West Point is one of the few installations where officers outnumber the enlisted, and for cadets receiving a noncommissioned officer’s perspective on Army life is key to developing them as leaders of character. With a small NCO-to-officer ratio, Command Sgt. Maj. Sam Crislip, senior enlisted advisor for the Army Cyber Institute, took initiative and found a new opportunity to provide more NCO perspective and leadership for cadets.
For the most part, cadets’ interactions with NCOs are with their tactical NCO at the company level or with an occasional military science NCO instructor. Crislip worked with Col. Jeffrey Erickson, the director of the Army Cyber Institute, to find a way to teach and dedicate some time apart from his standard duties as the sergeant major for ACI. Erickson felt it was a good opportunity to have an enlisted member teach cadets as it was a non-traditional opportunity.
“Our NCOs in the Army provide a variety of skills, knowledge and experience that we should always look to leverage,” Erickson said. “Providing Command Sgt. Maj. Crislip this chance to teach cadets, going above and beyond his duties as senior enlisted advisor at ACI, was something that benefits all parties involved.”
“I think it is important for NCOs to have a part in teaching cadets,” Crislip said. “It demonstrates to cadets that the NCOs they will work with in the future can contribute meaningfully in the conversations and analyses necessary to be a part of the commander’s decision cycle.”
He continued to say, “NCOs are sometimes perceived as being good at task organization and accomplishing those tasks. However, NCOs have more to contribute if their counterparts give them the opportunity to be a full member of the team, not simply just responsible for the health, welfare and task accomplishment of their subordinates.” Read more.