News: Twenty-six Soldiers inducted into Corps of Non-commissioned Officers
Story by Sgt. Chad Nelson
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq — Twenty-six Task Force Marne Soldiers were inducted into the Corps of Non-commissioned Officers in a ceremony at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, Iraq, April 16.
The Non-commissioned Officer Induction Ceremony is a time-honored ceremony that recognizes newly-promoted sergeants, welcoming them to the corps of NCOs and presenting them with words of wisdom from all ranks of NCOs.
"It shows who has become the backbone of the Army," said Command Sgt. Maj. Byron O. Loyd, Division Special Troops Battalion, command sergeant major, 3rd Infantry Division.
The ceremony began with a powerful performance of four NCOs, from sergeant to first sergeant, who stated the inherent duties of their rank.
Junior enlisted Soldiers, wearing all their gear for battle, turned to face an NCO and requested to receive all the training, care and attention they need and deserve from their non-commissioned officers in order to become an NCO.
Following this request, three candles — one red, one white and one blue — were lit in honor of the inductees. The red candle symbolized everything that has been sacrificed by the corps from the Revolutionary War to present. White represented the color of the corps' pure spirit, and blue signified the strength and mettle of the corps.
Command Sgt. Maj. Wayne L. Durham, command sergeant major of the 37th Engineer Battalion, spoke to the inductees. He challenged them by saying, "Be an NCO, not a stripe-wearer."
He challenged them to uphold and maintain all the standards and challenges of being an NCO.
"No mission is too small for our nation, and I believe a non-commissioned officer takes those tasks and makes sure they are accomplished to world-class standards," he said. "We're the backbone of the Army. We make it happen — [the] battle-hardened troops on the ground."
The ceremony effectively honored newly-inducted NCOs and welcomed them to the Corps of Non-commissioned Officers.
"It definitely added more feeling for me being inducted into the NCO corps," said Sgt. Daniel Merwin, 3rd Infantry Division Band, 3rd ID and DSTB NCO of the quarter. "We are the ones that really make the work happen, especially when it comes to success. It's because of us," he said.