Noncommissioned officers’ in the United States of America were first witnessed in America beginning of the year 1775. This was propelled by the birth of the continental army. The noncommissioned officer was very independent and did not observe the trends in any army. The American army blended the traditions of the Prussian, British, and French armies into a uniquely different experience that became the American founding. As the years passed, the noncommissioned officer was forced by the American system of contempt for nobility, social attitudes and expansion to the west in the U.S to make him fall out of the bracket of the European counterparts and become the true American noncommissioned officer.
In the American Revolution days, the NCOs numbers were standardized and less. Very few duties existed at the time. In 1776, the general at the time standardized the infantry regiment at eight companies. George Washington was the general who standardized the infantry making sure every regiment /company had four sergeants, 76 privates’, four corporals’ and two drummers/ fifers. In the 1778 long winter, the inspector general at the time Friedrich von Steuben standardized the NCOs duties and responsibilities (Davids 2).
In the regulations that were later printed in the year 1779, the NCOs duties were stipulated on the form of duties. The NCOs were liable in the course of their service as army men in the U.S. The sergeant major was the roster keeper and in charge of the training of the recruits who joined the ranks. They were also liable to the discipline of the men in service where they punished outbreaks and disturbances as they went along. Von Steuben made sure the first sergeant was the one keeping the discipline in check within the company making morning reports to the commander of the regiment.
During the American revolutionary war, the NCOs received their promotions from the regimental commanders. The soldiers spent most of their career in a single regiment. No officers were would transfer and go into a new regiment with the rank they held. The general in chief was the one giving the mandate to transfer in grade from one regiment to another and this rarely occurred.
There was a special recognition for three officers for acts of valor during the American Revolution. Three men sergeants Elijah Churchill, William Brown and Daniel Bissell were the receivers of the badges of merit. The badges were a floral border with the word merit inscribed in the middle of the floral part. The awards were a precursor of the Medal of Honor introduced later in the civil war. William Browne received the honor for the assault of Redoubt in Yorktown. The mission was so dangerous that the other regiments called it “forlorn hope” where the Brown’s company charged ignoring the grenades and musket fire aimed at them leaped barriers ahead of them (Davids 23). It is the victory at Yorktown, which secured independence for America as a nation. Since the nation was poor, maintenance of an army would require a lot of effort, which was a heavy burden for the young nation. Thomas Jefferson was not in favor and thought the army could be used against the people of the United States. The government at the time improvised a policy to reduce the army to a minimum in times of peace and reliant upon militia or volunteer troops to quell uprisings and Indian disturbances.
For the new nation, struggling to make the central government credible and controls over its far-flung in order the army was an invaluable asset to the congress at the time. The constitution stipulated that the president is liable to take care of the laws truly and ensure they are executed diligently. Consequently, it gave the Congress the power to call the militia to ensure there is peace and the quelling of insurgence and repel outside invasions to the country (Davids 43). After the use of the militia to quell the rebellion of the farmers and the imposition of the federal tax on the people by Washington and John Adams, Thomas Jefferson was not happy and his suspicions was correct on a standing army. He established a military academy at west point New York in 1802. The school would handle the training of the army into people who would assist in the development of the nation.
The army and a new republic
The end of the Napoleonic wars ushered in a dawn of an era of free security. There was peace and prosperity where the army only restored order near the country as Great Britain protected the seas. This was the period during which the government was fortifying its coasts and protecting the land seeker in the southwest of the nation (L.R. Arms' A History of the NCO 26). The Great Britain army ensured the Monroe doctrine was enforced making it easy for the army to concentrate on the fortifying activities. The Jacksonian era saw many establishments in the army where the doctors in the army contributed to knowledge of the ailments like smallpox and the study of indigestion. The army spearheaded the industrial revolution. The army largely grew in professionalism making it easy for it to force the Mexicans on the right border mark of the two countries later in history.
The 1850s saw the birth of courageous sergeant Lowe who advanced in the ranks very fiast in his course of the military career. Despite his obstacles from Big Mitt, he was outstandingly a pacesetter in the Lowe’s enterprise (Davids 33). He was the leader who had his company in check and by the establishment of “company courts martial”, which sought to punish minor discipline issues without long proceedings. Lowe was a remarkable leader who gave the army a better name by keeping his ranks in check and all to the course of the army mandate in their endeavors.
America as a power
This came after the conclusion of the civil war and the Mexican wars in the 1867 onwards. This was the era of transformation of the army technology and military superpower. The army was involved in the world affairs making treaties and peace that would last, even after the two world wars. During this time, the NCOs were trained in large numbers making them a sizable number sent into the wars. In this era of organization of the Americas as a power, there was a new promotion system that ensured there was cooperation in the army ranks. These steps proved the professionalism, specialization, and organization of the army. The progressive era saw the army have a primary objective in that they were aware they had to be in constant readiness for war since no one knows when it is coming (L.R. Arms' A History of the NCO 23).
The world wars
The NCOs gave themselves more credit in the event of the First World War where Wilson’s crusade was applied for the restoration of the world order. After Wilson’s message on 1917 April, the army men were spirited in the participation in the war on the enemy by giving a hand to the French when they had little to cling. During the first week, the infantry arrived in Paris, they were able to clear out the Germans who had overwhelmed the French in their campaigns. The incorporation of the American army made the Germans morale fade away in their advances. In the late 1930s, America was forced to join the Second World War after Pearl Harbor. This gave the rest of the world a force to reckon. America used the weapons that saw the end of the war after the Japan bombing. The army continued in the quest for world peace where it helped the Korean countries to have their countries in separation after the communist advance of the North Korea. They upheld the independence of South Korea. Numerous of operations were witnessed by the world of the American troops going into rescue operations and peacekeeping missions outside the nation making the world a safer place (L.R. Arms' A History of the NCO 43). The involvement of the NCOs has been of better influence in the world than any other nation in the world. The American army has seen improvements and better achievements in the last two centuries to get to where it is today. In the 1960s, the NCOs were given establishment to help them move on in their careers as they serve the country in peacekeeping missions.
Davids Hogan's, Centuries of Service The U.S. Army 1775 – 2005 pg
L.R. Arms' A History of the NCO pg 1-67