Developing Strategic Thinking in the NCO Corps of 2025

  • Lieutenant Colonel Luis Rivera

Tactical decisions made by NCOs may have strategic implication, but the Army NCO Education System (NCOES) does not deliberately teach NCOs how to think strategically. To meet this challenge, the Army should educate NCOs how to “think strategically” throughout the NCO Professional Development System (NCOPDS). This paper provides a definition and context for thinking strategically, examines the current deficit in educating and evaluating NCOs to think strategically, examines why the PME is the appropriate venue to most effectively educate Army NCOs to think strategically, analyzes the new NCOPDS, and makes recommendations on how to address this topic with the Army Professional Military Education system.