Academy History

NCO Academy building

Summary Paper on the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence
Noncommissioned Officer Academy

The history of the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence NCO Academy dates to 23 April 1964, when the Fort Leonard Wood Noncommissioned Officer Academy was established in accordance with directions from the U.S. Continental Army Command (CONARC). The academy was commanded by officers and staffed with noncommissioned officers. Its mission was to provide specialized training to officers and NCOs who would be training initial entry soldiers in basic and advanced individual training. The first courses conducted were the Drill Sergeant Course, Basic combat Training Leaders Orientation course, and a Leader Preparation Course. A Basic Leaders Course (BLC) was added in 1971.

Throughout the remainder of the 60s and early 70s, the Academy underwent several redesignations. On 1 July 1973, with the inactivation of CONARC, the Academy was renamed the U.S. Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy and Drill Sergeant School (NCOA/DSS). It was under the general supervision of the newly established U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command.

On 1 September 1975, the NCOA/DSS was provisionally established as a separate unit commanded and staffed by NCOs. CSM Leroy N. Mello became the first enlisted commandant of the FLW NCOA/DSS. Today, all NCO Academies are commanded by Command Sergeants Major, the only enlisted commandants in our Army. The courses conducted throughout the 70s included the Drill Sergeant Course, Initial Entry Training Cadre training Course, Instructor Training Course, and a Drill Corporal Program. The Academy also provided a "Duty-Honor-Country" presentation to the IET soldier. A 3-week Primary Leadership Course (PLC) was added in 1980.

In 1983, the Academy moved to a location in the 1200 area. From that time to the present, the Academy has expanded significantly. On 1 October 1983, the first Primary Leadership Development Course reported to the Fort Leonard Wood NCOA, replacing both the PNCOC and PLC. During 1984/85, all Basic Technical Courses (BTC) were converted to Basic noncommissioned Officer Course (BNCOC) and consolidated under the NCOA. At that time, the Academy trained 12B30, 12F30, 51H30, 62B30, 62N30, and 12C30 sergeants.

MSCoE building

In late 1986, the TRADOC Commander, General Carl E. Vuono, directed that all NCOAs would come directly under their respective Installation Command Sergeants Major and Commanding General for command and control. He also directed that Drill Sergeant Schools be moved under the NCO Academy umbrella, even though the Drill Sergeant School was not a level of the NCO Education System.

On 1 October 1986, the NCO Academy became officially subordinated to the United States Army Engineer Center CSM, and consisted of a HQ detachment to handle all the administrative, logistical, and training requirements for the Drill Sergeant School, Primary Leadership Development Course, the Basic Noncommissioned Officer Course and the Engineer Advanced Noncommissioned Officer Course.

In 1988, Fort Leonard Wood officially became the U.S. Army Engineer Center, responsible for all the Army's engineer training. The NCOA added a 12B and 12C Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) Course. On 10 April, 1988, the first ANCOC course was conducted here. Within a year, the NCOA was conducting training in the Drill Sergeants Course, IET Cadre Training Course, Instructor Training Course, Primary Leadership Development Course, eight different BNCOC, and three different ANCOC courses.

On 1 August 1989, Major General Daniel R. Schroeder officially dedicated the Fort Leonard Wood NCOA/DSS as the Libby Noncommissioned Officer Academy in memory of SGT George Libby, an Engineer Medal of Honor recipient. SGT Libby posthumously won the Medal of Honor for gallantry above and beyond the call of duty during the Korean War.

NCOA complex