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This document reports recent efforts by RAND's Arroyo Center and the U.S. Army Noncommissioned Officer corps to examine ways of strengthening NCO professional development. It presents proceedings and results of two workshops held to assess the current NCO leader development system and develop a "vision" of where the NCO corps wishes to head. In addition, it identifies policy issues that emerged from these workshops. Workshop participants found that the leadership development system was fundamentally sound, with only selected areas requiring improvement: the self-development component of the Noncommissioned Officer Education System (NCOES), the incentives for noncommissioned officer education, and the timing and rigor of the institutional instruction. The vision developed in the second workshop was intended both to address issues in the current system and to provide principles that will enable the Army to adapt to an uncertain future. The document also identifies some research implications of the workshops. Two areas needing additional analysis are the self-development component of the NCOES and the alignment between enlisted personnel management policy and professional development.

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This report is part of the RAND Corporation conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

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