The Corps of the Non-Commissioned Officers

The Corps of the Non-Commissioned Officers

The Corps of the Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) began with the birth of the Continental Army in 1775.

NCO ranks consisted of Corporals, Sergeants, First Sergeants, Quartermaster Sergeants, and Sergeants Major

Duties during that time were as follows:
Sergeant Major kept rosters, formed details, and handled matters concerning the interior management and discipline of the regiment.
Quartermaster Sergeant assisted the regimental quartermaster. He also supervised the proper loading and transport of the regiment's baggage when on march.
First Sergeant enforced discipline and encouraged duty among troops
Sergeants and Corporals were expected to instruct recruits in all matters of military training.

Rank Insignia:

In 1821 the War Department made the first reference to NCO chevrons.

Sergeants Major and Quartermaster Sergeants wear a worsted chevron on each arm above the elbow.

Sergeants were required to wear one on each arm below the elbow; and corporals, one on the right arm above the elbow.

This practice ended in 1829 but returned periodically and became a permanent part of the NCO’s uniform before the Civil War.

In 1902 the NCO symbol of rank, the chevron, rotated to what we would today call point up and became smaller in size.

NCO Education I

On 30 June 1947 the first class enrolled in the 2d Constabulary Brigade's NCO school, located in Munich, Germany. Two years later, the US Seventh Army took over the 2d Constabulary functions and the school became the Seventh Army Noncommissioned Officers Academy. Eight years later AR 350-90 established Army-wide standards for NCO academies. Emphasis on NCO education increased to the point that by 1959 over 180,000 soldiers would attend NCO academies located in the continental United States. In addition to NCO academies, the Army encouraged enlisted men to advance their education by other means. By 1952 the Army had developed the Army Education Program to allow soldiers to attain credits for...

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