Today, I want to share my top five reasons to be an Army First Sergeant. If there’s one job in the Army I would have LOVED to have, it would have been the First Sergeant job. Even though I was a commissioned officer (prior service enlisted) my heart was always with the enlisted guys, especially the old school NCOs.
The First Sergeant’s job is the toughest job in the Army and quite perhaps the most important. The job comes with great prestige and also a big personal sacrifice. Whenever I talk with retired NCOs, they always tell me that their favorite job in the Army was when they were a First Sergeant. Even though the job was tough, they enjoyed leading and mentoring NCOs and Soldiers. They enjoyed being where the rubber meets the road!
In the paragraphs below I want to share my top five reasons to be an Army First Sergeant.
1) Lead Soldiers – First Sergeant’s lead Soldiers and NCOs. It’s one of their most important tasks. They set the example, assign tasks, handle discipline issues, take care of Soldier issues, and support their subordinates. When you have 50 to 200 Soldiers to support, you can see that this is a challenging task. First Sergeants are normally the essence of leadership. They are the tip of the spear in their units.
2) Develop Others – Another great thing about being a 1SG is that you can develop your subordinates. You can leave a favorable impression on your young Soldiers and teach them what right looks like. You can groom future leaders and prepare them for positions of increased responsibility. You can create mentorship programs, do counseling, and spend one-on-one time with your subordinates to help them realize their potential.
3) The Tradition – The First Sergeant rank has a proud tradition dating back many years. It’s a time honored tradition that many great leaders before you have participated in. It would be a great honor to know that you are part of that time honored tradition.
4) The Prestige – When a 1SG enters the room, it gets people’s attention. First Sergeants are respected highly by officers, NCOs and junior enlisted Soldiers alike. It might be the most highly regarded rank in the Army! This is a reflection of the respect that military personnel have towards this duty position/rank.
5) The Responsibility – When you look at the First Sergeant’s duties and responsibilities, you will quickly discover that they have a huge responsibility; more than an ordinary person could handle. This includes handling pay issues, recognizing Soldiers, individual training, morale, discipline, esprit de corps and much more. Here is a complete list of 1SG duties.
Sometimes, I don’t even know how they get it done! While some people shy away from this responsibility, most First Sergeant’s love it! It brings out the best in them and challenges them to be the best they can be!
On a side note, I understand that being a First Sergeant does not appeal to everyone. And that’s perfectly okay. If you don’t want to be a First Sergeant, you shouldn’t be one! But if it’s something you have always desired to do, set a goal to become a First Sergeant and work toward it.
In conclusion, my top five reasons to be a 1SG are to lead Soldiers, to develop Soldiers, the tradition, the prestige and responsibility. If you have ever served as an Army First Sergeant before, I would love to get your input. What did you love most about it? What tips can you recommend to people currently serving as First Sergeants? To share your thoughts just leave a comment to this post. Also, if you have any questions about 1st Sergeant responsibilities, you can ask them here. Thanks.