The 902nd Military Intelligence Group took time to pay homage to what is commonly referred to as “the backbone of the Army” by hosting an NCO Induction Ceremony on Sept. 28 at the Defense Information School.
The NCO Induction Ceremony is a tradition for Soldiers who have been promoted to the rank of sergeant. Senior noncommissioned officers convey to newly promoted sergeants the special pride and sense of esteem felt when a young Soldier enters the NCO Corps.
“We are an Army of traditions. The NCO Induction Ceremony is a great opportunity to recognize the advancement of an enlisted Soldier to a noncommissioned officer,” said the presiding official of the ceremony, Sgt. Maj. Michael Mills, 902nd MI.
“Not only do we recognize our newest NCOs, the ceremony also serves to remind us of the service and sacrifice of the noncommissioned officers that came before us.”
The NCO Induction Ceremony commenced, following the national anthem and invocation, with NCO representatives from across the 902nd MI reciting how NCOs have led the way throughout history, from World War I to the current Global War on Terrorism.
Sgt. 1st Class Amaka Anderson, U.S. Army Foreign Counterintelligence Activity, concluded the historical review by describing the new battlespace in which NCOs operate:
“Today I fight a new kind of war, without boundaries and tactics that I’ve used before. They may have hit us in our homeland, but we’re leaner, more lethal and more determined than ever to remain the premier Army of the free world,” Anderson said.
“Today I stand ready for tomorrow’s great fight. From high in the mountains, to under the sea, to the wet steamy jungles, cool German forests, burning deserts, the Near and Far East. I am the sergeant!”
First Sgt. Clinton Hart, 308th MI Battalion, and 1st Sgt. Lynn Schweigert and 1st Sgt. Jenette Blamer and, 310th MI representatives, lit three candles to symbolize the “BE, KNOW, and DO” attributes of NCO leadership as well as the contributions and sacrifice of an Army NCO.
The red candle was lit to represent the bloodshed in battle, the white to exemplify the purity of heart and mind, and the blue candle to embody the loyalty and unity of the NCO Corps.
The keynote speaker was retired Command Sgt. Maj. Gordon Walker, former 902nd MI command sergeant major, who emphasized the dynamic role of the NCO and lessons he learned during his 25 years of service.
Walker spoke of leadership, personal courage and the commitment to the well-being of each Soldier and his or her family.
He concluded his remarks with a quote from Jim Harbaugh, University of Michigan head coach, to encourage everyone to “Attack each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.”
The 11 new NCOs were welcomed by the official party, which included Sgt. Maj. Michael Mills, 902nd MI command sergeant major; Command Sgt. Maj. Steve Freedle, 308th MI Battalion command sergeant major; Command Sgt. Maj. Derrick Whitehurst, 310th MI Battalion command sergeant major; Sgt. Maj. James Modisette, USAFCA sergeant major; and Master Sgt. Towanda Sanders, Army Operations Security Detachment.
The event concluded with NCOs — current and retired — reciting in unison the “NCO Creed,” a rich chorus filled with pride, strength and heart.
Soldiers honored in this ceremony were:
- Sgt. Chase Eggelston, Headquarters, Headquarters Detachment, 902nd MI Group
- Sgt. Kelsey Stanfill, HHD, 902nd MI Group
- Sgt. Agyemang Amprofi, 308th MI Battalion
- Sgt. Michael Hayes, 308th MI Battalion
- Staff Sgt. Melanie Nunno, 310th MI Battalion
- Sgt. Jackson Baker, 310th MI Battalion
- Sgt. John Dell, 310th MI Battalion
- Sgt. Jenny Little, 310th MI Battalion
- Sgt. Corey Ponton, 310th MI Battalion
- Sgt. Celeste Yazzie, 310th MI Battalion
- Sgt. Christopher Campbell, U.S. Army Foreign Counterintelligence Activity