Steven Foust’s NCO Success Academy Review: Is It a Great Option for Making Money?

March 27, 2024

NCO Success Academy is an online program for non-commissioned officers seeking professional development and promotion. Designed by Academy leader and former NCO Steven Foust, the course provides templates, tools, resources, training sessions, and private mentoring to help students succeed in their military career. 

Non-commissioned officers make up a significant percentage in the US Army. Statistics shared by Zippia tell us that the country currently employs over 24,000 NCOs.  83.6% of these are men, 16.4% are women, while 6% are LGBT. 43 years old is the average age for a noncommissioned officer and that around 66% are “more likely to work at private companies in comparison to government companies.”

In this review, we take a closer look at what NCO Success Academy has to offer, what Steven Foust’s claims are, and how much NCOs make. Towards the end, we also share another business model that you can consider if you’re looking for a legit passive income opportunity online.

NCO Success Academy Review: Pros and Cons


Steven Foust is a trusted authority. With his experience as an Army and corporate world, Steven can provide excellent guidance for students seeking career advancement and promotion.

Membership rates are fixed. Monthly and quarterly members get to keep the price they initially paid for. They remain unaffected when the platform raises prices in the future.

Private coaching is available for all members. Everyone in the program gets private mentoring and Q&A sessions with experienced leaders.

The program’s content continues to evolve. NCO Success Academy regularly holds monthly training sessions and adds updated templates.

Supportive community. The program has a “super-engaged” NCO community with over 41.4k members where members can interact with and gain knowledge from expert coaches and fellow non-commissioned officers.


The program is fairly new. NCO Success Academy’s NCOOnFire website was only registered March 31, 2021 while the private Facebook group was created April 29, 2021.

No public reviews. The 4 short testimonials posted on the website are screenshots from the private Facebook group. Upon research, we see no reviews or relevant information on Better Business Bureau, Reddit, Quora, YouTube, TrustPilot, and other online sources.

No indication about how long it will take to complete the program. While the website points out that the training courses are self-paced and all materials are accessible 24/7, we read nothing about how long it takes to finish the program. Since new trainings and templates are added regularly, this can mean additional expenses for Monthly and Quarterly users.


NCO Success Academy costs $39 per month, $78 per quarter, or $497 for one-time payment (lifetime membership).


The private Facebook group Optimized NCO has 47.4k members, so far. Students can interact and network with expert coaches and fellow NCOs for mentoring and collaboration opportunities, among others.

Refund Policy

The refund policy of NCO Success Academy is a 30-day, 100% money-back guarantee. Unsatisfied students can request for a full refund, no questions asked.




Steven Foust is a former US Army and corporate leader. As a teacher and coach, he has plenty of valuable insights to share with students.

Is NCO Success Academy a Great Option for Making Money?

NCO Success Academy is a great option for making money for non-commissioned officers seeking for career advancement. Ranks generally determine military salaries, so it’s always an advantage for NCOs to have access to resources that aid in their preparation for promotion. For example, the program’s tools and templates can help NCOs increase competence and work efficiency. NCOs can also expect guidance and support during mentoring sessions with former leaders plus as they access an online community of peers.

This chart from the Operation Military Kids website shows us the average monthly pay for different ranks within the US Army.  

What is NCO Success Academy?

NCO Success Academy is an online program for soon to be or recently promoted Army non commissioned officers. Designed by Steven Foust, the leadership development solution helps SPC(P), CPL, and SGT program members to achieve greater career success.  

According to their website, leading soldiers “come with a set of frustrations” that may make it difficult to feel fulfillment. “Working for more senior NCO and officers who are checked out, selfish, or otherwise living in their own world make it even tougher to achieve success,” the site reads.

NCO Success Academy is being marketed as a “complete system” that guides users in overcoming these common obstacles. It also provides “real support from experts” who genuinely want you to excel in your career. 

For interested individuals, there are three payment options to choose from namely $39 for Monthly, $78 for Quarterly, and $497 for Lifetime.

What Do You Get With NCO Success Academy?

With NCO Success Academy, you get access to a library of useful tools, templates, resources, and training, such as:

✅ Counseling training with over 150 templates for DA Form 4856
✅ NCOER Writer’s Blueprint with over 1,100 examples
✅ Awards Writing Bootcamp training with over 400 examples
✅ Promotion points training
✅ NCO Leader's Book with Form Fillable PDF

✅ NCO Leadership Workshops (with new training added each month)
✅ Monthly live Zoom events
✅ Weekly group coaching calls

✅ Exclusive forum for members

✅ Unlimited private 1:1 coaching and Q&A with experienced NCOs and officers

NCO Success Academy members can also check out the iOS and Android mobile app to access the resources 24/7.

Who is NCO Success Academy for?

NCO Success Academy is for:

  • US Army NCOs and potential NCOs with the rank and position of SPC (P), CPL, or SGT
  • Active duty, USAR, AGR, and National Guard

According to the website, membership “is always open.” This means NCOs can join any time, depending on their own time frame. We also read that NCO Success Academy’s mission is to “serve all new NCO's that understand the value in investing in their future, collaborating with other high-achieving leaders, and taking their career and life to the next level.” Through the tools, resources, templates, and coaching provided by a former Army officer, NCOs can receive the support and guidance they need to reach their personal goals. 

NCO Success Academy Student Testimonials

NCO Success Academy student testimonials are all positive, as seen on their official website. For example, we can read what three members have to say about the program. David Hong writes that the Academy is “legit and well worth the quick sign up,” adding users can “easily build upon what’s given.”

Frank Eluma says NCO Success Academy “makes Counseling/Writing Awards easy.” Meanwhile, a certain Phil shares that the package “is very helpful to pass to new leaders and young NCOs.”

So far, we see no specific experience or testimonial that talks about how Academy membership has helped them raise their salary and achieve promotion. Also, there are no reviews on different online sources. Prospective students looking for substantial reviews are limited to the screen shots of testimonials, taken from the private Facebook community.

Is NCO Success Academy Worth It?

NCO Success Academy is worth it for non-commissioned officers who want to have a supportive community and a knowledgeable coach. Also, the program has monthly and quarterly payment options so it’s possible to give it a try without spending much. There’s even a no-questions asked refund policy in place. These factors make it worth it for learners to check out the program’s content without any risks on their part. They can then make a decision if the course’s materials can help them get a promotion or do better in their assigned offices.

Who is Steven Foust?

Steven Foust is the owner of Tower Digital Media LLC. He formerly served on active duty in the United States Army from 1985 to 1998. According to him, he “quickly climbed the enlisted ranks, from PVT/E-1 to SFC/E-7 in 8-years” and then ranked to SSG/E-6 “in less than 5 years.”He would later join the United States Army Reserve, filling different leadership roles for 8 years. Steven would eventually take up various corporate jobs, including working as Senior Manager of IT Operations for Tech Data, Operations Manager for Smiths Aerospace, General Manager for GE Aviation, Senior Vice President of Global Operations for Turbine Aero, as well as Vice President and General Manager for NorthStar Aerospace, among others.

Steven studied Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Management at Liberty University and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Business/Commerce at Tarleton State University. He also completed his PhD studies in Information Systems at Argosy University.

A resident of Chandler, Arizona, Steven now spends his days with his wife Nadia and their two sons. He hosts the podcast Your Army NCO Career, which is available on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Google Podcast. He also runs the Facebook page Army NCO Support, which has 200K likes and 208K followers.

Does Steven Foust Have Other NCO Program Packages?

Steven Foust has another NCO program package called the Ultimate Fast Track Mega-Pack. An exclusive bundle designed for “overworked Army leaders,” the program claims it can help users “save hundreds of hours and get first time approvals.”

The bundle includes:

Counseling Templates Mega-Pack

  • In-depth training module on how to counsel soldiers
  • 162 up-to-date DA Form 4856 templates

Awards Examples Mega-Pack

  • In-depth training on completing DA Form 638
  • Pattern for writing achievement statements and citations
  • Over 400 customizable achievement statement and citation templates

NCOER Examples Mega-Pack

  • Over 1,100 customizable statement templates for your 2166s

Non-members get all these for $199, but monthly members get so much more for only $39.

Steven Foust’s Claims

1. Steven Foust claims the program has a 100% money back refund policy.

The NCO Success Academy website indicates they have “the best guarantee ever” when it comes to their refund policy. Academy students who are not satisfied or simply decide the program is not for them can ask for a refund, “no questions asked ever.”

2. Ultimate Fast Track Mega-Pack can “eliminate all stress and frustration” for Army leaders.

Branded as the #1 Army Leader’s Tool Kit, the program claims to help save hundreds of hours and eliminate all types of stress.

Debunking Steven Foust’s Claims

1. The company can refuse requests for refunds.

While some people may mistake the company’s refund policy to mean they can ask for a refund anytime, there is actually a limit to it. To be fair, the banner above clearly shows that but some may focus on the “no questions asked” promise. In the website’s Terms section, we read that the company shall “refuse any refund 30 days after (a client’s) payment for use of the site and/or any content.”

2. The program cannot remove “all” stress and frustration of Army leadership.

Army leadership can be challenging and while the program’s tools can be helpful, it’s obviously impossible to eliminate all types of stress. For example, non-commissioned officers have the duty of accomplishing the mission plus ensuring their soldiers welfare and development. These tasks require a lot of mentoring in order for them to effectively help soldiers.

According to Army Regulation 600-20, Army Command Policy says that leaders can build “a positive command climate” as they “consider their soldiers’ needs and care for their well-being.” This means leaders often face difficulties and stress as they try to meet expectations and demands while handling their responsibilities.

What is an NCO?

An NCO is a military officer who holds a leadership position without having a rank or commission. While a non commissioned officer ranks lower than a commissioned leader, they perform the responsibility of executing “the vast majority of military missions,” according to Indeed. NCOs are typically selected by higher-ranking officers “to take the lead in various aspects of a mission based on their unique strengths and weaknesses.”

Meanwhile, a 2019 article published by the US Department of Defense describes NCOs as a “big advantage” to the United States army.”

Joint Chiefs of Staff senior enlisted advisor Army Command Sgt. Maj. John Wayne Troxell calls NCOs “the doers.” “They provide inspiration, purpose, motivation, direction and discipline to the troops they lead,” he adds. “They are also responsible for the individual training of those in their charge.”

How Much Does an NCO Make?

An NCO makes $62,230 on average per year. This is at least “15% above the national average,” according to Indeed. Annual NCO salaries may even go as low as $22,000 or as high as $122,000. 

NCOs qualify for U.S. Army benefits, such as insurance, paid time off, employee discount, relocation assistance, and retirement plan, among other perks. 

Challenges of Being an NCO

1. Providing leadership to a unit

Some challenges of being an NCO is that you’ll have to provide leadership and set an example for your unit all the time. This can be difficult as your team depends on you for guidance and looks up to you as a role model.  

In an Army University Press interview, retired ninth Sgt. Maj. of the Army Richard A. Kidd shares this has stayed constant throughout the years. “You might change the equipment; you might change the uniform; you might change a lot of things,” he said. “But the leadership challenges are primarily to lead, train, and care for the troops.”

2. NCO promotions are currently declining

An Army Times report says NCO promotions are showing a declining trend. Back in the first quarter of 2019, around 3 out of 10 eligible specialists or corporals were promoted as sergeant and only 1 out of 5 sergeants were promoted as staff sergeant.” This meant 29.98% and 20.83% promotion rates for that time period. Fast forward to the first quarter of 2023, rates significantly went down with only an estimated “4.13% promotion rate to sergeant and a 2.33% rate to staff sergeant.”  

The feature also mentions that among the reasons for the decrease may be “policy decisions, pressure to keep the ranks filled during a recruiting crisis and difficulties with data transfers in the Army’s new human resources platform.”

Related Leadership and Success Courses

Why Local Lead Generation is Better Than Traditional Businesses

Getting access to important document templates, knowing the best practices, and having one-on-one counseling can truly benefit NCOs and potential NCOs in their career. NCO Success Academy provides all that and more. The major downside here, of course, is that the course is fairly new. The platform doesn’t have many reviews online yet, which can make it hard for some potential students to trust.

So far, our lead generation course has taught over 7,000 students and counting. We also have many reviews and testimonials you can find online. Our program teaches you how to build websites, rank them on search engines and then rent them out to business owners. As your digital assets attract organic traffic online, you can then deliver those leads to your clients. 

Case in point, I built this tree care site back in 2015. What’s amazing about it is that since ranking it, I had to do very little work to update it. To this day, my client still pays me $2,000 for the leads I deliver per month. In short, it brings me passive income. 

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NCOs - or anyone - looking for side hustle ideas can learn lead generation. It’s cheaper to build compared with other businesses, plus it’s easier to scale as well. If all these sound interesting to you, get in touch with us to learn more about our lead generation coaching program.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

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