Training the Trainers
Advances in technology and management techniques in the post- Vietnam Modern Volunteer Army put continuing emphasis on profes-sional training for NCOs. The Army's traditional instructors now alter-nated as students as well. This emphasis on classroom training at regular career intervals was reflected in the creation of the Noncommissioned Officer Educational System (NCOES). Here a specialist, sixth class, lectures a class of NCOs, including a sergeant major in the foreground, on records management procedures under The Army Functional Files System.
The end of the Vietnam War and the draft signaled the return of an all-volunteer military. The 1970s were years of transition, as the Army sought to adjust to changing attitudes and conditions while still retaining a sense of tradition. For example, the ratio of female soldiers, a perma-nent part of the military establishment since World War II, saw a dramatic increase.
Just as field dress changed, so did apparel worn in garrison duty. Uniform variations had been developed for both men and women to enhance pride by providing more stylish attire, including the shift from olive drab to the new shade of Army Green, derived from the distinctive rifleman's color of the nineteenth century. Rank insignia evolved as the number of senior NCO grades increased. For example, the traditional position of sergeant major returned as a rank. Two time-honored devices were used -- the star indicated the rank, while the addition of a wreath indicated the duty position of command sergeant major. Enlisted disc insignia were still worn on the collar. Here the instructor's branch, the Women's Army Corps, is reflected by the Greek goddess of wisdom, Pallas Athena, worn on the left collar, with the "US" on the right.