An articulating surgical instrument which has an articulation transmission assembly for remotely articulating an end effector of the instrument is disclosed. Ratcheting rotation of a compressible deck within a detent housing of the assembly from a first locked position to a second locked position causes axial movement of an elongated transmission member for the articulation of the end effector from a first position to a second position angled from the first position. Also disclosed is a flexible neck assembly for articulating the end effector of the surgical instrument. Neck ribs, each having an interior plate and an exterior dish, extend from a central longitudinal rib separating a pair of flexible neck portions of the assembly. A pair of transmission band assemblies, each having an interior articulation band and an attached exterior reinforcement band, reciprocate in opposite directions within side slots of the neck ribs in response to actuation of the articulation transmission assembly. Reciprocation causes the flexible neck assembly to bend, effecting articulation. The shape of the neck ribs optimizes the radius of curvature when articulation is effected, and the reinforcement bands prevent buckling of the articulation bands.