CSM Davenport cites 'revolutionary changes' for NCOs
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CSM Davenport cites 'revolutionary changes' for NCOs
WIESBADEN, Germany -- "What we are really facing right now is a moment in our history
as noncommissioned officers, I think it's revolutionary, not evolutionary, the changes we
are making to our entire education system," CSM David Davenport, said Friday.

Speaking during a town hall event at U.S. Army Europe headquarters, Clay Kaserne, the
command sergeant major of Army Training and Doctrine Command discussed expanding
the focuses of TRADOC for the future of the U.S. Army's more than 91,000 NCOs, citing
new career maps, more emphasis on civilian education, attention to broadening
opportunities, and increased opportunities for joint professional military education.

Even the name has changed, he explained, referencing the noncommissioned officer
education system, or NCOES.

"We will no longer call it the NCOES. We will call it the NCOPDS, the noncommissioned
officer professional development system," he said. "Because there is more to being a
noncommissioned officer than just going to your required primary military education."

In his remarks, Davenport also explained the Army's need for STEP, an acronym that
stands for "select, train, educate and promote," a relatively new Army program that he
calls a "forcing function to get our NCOs to school."

STEP is an implementation of the noncommissioned officer professional development
system across the Army, in accordance with Secretary of the Army Directive 2015-31.

"A year ago, we had almost 14,000 noncommissioned officers that hadn't been to school,"
Davenport said, referring to the professional military development classes provided by
the Army and required for each rank. "Of that 14,000, 4,000 were in their grade three or
more years. Of that 4,000, 1,200 had been scheduled for school six or more times and
didn't go."

"This is why we need STEP," he added. "This last year we are down to about 4,000 right
now."

Davenport discussed a multitude of changes within STEP, innovations and future
programs currently in the process or already implemented by TRADOC. He cited a
reworking of the structured self development courses, which are required online courses
for promotion, the addition of instructor badges for wear on the uniform, and even a new
service school academic evaluation report, known as the DA Form 1059.

At the end of the brief, Davenport held a candid Q&A session with attendees.

"I think it should've been mandatory for all NCOs to be here," said Sgt. 1st Class Leroy A.
Hunter, a noncommissioned officer assigned to the U.S. Army Europe inspector general
class who attended the event. "He put out some revolutionary information that us as
leaders, not only as potential students of the future, need to know so that we can take
care of our Soldiers."

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