Noncommissioned officer's creed

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In the United States, the Noncommissioned Officer's Creed, shortened to NCO creed, is a tool used to educate and remind enlisted leaders of their responsibilities and authority, and serves as a Code of conduct. Each branch has their own version, and many have been altered over the years.

Army Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer[edit]

In 1973, the United States Army was in turmoil as a result of the Vietnam War drawing to an end.[1] One of the conceived solutions was the "Modern Volunteer Army", which included the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course. Many Sergeants were trained only to perform one specific job, for example, squad leaders in infantry units, and were no longer uniformly regarded as the well-rounded professionals of previous generations.[1] The overhaul of the NCO Corps involved rewriting Field Manual 22–100: Leadership.

One of the organizations dedicated to rebuilding the NCO Corps was the NCO Subcommittee of the Command and Leadership Committee in the Leadership Department at the United States Army Infantry School at Fort Benning. Besides training Soldiers at the Noncommissioned Officers Academy, these NCOs also developed instructional material to be used throughout the Army. During a brainstorming session, SFC Earle Brigham and Jimme Jakes Sr. were credited with writing on a sheet of paper the three letters "N C O",[1] and the committee began building a creed, a "yardstick by which to measure themselves." When it was ultimately approved, The Creed of the Noncommssioned Officer was printed on the inside cover of the special texts issued to students, beginning in 1974. Though The Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer was submitted higher for approval and distribution Army-wide, it was not formalized by an official army publication until 11 years later.[1]

The Army dedicated 2009 as the "Year of the NCO".[2]

It is notable that the initial letters of each paragraph are, in order, N C O.

'Tactically' and 'Technically' Discrepancy[edit]

For almost the first 20-years many[1] Army Creeds of the Noncommissioned Officer in publication had the second sentence in the second paragraph as I will strive to remain tactically and technically proficient. However in 2001 the Army had a team of Contractors who created FM 7-22.7, The Army Noncommissioned Officer Guide[3] who apparently transposed the sentence to I will strive to remain technically and tactically proficient. To compound the problem the NCO Journal printed a story in the May 2010 edition[3] which correctly identified that a Field Manual has precedence over other forms of publication (e.g., DA Pamphlet), so it must be right. No historical research appeared to have been conducted, and it is unknown if any of the sources cited in the original research[1] by Elder and Sanchez were consulted.

Marine Corps[edit]

NCO creed[edit]

The NCO creed is part of the syllabus of the Command Sponsored Corporals Course, colloquially known as "Corporals Course".[4] The current version reads:

SNCO creed[edit]

Because the Marine Corps emphasizes the additional responsibility upon Staff Noncommissioned Officers, they have their own creed:[7]


Air Force[edit]

The US Air Force has utilized several different creeds (the NCO Creed, the SNCO Creed, the Chief's creed,[9] the First Sergeant's Creed,[10] the Security Forces Creed, etc.). However, as of April 2007 all the creeds used in the Air Force were replaced by The Airman's Creed.[11]

Air Force NCO creed[edit]

SNCO creed[edit]

See also[edit]


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army.
 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Marine Corps.

  1. ^ a b c d e f "U.S. Army NCO Creed". SGM Dan Elder and SGM Felix Sanchez. Retrieved 3 May 1998. 
  2. ^ NCO creed at
  3. ^ a b c "The Army Noncommissioned Officer Guide". Field Manual 7–22.7. Headquarters, Department of the Army. December 2002. 
  4. ^ Medina, LCpl Robert C. (10 July 2008). "Marines with CLB-6 graduate Corporals’ Course". Al Asad Airbase: United States Marine Corps. Retrieved 21 October 2009. [dead link]
  5. ^ "NCO Creed". USMC Heritage Press Foundation. Heritage Press International. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  6. ^ NCO Creed on
  7. ^ "Staff NCO Creed". USMC Heritage Press Foundation. Heritage Press International. Retrieved 21 October 2009. 
  8. ^ Hagee, Michael W. (13 February 2006). "NAVMC DIR 1500.58 Marine Corps Mentoring Program Guidebook". United States Marine Corps. pp. 83–84. Retrieved 8 January 2010. 
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ General T. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff of the Air Force (2007). "CSAF presents Airman's Creed". Retrieved 9 November 2007. 
  12. ^ SNCO creed (Air Force)