Skip to Content

Readiness NCO Duties And Responsibilities

Hello and welcome to my training. My name is Chuck Holmes. I’m the founder and publisher here at part time commander. Com. We are a resource, a website for soldiers, officers, and NCOs in the National Guard, the Army Reserve, and the Defense Force. I really appreciate you taking time out of your busy day to visit our video today to check out our website. We’re going to talk about the readiness NCO today. This is a special person in the National Guard unit. They are a full time AGR position, and what they do is they hold down the fort during the week. They handle basically all of the issues within the unit while the commander, the first sergeant, and the soldiers are at their civilian jobs during the week. You can follow along with me as I go through this video by going down to the description box. You can click on the link. This is the article that I wrote about it. What I’m going to do is I’m just going to cover some of the key points. We’re going to try to keep this short and sweet and give you some practical tips that you can apply if you’re a readiness NCO, or maybe you have a readiness NCO who works for you and you just want to know what they should be doing.

Let’s cover some of the common things that a readiness NCO does. This might not be a 100 % solution, but it’s probably a 90 to 95 % solution of what they do. It’s going to vary from unit to unit based off their mission, based off the chain of command, the structure of the AGR force, how they want things done. But the first thing and probably the most important thing the readiness NCO does is they handle all the pay issues. They make sure everyone gets paid. They make sure everyone gets paid on time. They submit the paperwork to the finance office. They follow up with any pay issues that the soldiers have. Really important. Money is a big thing. Everybody needs to get paid for their time. The readiness NCO turns this into reality. Number two, they resource the training. They work with the training NCO, if they have a company level training NCO, to make sure that the resources they need for the upcoming drill weekend or for annual training, that they’re coordinated, that they’re locked in. The next thing they do is they handle suspences with the Battalion, with the Brigade, with other AGR elements.

They keep the commander and First Sergeant informed of any basically important suspences that are coming down the pike that they need to know about. The next thing they do is they handle the day to day issues in the unit. They answer the phone, they make sure the armory is clean, they deal with visitors, they help deal with inspections. They’re the ones at the unit day in and day out handling all those behind the scenes type things. They really aren’t all that glamorous, but they are important. The next thing they do is they advise the company commander and the first sergeant. They are basically in an advisory role. Yes, they’re normally a senior E6 or an E7, but they’re going to let the commander and the first sergeant know when they need their help or when they need their approval or when they need their decision on something. So they’re going to keep the commander and first sergeant in the loop. What I did as a company commander is I tried to talk with my readiness NCO every day and just see what was going on, see if there’s anything he needed from me. He did a really good job.

But that made my life a lot easier and mad respect to all the readiness NCOs who do that. The next thing they do is they supervise the AGR staff. How most company level units work in the National Guard is they have a full time supply sergeant, they have a full time readiness NCO, and some units have a full time training NCO or admin NCO. That’s going to vary from unit to unit. But what the readiness NCO does is he works as the rater for the supply sergeant in most cases and with the either training or admin NCO. The next thing they do is they conduct inventories and inspections. This could be your cyclic inventories, quarterly inventories, monthly inventories, weapons inventories, any inspection or site visit or inventory that you can think of, the readiness NCO is really going to be the tip of the spear for that. They also prepare the unit, soldiers, and equipment for drill weekend. They make sure everything is laid out. They make sure everything is organized. They make sure all the required schedules are published, soldiers know what’s going on, and they’re working with the platoon sergeants, the squad leaders, sometimes even the platoon leaders and the commander and command team throughout the month, day in and day out, to take care of any open issues.

So what can you do if you are a readiness NCO? What are some tips for success that I could share with you? Or what are some tips you could give your readiness NCO if you are a rater or a senior rater of one? Well, chances are they already know what to do. They’ve been in the job for a while, but if they’re brand new and they’re proactive and they want to be successful, these are some tips you can share with them to help them level up their performance. Number one is a good readiness NCO needs to be organized. They are juggling 30 different things at least at one time. So being organized is very important. This means knowing where things are, having established priorities, getting the office squared away, having some type of weekly plan, but organization is key. The next one is to establish priorities. And a good readiness NCO can look at all of the things on their plate and focus on the top one or two or three things that are the most important that are going to produce the biggest bang for the buck for the unit, for the commander, for the soldiers.

Next is time management. A readiness NCO has to be able to manage their time. They’re going to put in some long hours anyway, but if they want to have less days with longer hours, they have to have some type of time management plan so that they can work smart, they can be effective, and they can get things done on time. And here’s the truth. If it’s just the readiness NCO and the supply sergeant, if they’re the only two full time people at the unit, they’re doing the job of a lot of people. So without some type of organization system, without a good time management plan, it’s going to be very difficult to get everything done. The next thing they do is they balance the AGR, M day relationship. What do I mean by this? Well, the readiness NCO is typically part of the AGR staff, and there is an AGR staff chain of command, and there’s an M day unit chain of command. The readiness NCO does work for the company commander in the first sergeant. However, on a day to day basis, they’re getting most of their guidance, probably from the Battalion XO or the S 3 NCO, whoever their supervisor is in the AGR force.

So they have to balance those two things, which can be confusing and difficult at times because sometimes they’re getting guidance from their company commander on one thing, and sometimes they’re getting completely opposite guidance from the battalion level or from their supervisor in the AGR side about something different. The next thing that a good readiness NCO has to do is support their soldiers. Most of them are going to do this by default, but here’s what you need to realize. As an AGR person, you’re doing this full time. You can give it your 100 % focus, which is great. As an M day soldier and all the soldiers that you support, they’re trying to balance their job, their civilian career, their families, and their one weekend a month or a couple of days a month responsibilities with the Guard. So keep that in mind and don’t expect all of the M day soldiers to be as committed as you are to the unit. They’re not going to be. They have all of these other competing things for their time. So you’re going to have to do what you can to support them and make sure things are getting done.

And finally, this is probably my most important tip. Don’t be on a power trip. Your job is important. We will give you that. But don’t think the world revolves around you. Adopt the mindset that you’re going to be a servant leader, and it’s your job to serve the people in the unit. If you adopt that mindset and you teach that to your subordinate leaders, your unit is going to be awesome and people are going to really have a lot of respect for you. They’re going to admire you and they’re going to appreciate all of the things that you do for them. But keep in mind, your job is to make other people’s life easier. I know it’s not glamorous, but if you are selected as a readiness NCO, you’re going to love this job. You’re going to learn a lot and most importantly, you’re really going to make a difference. I really appreciate you taking the time to watch our video today. I hope you will subscribe to our channel. You’ll like this video. You’ll leave a comment below. More importantly, I hope you will go to the links in the description box below this video.

Click on the links to visit our website, learn more about us. Feel free to share our video, share our content with your peers, with your subordinates, with your superiors. Our mission really is to help people in the National Guard, the Army Reserve, and the Defense Force. With that, thank you for your time. Thank you for your service. I hope you have a fantastic day.

George N.