Guardians of the Republic: A History of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps of the United States Army

Ernest F. Fisher, Author Fawcett Books $25 (478p) ISBN 978-0-449-90923-2
In his meticulously researched, authoritative and richly informative history of the Army's NCO corps, Fisher defines the origin of the enlisted ranks (private, corporal, sergeant) and traces the ever-changing mission of the noncommissioned officer: officer's assistant, trainer of recruits, small-unit leader in battle and other responsibilities. He demonstrates how the threat of war and the stresses of wartime expansion, particularly during the two world wars, forced the evolution of the NCO's role in the Army. Fisher, a retired U.S. Army colonel, describes the importance of the 1946 Doolittle Board, showing how it led to sweeping reforms, particularly in relations between NCOs and commissioned officers. He examines the effect of the Vietnam War--with its drug abuse, racial confrontations and fragging--on NCOs and how a postwar reappraisal led the Army to grant professional career status to its noncommissioned officer corps. Illustrated. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/02/1994
Release date: 05/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 2 pages - 978-0-8117-2784-6
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