A non-commissioned officer or noncommissioned officer (NCO,
colloquially non-com or noncom) is a military officer who has not
earned a commission. Such is also called sub-officer in some
countries. Non-commissioned officers, in the English-speaking world,
usually obtain their position of authority by promotion through the
enlisted ranks. In contrast, commissioned officers hold higher
ranks than NCOs, have more legal responsibilities, are paid more, and
often have more non-military training such as a university diploma.
1 Function 2 National usage
2.1 Australia 2.2 Canada 2.3 Finland 2.4 Sweden 2.5 France 2.6 Germany 2.7 New Zealand 2.8 Norway 2.9 Singapore 2.10 United Kingdom 2.11 United States
2.11.1 U.S. Army NCO Candidate Course 2.11.2 U.S. Navy Accelerated Advancement
3 See also 4 References 5 External links
The non-commissioned officer corps is often referred to as "the
backbone" of the armed services, as they are the primary and
most visible leaders for most military personnel. Additionally, they
are the leaders primarily responsible for executing a military
organization's mission and for training military personnel so they are
prepared to execute their missions. NCO training and education
typically includes leadership and management as well as
service-specific and combat training.
Senior NCOs are considered the primary link between enlisted personnel
and the commissioned officers in a military organization. Their advice
and guidance is particularly important for junior officers and in many
cases to officers of all senior ranks, who begin their careers in a
position of authority without practical knowledge and experience.
In the Australian Army, lance corporals and corporals are classified
as junior NCOs (JNCOs), while sergeants and warrant officers are
classified as senior NCOs (SNCOs).
In the New South Wales Police Force, NCOs perform supervisory and
coordination roles. The ranks of probationary constable through to
leading senior constable are referred to as "constables". All NCOs
within the NSW Police are given a warrant of appointment under the
Commissioner's hand and seal.
All officers within the
Australian Defence Force Cadets
"(a) In relation to the Navy, a rating of warrant officer, chief petty officer, petty officer, or leading rank; and includes—
(i) A non-commissioned officer of the Army or the Air Force attached to the Navy; and (ii) A person duly attached or lent as a non-commissioned officer to or seconded for service or appointed for duty as a non-commissioned officer with the Navy:
(b) In relation to the Army, a soldier above the rank of private but below the rank of officer cadet; and includes a warrant officer; and also includes—
(i) A non-commissioned officer of the Navy or the Air Force attached to the Army; and (ii) A person duly attached or lent as a non-commissioned officer to or seconded for service or appointed for duty as a non-commissioned officer with the Army:
(c) In relation to the Air Force, an airman above the rank of leading aircraftman but below the rank of officer cadet; and includes a warrant officer; and also includes—
(i) A non-commissioned officer of the Navy or the Army attached to the Air Force; and (ii) A person duly attached or lent as a non-commissioned officer to or seconded for service or appointed for duty as a non-commissioned officer with the Air Force:" – Defence Act 1990, Sect 2 (Interpretation)
On 1 January 2016, the
Norwegian Armed Forces
Sergeant, Royal Artillery, on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle, firing the One o'Clock Gun
In the British Armed Forces, NCOs are divided into two categories.
Lance corporals (including lance bombardiers) and corporals (including
lance sergeants, bombardiers, and lance corporals of horse) are junior
NCOs. Sergeants (including corporals of horse), staff sergeants
(including colour sergeants and staff corporals), and RAF chief
technicians and flight sergeants are senior NCOs.
Warrant officers are often included in the senior NCO category, but
actually form a separate class of their own, similar in many ways to
NCOs but with a royal warrant. Senior NCOs and WOs have their own
messes, which are similar to officers' messes (and are usually known
as sergeants' messes), whereas junior NCOs live and eat with the
unranked personnel, although they may have a separate corporals' club
to give them some separate socialising space.
This section includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please help to improve this section by introducing more precise citations. (July 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
In the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps, all ranks of sergeant are
termed NCOs, as are corporals in the Army and Marine Corps. A Marine
Corps lance corporal (E-3) is not an NCO, but rather junior enlisted.
The rank of corporal (E-4) in the Army is a junior NCO, and is to be
shown the same respect as any other NCO. In the United States Air
Force, E-5 (staff sergeant) and E-6 (technical sergeant) are
classified under the NCO tier, while E-7 (master sergeant), E-8
(senior master sergeant), and E-9 (chief master sergeant) are
considered senior non-commissioned officers (SNCOs). In the Navy
and Coast Guard, all ranks of petty officer are so designated. Junior
NCOs (E-4 through E-6 grade), or simply "NCOs" (E-4 and E-5 only) in
Marine Corps usage, and function as first-tier supervisors and
NCOs serving in the top three enlisted grades (E-7, E-8, and E-9) are
termed senior non-commissioned officers (chief petty officers in the
Navy and Coast Guard). Senior NCOs are expected to exercise leadership
at a more general level. They lead larger groups of service members,
mentor junior officers, and advise senior officers on matters
pertaining to their areas of responsibility.
Within the Marine Corps, senior NCOs are referred to as staff
noncommissioned officers (SNCOs) and also include the rank of staff
sergeant (E-6). SNCOs are those career Marines serving in grades E-6
through E-9 and serve as unit leaders and supervisors, primary
assistants and technical advisors to officers, and senior enlisted
advisors to commanding officers, commanding generals, and other
higher-level commanders. The ranks include staff sergeant, gunnery
sergeant (E-7), master sergeant / first sergeant (E-8), and master
gunnery sergeant / sergeant major (E-9).
The title of superintendent is used by the Air Force as the title of
the non-commissioned officer in charge (NCOIC) of a section, flight,
squadron, group, staff agency, directorate, or similar organization.
These positions are assigned to senior non-commissioned officers
(SNCOs), as opposed to the titles "NCOIC" and "chief" (which are held
by junior NCOs). The titles of commander and director are used for
commissioned officers assigned as commanding officer of a unit or the
head of a staff agency, directorate, or similar organization,
A select few senior NCOs in paygrade E-9 serve as "senior enlisted
advisors" to senior commanders in each service (e.g., major command,
fleet, force, etc.) and in DoD (unified commands, e.g., United States
Strategic Command, United States European Command, United States
Pacific Command, etc., and DoD agencies, e.g. the Defense Information
Defense Intelligence Agency
Comparative military ranks Military ranks Noncommissioned officer's creed
^ "non-commissioned officer – definition of non-commissioned officer by Macmillan Dictionary". Macmillandictionary.com. Retrieved 2012-07-10. ^ "NCO – Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online". Ldoceonline.com. Retrieved 2012-07-10. ^ "Definition of non-commissioned – Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English)". Oxford Dictionaries. Retrieved 2012-07-10. ^ "Chambers Free English Dictionary". Chambersharrap.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-10. ^ General Sir Mike Jackson (September 2003). "Cream Paper 46: The Role of the Non Commissioned Officer in the British Army" (PDF). UK Defence Forum. Retrieved August 19, 2010. [permanent dead link] ^ Chapman, Jordan (August 18, 2009). "Building the NCO Backbone". United States Army. Retrieved August 19, 2010. ^ "Volume 1 – Administration: Chapter 1 Introduction and Definitions" (PDF). Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces. Assistant Deputy Minister (Finance and Corporate Services), Department of National Defence/Canadian Forces. 9 October 2008. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2010. ^ Department of National Defence Canada Non-Commissioned Officer Rank Insignia 1967–1985. Canadian Military Police Virtual Museum. Retrieved on: 2011-12-07. ^ New Zealand Defence Act 1990 No 28, Sect 2. New Zealand Legislation, reprint as at 7 July 2010. Accessed August 19, 2010. ^ Powers, Rod (8 September 2016). "The Air Force Enlisted Rank Force Structure". The Balance. Retrieved 24 September 2017. ^ Zais, Melvin. "The New NCO", Army. 18 (May 1968): 72–76. ^ Israr Choudhri, The Noncommissioned Officer Course (PDF) ^ a b Dan Elder, Shake and Bake: The True Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course, pgs.7,14–15 PDF ^ Bud Russell, A Brief History of the Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course ^ Jerry Horton, Shake & Bake NCO's ^ "MILPERSMAN 1430 - 010" (PDF). United States Navy. 30 October 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2017.
The Center for Advanced Studies of the U.S. Army Noncommissioned
Officer (United States)
A Short History of the NCO (United States)
History of noncommissioned officers (United States)
Educating Noncommissioned Officers: The history (United States)
United States Army