Sergeant First Class Michael Hamm, H-1 Tactical Noncommissioned officer, has been leading and training cadets here at West Point for six months. Hamm, native of Bernville, Pennsylvania, originally enlisted in the U.S. Army as a 91X (Maintenance Supervisor).
What are some of the daily duties or responsibilities you have as a TAC NCO?
“I usually start off every morning walking the AO and greet the 4th class as they call hours, and to observe the interaction between them and their leadership. I observe formations and then usually head to the gym. Other duties are assisting with the development of training, track cadet’s physical training and grades, answer questions about the Army and life, inspect rooms and uniforms to maintain discipline, and measure the overall morale of the company. I usually end each day checking in with the Cadet charge of quarters and other details or training events to ensure they have everything they need.”
Why is the TAC NCO important to the 47-month experience?
“Well, the TAC NCO just like a Platoon Sergeant possesses 3 things a new lieutenant arriving in their platoon won’t have, they are Confidence, Experience, and Judgment. They don’t have these because they require time that cadets have not yet had. TAC NCOs are an important part of developing young leaders as it allows cadets the opportunity to engage with an experienced former team leader, squad leader, and platoon sergeant to get an idea of what to expect, and to gain an understanding how the enlisted side of the Army operates. They also are able to observe how the TAC and the TAC NCO interact with one another when dealing with issues in the company and actually witnessing what that relationship looks like.”
What do you hope to leave with the cadets during your time here?
“Positive influence. The Army has given me the opportunity to influence future officers with the intention of that influence spreading through the ranks such as building better teams and developing relationships, changing the culture on the importance of PT, the mindset of striving to meet their full potential and becoming a better human.”
What type of skills should a TAC NCO be able to provide to cadets?
“My time here has been short, and my array of skills don’t include a lot of academics, but we are developing leaders so, having the ability to take a step back from making every decision or fixing an issue, and allowing the cadets the opportunity to develop their own course of action. Even though you know it is going to fail, let it fail as long as there are no safety concerns. Then use that confidence, experience, and judgment while conducting the assessment.”
What has been one of the most memorable experiences you have had since you have been here?
“I have had many memorable experiences as this is not anything like a typical military installation, but shortly after I arrived, I was tasked to chaperone a wine tasting for one of the classes. It was at that moment I started to realize the differences between the enlisted and commissioned sides of the Army. I was only a tiny bit jealous!"