NCO Books

NCO Books

Topics and subjects often sought after and of interest to researchers seeking historical and background information on the US Army Noncommissioned Officer Corps.

NCO Books

The Shake ‘n Bake Sergeant  by Jerry Horton

Jerry Horton does a superb job telling the story of an important segment of the Army that has been overlooked for too long, the graduates of the U.S. Army Noncommissioned Officer Candidate Course.  Those selected for the rigorous NCOCC training were some of the brightest of that generation of soldiers, and received undeserved criticism and disdain from their fellow soldiers. Each of them would have to prove themselves on battlefields and in the eyes of their comrades during some of the fiercest fighting our Army has known.

Books of Interest to NCO Researchers:

Recommended Reading List Linda Gaunt. USASMA LRC

Educating Noncommissioned Officers  Author: Daniel K. Elder

Book Description
 This writing attempts to capture a portion of the history of NCO education and brings together many known sources, expands on the minimal writings, and corrects some deficiencies of recent literature.

 The Old Army  Author: Edward M. Coffman

One of the most important works of military history published in the last decade, The Old Army is the only comprehensive study of the people who made up the “garrison world” in the peacetime intervals between the War for Independence and the Spanish-American War. Drawing on diaries, letters, and other primary documents, Edward M. Coffman vividly recreates the harsh, often lonely life of men, collected mostly from the streets of Northern cities, for whom enlistment was “a leap in the dark…a choice of evils.” He pays special attention to the roles of women and children, as well as black Americans, and to the development of military professionalism. From the testimony of those who lived it, Coffman traces the evolution of the American Army from “the days of small things”–of limited resources and downright hardship–to the modern military age that began at the turn of the century.


Guardians of the Republic  Author: Ernest F., Jr. Fisher;

Book Description
This is the definitive work on one of the least studied aspects of military history-the noncommissioned officer. Since colonial America, NCOs have played pivotal roles in the administration, training, morale, and fighting effectiveness of the Army. The author traces the evolution of NCO duties; their rank and insignia; relationship to officers; their training (or nontraining); and the professional development scheme initiated after the Vietnam experience which produced the finest noncommissioned officer corps in the world.

The Sergeants Major of the Army  Author: Daniel K. Elder (2003 edition)

Book Description
CMH Pub. 70-63-1.
By Daniel K. Elder, et al. Describes the origin and growth of the Office of the Sergeant Major of the Army. Includes biographies of each of the Sergeants Major of the Army

The central role which the noncommissioned officer (NCO) plays in shaping the U.S. Army in peace and war has long been recognized. During times of peace, NCOs train, discipline, and develop those entrusted to their leadership. In wartime, the NCO assumes even greater responsibility for the soldiers he leads in battle.

The Story of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps
Author: David W. Hogan (2003 edition)

Book Description
This volume originally appeared in 1989 as part of the U.S. Army’s commemoration of The Year of the NCO. Much as happened in the fourteen years cine then. The Cold War came to an end with the collapse of the Soviet empire. Working with its fellow services and allies, the Army fought and won a major ground campaign against the Iraqi forces of Saddam Hussein. American soldiers deployed to Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo, and numerous other regions around the globe to serve as peacekeepers and to prove humanitarian aid. As a result of the terrorist strikes directed against the United States on “9-11,” Army units fought halfway around the world to destroy Al-Qaeda base camps and the Taliban regime that harbored them. E… (Jack Tilley, taken from foreword)

Baron Von Steuben’s Revolutionary War Drill Manual
Author: Frederick William Baron von Steuben
The famed “Blue Book, in its entirety

Baron Von Steuben’s Revolutionary War Drill Manual : A Facsimile Reprint of the 1794 Edition (Dover Books on Americana) [FACSIMILE] (Paperback)

Memoirs of a Command Sergeant Major and Other Short Stories  Author: Mary Ann Laser


“MEMOIRS OF A COMMAND SERGEANT MAJOR” (TRUE) An incredibly interesting story of a young man who joined the Army when the war broke out. At first, he hates it. However, as time goes on, he realizes that not only does he love the Army, but also the Army has become his life.

I Love America: The Memoirs of Command Sergeant Major Tadeusz Gaweda
Author: Tadeusz Gaweda


This is the story of a young Polish boy who escapes death at the hands of the Nazis, is rescued by the US Army and decides then and there that he will become an American soldier. And what a soldier he becomes. After finding his way to America with his family, Tadeusz Gaweda joins the Army, becomes a paratrooper and works his way up the ranks to the top enlisted grade as Command Sergeant Major of the elite XVIII Airborne Corps. It is a story of personal sacrifice, unrelenting high standards, perseverance, a determination to excel and a high order of devotion to duty and to his adopted country. By his side through it all is his lovely wife, Edith, who had endured the Nazi occupation of her Czechoslovakian homeland and who exhibited personal bravery as well in escaping from behind the Iron Curtain.

Sgt. York Author: John Perry

His Life, Legend & Legacy : The Remarkable Untold Story of Sergeant Alvin C. York

Unless you have been there
Author: Paul J Andert


An infantry soldier’s personal account of his participation as a platoon sergeant, in seven major campaigns and two major landings … theater of operations during World War II


Top Sergeant
Author: William G. Bainbridge

Bainbridge grew up in Illinois and volunteered for the draft when he graduated from high school in 1943. He ended his military career in 1979 as sergeant major of the army?the highest enlisted grade. His memoir, written with Cragg (The Soldier’s Prize), reflects the stereotypical values of rural America: hard work, discipline and self-confidence. Bainbridge was a citizen soldier, deciding to make the army his career only when recall for duty in the Korean War ended his chances to become a farmer. While he proved himself in combat, his career also highlights the complex, tripartite role of senior NCOs as fighters, administrators and advisers to the officers. Bainbridge consistently sought input from subordinates. Just as consistently, he told superiors the truth as he saw it?but with enough tact to keep his stripes and add to them. This is the story of a man who served both his country and himself well.

Top, an Army First Sergeant’s Story
Author: James Lee

Top, an Army First Sergeant’s Story

Encyclopedia of United States Army Insignia and Uniforms William K. Emerson

Emerson, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, is the author of Chevrons, a detailed book on U.S. Army insignia, and a member of many collectors organizations. This massive reference book is intended for researchers, historians, collectors, dealers, and curators. It covers insignia and uniforms of the U.S. Army from 1782 to the present. Before insignia became common, the design of the uniform was especially important in identifying nationality and branch of service. Thus, one-third of this book is devoted to the study of uniforms, and two-thirds covers insignia. The book is divided into 22 sections and 80 chapters that are arranged to allow the identification of like objects (e.g., section 8, Musician’s Insignias;

Injury and Illness Incidence in Sergeants Major Academy Students Class 46

Thls study examined the incidence of and risk factors for training injuries and illnesses for 149 male and female U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy (SGMA) Class 46 students. This was a retrospective report based on data collected during the 9.5-month training program. The three most common overuse injuries were pain, muscle strain, and tendinitis/bursitis. Major conclusions drawn from this study include the following: 1) musculoskeletal injuries were the major cause of limited duty days during physical fitness training, 2) overuse lower extremity and lower back injuries were the most commonly reported injuries, 3) respiratory bacterial and viral infectious illnesses were the most commonly reported illnesses, 4) alcohol consumption was a risk factor for the development of infectious illnesses, 5) smoking was associated with slower 2- mile run times when compared with nonsmokers, and 6 smokers had higher cholesterol levels.