As Sgt. Brooks Turner passed through an archway and under two sabers, he formally joined the corps of noncommissioned officers, taking on the responsibilities of a military leader.
Turner was among 13 Soldiers from the 902nd Military Intelligence Group who participated in the Noncommissioned Officer Induction Ceremony on Feb. 14.
“I feel it’s an honor, especially with so much support from our senior leaders,” said Turner, noting that he is now focused on learning how he can better lead his squad.
The hourlong ceremony was held at McGill Training Center. Sgt. Tameka Gatewood of the 902nd MI served as emcee.
“Today we honor this rite of passage as a celebration of the newly promoted joining the ranks of a professional Noncommissioned Officer Corps, and emphasize and build on the pride we all share as members of such an elite corps,” Gatewood said.
“We also serve to honor the memory of those men and women of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps who have served with pride, distinction, and have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The NCO corps is often referred to as “the backbone” of the armed services, as members are the primary and most visible leaders for most military personnel. Additionally, they are the leaders primarily responsible for executing a military organization’s mission and for training military personnel so they are prepared to execute their missions.
NCO training and education typically includes leadership and management development as well as service-specific and combat training.
Last week’s ceremony began with the national anthem performed by Pfc. Tenekeyia McGaskey of the 902nd MI. Chaplain (Maj.) Eric Light, chaplain for the 902nd MI, gave the invocation.
The official party included Command Sgt. Maj. Corey Perry of the 902nd MI Group; Command Sgt. Maj. Edward Elliott Jr. of Headquarters Command Battalion; Command Sgt. Maj. Steve Freedle of the 308th MI Battalion; Command Sgt. Maj. Derrick Whitehurst of the 310th MI; Master Sgt. Edgardo Rosa of the Army Operations Security Detachment, and Sgt. Maj. James Modisette of the U.S. Foreign Counterintelligence Activity.
Three Soldiers participated in an NCO candle-lighting ceremony to mark the past, present and future of the NCO Corps.
Elliot, the keynote speaker, spoke to the 13 NCOs about their role as leaders, responsible for all military aspects for Soldiers of lesser rank, including their professional development.
After the speech, the prospective NCOs were formally inducted, passing through an archway and under two sabers. Each Soldier was given an induction certificate and acknowledged the senior NCO party. The Soldier’s Request followed.
Each command sergeant major from the official party led the newly inducted NCOs in the NCO Charge. Perry stood before the Soldiers and administered the NCO oath.
The newly inducted NCOs stood at attention and raised their right hand. In reply to the charge, the Soldiers declared in unison “Yes, Sergeant Major!”
Gatewood then read a brief history of the “Creed of the NCO.”
Sgt. Stephanie Gangloff of the 902nd MI recited the creed aloud to the audience of Soldiers.
To end the ceremony and celebrate the new inductees, retired Command Sgt. Maj. Brett Palmer, the oldest NCO present, and Sgt. Jaron Morris, the newest NCO present, cut the ceremonial cake.
Sgt. Beth Foltz, a newly inducted NCO with the 310th MI, said she was excited to begin a new chapter in her life and a new leadership role in the Army.
“I’ve had strong leaders in my past and I hope to be more like them to make it in the Army,” she said.