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The grade of rank closely parallels that of the sergeant in duties and responsibilities. In fact, the basic duties and responsibility of all the NCO ranks never change, but there are differences, significant differences, between this step in the NCO structure and the preceding one.

Understanding these differences is vital. The staff sergeant is a more experienced leader of soldiers. The staff sergeant has considerably more time in the Army than the sergeant. It is proper to expect that the staff sergeant can bring the benefits of that experience to bear in any situation and under all circumstances.

The major difference between the staff sergeant and the sergeant is not, as often mistakenly believed, authority, but rather sphere of influence. The staff sergeant is in daily contact with large numbers of soldiers and generally has more equipment and other property to maintain.

The staff sergeant will often have one or more sergeants who work under his direct leadership. The staff sergeant is responsible for their continued successful development as well as that of other soldiers in the section, squad or team.

More often than not, the lack of understanding of the function of this important NCO position by leaders is the cause of disruption and failure in small unit training.

If NCO are “The Backbone” of the Army, then staff sergeants are the elements of which backbones are made. The complexities of the job of the staff sergeant increases as the responsibilities broaden. The staff sergeant’s professional competence is measured by how well the staff sergeant develops, maintains and uses the full range of human potential of his soldiers. The staff sergeant’s success, more than any other grade of the NCO rank, leads the path to the Army’s success, and the footprints you will see behind those of our greatest military leaders are probably those of a staff sergeant, where he stood confident, proud and eager to assist.

Information Courtesy of U.S. Army

U.S. Military

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