Noncommissioned Officer Leader Evolutionary Leaps from 1775 to Present
The leadership of Noncommissioned Officers (NCO) evolved immensely since the birth of the Continental Army in 1775. Commanders charge subordinates with carrying out orders with minimal oversight. The empowerment of subordinates without micromanagement is only possible when trust is amid the leader-subordinate leader relationship. General George Washington did not have a high level of confidence in his NCOs to carry out orders in garrison or battle. This situation caused a catalyst for change and the first evolutionary leadership leaps in history: the standardization of NCO’s daily duties and responsibilities. According to Arms (2007, p. 1), “Inspector General Friedrich von Steuben standardized NCO duties and responsibilities in his Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States (printed in 1779).” Many of Friedrich von Steuben’s writings are still in use today to include Training Circular 3-21.5, the Army’s Drill, and Ceremonies Manual.