant and have attended a multitude specialty schools, right on time.
With the exceptions of the NCOs in Light, Ranger and Special Forces outfits, we've now copied the officer experience by producing too many "Jacks of all trades" who lack true expertise in the critical combat and support skills.
Today, the super "admin NCO Corps" rules supreme. They can talk like officers, walk like officers, e-mail like officers but have also lost contact with the troops, just like their officers. Recent chaos over uniform modifications and personnel policies indicate that senior NCOs can't balance out of control generals but simply go along to build their own empires.
Other proof of empire building is evident in the field:
* "Change of responsibility" ceremonies for Command Sergeants Major are now in vogue, eating additional troop time.
* Sergeants Major spending increasing time in meetings with First Sergeants and other Sergeants Major, rather than with the troops.
* Sergeants Majors touring posts in helicopters, dedicated staff cars, flying special CSM identification stickers to ensure that the troops react as if they were commanders.
* An over-abundance of parking spaces in front of PX and Commissary, dedicated to Command Sergeants Major.
* Units suffering from dual chain of command syndrome, when officers and NCOs contradict in planning and execution of orders.
My answer to the E-10 hype is to raise the salaries, prestige and proficiency of those "Warrior NCOs" who produce bang for the buck, versus creating more "chiefs with better briefs."
Reduce the numbers of officers running platoons to only one per company, in
addition to an executive officer and company commander, but allow officers to
remain in position at least two years. Senior NCO would lead the remaining
platoons for at least five years and rate a hefty leader bonus for the job, a
great improvement for force stability and a miracle cure for unit
Give the First Sergeants stability in position with a leader bonus for their proficiencies. First Sergeants can run companies without much interference from a Command Sergeant Major at battalion level.
With stabilized NCO proficiency in the line companies, eliminate the Command Sergeant Major in the battalions and replace him with one highly operationally and tactically proficient Operations Sergeant Major, one who functions as the key advisor to the battalion's staff and the commander.
We must get the NCO Corps back to running the day-to-day operations of our force hands-on, with lots of authority and based on experience. Creating more staff NCOs and paper killers won't help the readiness.
I am delighted that most Service NCO leaders are still reluctant to endorse the E-10 concept, indicating the survival of some common sense.
Unfortunately, the E-10 brain-bomb could ultimately survive because it originated with the same members of Congress who throw money at every problem, and who proposed to sprinkle five-star ranks on our Desert Storm generals, comparing victory over a Third World country with WWII.