News: 1-141 IN, 72nd IBCT, NCO holds Induction Ceremony in Baghdad
BAGHDAD - "From this day forward; the necessity to sacrifice personal wants, needs and desires for the good of those around you will be a permanent part of your life in the military."
This was the message communicated to 38 individuals recently promoted to sergeant within the units deployed to Iraq under 1st Battalion of the 141st Infantry Regiment, 72nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, during a ceremony on Camp Cropper, Baghdad, June 21. The purpose of the event was to welcome them to the Corps of the Noncommissioned Officer.
Command Sgt. Maj. Mark A. Weedon, 1-141st Inf. Bn. command sergeant major, acknowledged the role played by noncommissioned officers in a keynote address that presented some of the very real challenges facing the NCO; giving the inductees a shrewd glimpse into their futures as members of the elite corps.
"Always take possession of your Soldiers. Be personally responsible for every good and not so good thing they do. This type of ownership leads to ultimate trust, the type of trust we all want in our superiors. Keep this in mind, practice doesn't make perfect, it makes permanent; perfect practice makes perfect; training leads to competence, competence leads to confidence, and confidence leads to action," the Bryan, Texas, resident remarked.
The company first sergeants, 1st Sgt Todd McClain, Headquarters Company; 1st Sgt. Juan Benavidez, Alpha Company; 1st Sgt. Fredrick Grataski, Bravo Company; 1st Sgt. Marco Martinez, Charlie Company 3-141; and 1st Sgt. Jesse Saldana, Foxtrot Company 536th Brigade Support Battalion, stood as sponsors for the newly promoted, introducing each one to an audience made up of their leaders and peers.
After the introductions were complete, the voices of young, and not so young, men rang out in the room as they carefully enunciated the 289 words that make up the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer in unison.
Rife with phrases like "No one is more professional than I" and "My two basic responsibilities will always be uppermost in my mind -- accomplishment of my mission and the welfare of my Soldiers"; the creed has served as a guide for NCOs since its creation in 1973, though its concepts have been a part of the Army since its inception.
It has inspired generations of NCOs and served as a compass to find the right path in their lives, in the military or out.
"I remember the first time I spoke these words," said Sgt. 1st Class Justin Graham, the personnel NCOIC for HHC 1-141st from San Antonio, Texas, "and I found out what how loyalty, duty, respect, self-less service, honor, integrity and personal courage were truly a way of life in the military."
Master of ceremonies, Staff Sgt. Paul Acosta, HHC 1-141st, then gave a detailed presentation focused on the historical contributions made by NCOs serving in Iraq at the beginning of the war; in keeping with the Army tradition of highlighting individual NCO accomplishments.
"This ceremony is a right of passage integral to signifying our transition from being lead to leader and this brief look into history highlights how it was the sergeant that checked on his subordinates, the sergeant that saw the enemy advancing and the sergeant that, ultimately, led the units to victory." said Acosta, resident of Fort Worth, Texas.
Afterwards, the Soldiers were called forward to receive a framed copy of the NCO Creed, shake hands with both their respective unit's first sergeant and Weedon and retake their seats in front of those assembled to witness the momentous occasion.
The ceremony would not have been complete without the recitation of Sgt. Maj. Frank M. McMahon's poem entitled "A Soldier's Request" by Spc. Ray Sanchez, C Company 3-141, from Laredo, Texas. The poem is a plaintive entreaty from all lower-enlisted service-members for the sergeants to train, support, motivate, teach and mentor them.
At the conclusion of the event, audience and participants alike were invited to dine on some of the local Iraqi cuisine in the adjoining building and share memories of their own experiences as an NCO in today's Texas Army National Guard.
Date Posted:06.24.2010 13:32
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