News: 'Packhorse' welcomes professional soldiers to the NCO Corps
Story by Spc. Nathan Thome
FORT CARSON, Colo. – Fourteen sergeants from “Packhorse” passed through the symbolic Arch of the Non-commissioned Officer to be inducted into the Corps of the Non-commissioned Officer during a ceremony at Prussman Chapel, April 27.
During an induction ceremony hosted by 4th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, newly-promoted sergeants joined the ranks of professional soldiers.
“Throughout our Army’s history, NCOs have performed vital tasks as small unit leaders, tactical experts, trainers, and, most importantly, guardians of the Army standard,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Sal Katz Jr., senior enlisted leader assigned to 4th BSB.
“By accomplishing this mission in a professional manner, members of the NCO Corps have earned the reputation as the ‘Backbone of the Army,’” Katz said. “The backbone is understood as the stabilizer and critical link of our Army, the strength and heart of our great organization.”
A ritual of lighting three colored candles, each candle representing the virtues of an NCO, marked the beginning of the ceremony.
The red candle stands for an NCO’s valor; the white candle represents an NCO's purity, honesty and integrity; and the blue candle signifies the vigilance, perseverance and justice of which an NCO stands for.
“This ceremony is passing on the tradition of welcoming new NCOs into the Corps,” said Sgt. Christa Damron, a healthcare specialist assigned to Company C, 4th BSB. “It means a lot to me knowing that I have made the final step involved in becoming an NCO.”
After lighting the candles, Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall, 4th Inf. Div. and Fort Carson senior enlisted leader, and the guest speaker for the ceremony, spoke about the importance of the role NCOs fulfill in the Army.
“We are all a product of society. Men and women don’t join the Army and automatically grasp the Army values, our way of life, our creeds, ethos and oaths,” said Stall. “That’s why we have our NCOs to serve as a constant reminder to reinforce the values in our profession.”
After Stall’s speech, all NCOs attending the ceremony, recited the NCO Charge before the inductees passed through the Arch of the NCO to receive their scroll, an act that symbolized their passing into the ranks of leaders.
“Knowing that our leadership took the time to welcome us into the NCO Corps is greatly appreciated,” Damron said. “Being recognized in a ceremony of this nature means so much to me, and is a great achievement.”
When the last inductee received his scroll, Staff Sgt. Jessica Scott, a healthcare specialist assigned to Company C, 4th BSB, and NCO of the Quarter, led the inductees in reciting the Creed of the Non-commissioned Officer, marking the conclusion of the ceremony.
“I hope you understand what this means for you guys,” said Stall, concluding the ceremony. “I can’t pave the way for you when you take this step, but you can.”
“I’m working with my boss to put systems in place that will make you better each and every day, and if you choose to hold on, you’re in for one heck of a journey,” he said.