By Steven P. Stover, 780th Military Intelligence Brigade, U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command
“No one is more professional than I. I am a noncommissioned officer, a leader of Soldiers. As a noncommissioned officer, I realize that I am a member of a time-honored corps, which is known as “The Backbone of the Army …”
Thirty-one Soldiers joined the noncommissioned officer ranks in an NCO induction ceremony hosted by the 781st Military Intelligence Battalion on April 11 at McGill Training Center.
Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Cullen was the guest speaker and part of the official party. Other members of the official party included Command Sgt. Maj. Cecil Reynolds, the command sergeant major for the 781st MI, and 1st Sgt. Stanley Collins, the first sergeant for Echo Company, 782nd MI Battalion.
Prior to the ceremony, Cullen explained the importance and separation that occurs when a Soldier becomes an NCO.
“It’s a challenge because NCOs, as they get promoted, are still with the Soldiers with whom they serve,” Cullen said. “After the ceremony, it shows that separation has now occurred, and they are now leaders of that organization.”
The ceremony was steeped in Army tradition and included an a cappella singing of the national anthem by Spc. Manning Stone and an invocation by Staff Sgt. Daniel Goodman.
Members of the 781st MI read the history of the NCO Corps and NCO Creed. The recitation of the NCO Creed was presented by 1st Sgt. Danny Hurst, the first sergeant for Alpha Company, 781st MI; Master Sgt. Cory MacNeil, Delta Company, 781st MI; and Sgt. 1st Class David Jorden, Charlie Company, 781st MI.
After being officially inducted into the NCO Corps and receiving a copy of the NCO Creed and the NCO Charge from the official party, the newly minted NCOs recited the Oath of the United States Army Noncommissioned Officer and the Charge of the NCO.
Following the ceremony, two of the new NCOs discussed what the ceremony meant to them and their goals for the future.
“I can use the mentorship I’ve learned over the past couple of years and help promote and teach those same standards to other Soldiers,” said Sgt. Daniel Goodman of the E/782nd MI. “My goal is to help mentor other Soldiers and move them along the path that I have been on.”
“Being an NCO means much more responsibility,” said Sgt. Garth Summey of the D/781st MI. “I need to be an example and take into consideration other people’s needs, more so than I did when I was a lower enlisted.”
Summey said that while his long-term goal was for more advancement, his focus at this point was on becoming an expert in his field.
Cullen offered this advice for the new NCOs: “Be patient, never stop learning and always ask questions. And most of all, take care of your Soldiers. Take care of them, and they’ll take care of you.”
Participating in ceremony and joining the NCO Corps were: Sgt. Benjamin Allen, B/781st MI; Sgt. Jonathan Baker, D/781st MI; Sgt. Daniel Cardinale, B/781st MI; Sgt. Michael Chong, B/781st MI; Sgt. Taylor Domschke, D/781st MI; Sgt. Gregory Esquivel, B/781st MI; Sgt. James Fearing, A/781st MI; Sgt. Reed Follensbee, C/781st MI; Sgt. Joshua Gallamore, A/781st MI; Sgt. Derek Gilbert, D/781st MI; Sgt. Daniel Goodman, E/782nd MI; Sgt. David Gunnerson, E/782nd MI; Sgt. Jeffrey Lu, D/781st MI; Sgt. Melanie Miller, C/781st MI; Sgt. Michael Morin, B/781st MI; Sgt. Moriah Moya, A/781st MI; Sgt. Christopher Pandoliano, D/781st MI; Sgt. Jason Postema, C/781st MI; Sgt. Justin Riopelle, E/782nd MI; Sgt. Kristina Robertson, E/782nd MI; Sgt. Andrew Sessoms, B/781st MI; Sgt. Brian Stout, E/782nd MI; Sgt. Garth Summey, D/781st MI; Sgt. Cameron Sutherland, E/782nd MI; Sgt. Ryan Szaroletta, A/781st MI; Sgt. Aisha Umar, C/781st MI; Sgt. Ryan Vandegriff, B/781st MI; Sgt. Jesus Vargas, D/781st MI; Sgt. Gregory Waxmonsky, D/781st MI; Sgt. Stewart Williams, B/781st MI; and Sgt. Allyn Wilson, A/781st MI.