Respect 

Respect: Treat People as They Should Be Treated

Soldiers want to know three things from their NCOs. They want to know if you are concerned about them, whether your focus is up the chain of command and promotion for yourself, or is your focus down the chain to where they are. Soldiers want to know if they can trust you, and they can if you do what is right and what is legal, all the time. Soldiers want to be the best they can be, so they want a commitment of excellence from you. I expect NCOs to lead, train, and care for soldiers. Caring doesn’t mean making things easy. Caring is causing soldiers to adhere to standards, enforcing standards, and maintaining standards. It’s sometimes making soldiers do something they don’t want to do. Being Sergeant Major of the Army is not that different from what I’ve done since I was a squad leader. It’s all about taking care of soldiers, just on another level.

SMA Robert E. Hall



President Truman’s vision, as expressed in Executive Orders 9980 and 9981 and the Integration Act of 1948, was to allow all people to serve our Army and our nation equally without regard to race, creed, color, religion, or national origin. His order, coupled with a more recent recruiting slogan first used in the 1980s, I believe cultivates the core of our vision “BE ALL YOU CAN BE.” Those orders didn’t change attitudes. Fifty years of knowing and caring leaders working hard have paved the way for the Army to be the model for the nation. I salute our soldiers and our Army for being the leader in President Truman’s vision, and our nation for allowing its people to “BE ALL THEY CAN BE.”

SMA Robert E. Hall


1SG Felix Helms was tough as nails, but he always looked out for my best interests. He was always trying to teach me something. I’d be on my way out the front door for the day and he’d call me in and say, “Come here, let me show you how to run a suspense file.” Or, maybe it was how to counsel or how to set up a duty roster. It doesn’t really matter. When you get down to it, it’s not about what skills he taught me, it’s the fact that he gave a damn about me.

SMA Gene C. McKinney



Never say “lower enlisted soldiers”- always say “junior enlisted soldiers.” Don’t use the term “common soldier”- we are all soldiers in a common cause.

SMA Gene C. McKinney



Soldiers expect the noncommissioned officer to be technically proficient, up front, and honest with them. Soldiers must know that NCOs care, that they can approach the NCO for guidance and direction, and that NCOs can make things happen when a difficult situation arises.

SMA Glen E. Morrell


There is no place in “our Army” for those who sexually harass or intimidate others, or whose use of alcohol or drugs degrades themselves and the soldiers around them.

SMA Glen E. Morrell



Every good soldier wants to live in an organized environment, secure in the knowledge that he or she will not be threatened or harassed by others, confident that his or her efforts will be recognized, and aware that the nonproductive soldier will be invited to leave. In such an environment, soldiers will be proud of their units and will demonstrate that pride with their performance and behavior.

SMA William A. Connelly



We want the Army to be society’s model of fair treatment. We want to assure that all soldiers are treated fairly, not because it is necessary but because it is right. Those units that have the fewest incidents are those whose noncommissioned officers really know their men and take a personal interest in their welfare.

SMA Silas L. Copeland



Take care of each man as though he were your own brother. He is.

SMA William O. Wooldridge