News: Taskforce Thunder NCO Induction
Story by Sgt. Marcus Fichtl
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – “Provide me with the necessities of food and drink, Sergeant, train me to be self sufficient so that I may lead the way and stand willing and able to protect you with my life if necessary should your life be in danger,” asked Pfc. Samantha Martinez of the Noncommissioned Officers in front of her.
As Taskforce Thunder, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, inducted 34 Soldiers into the noncommissioned corps during an NCO Induction Ceremony at the Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, Post Chapel, April 15.
The event had guest speakers, brigade leaders and recitations from junior Soldiers asking the new NCOs to fulfill the charge of the NCO. The ceremony concluded as the inductees walked across the stage and signed their names into the ranks of the NCO.
Sgt. Stormm Slater, forward observer, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd ABCT, one of the inductees and an NCO since Oct. 1, 2013, said the experience formalized his new position as a leader.
“It was a great experience because it’s a rite of passage where I can better myself and realize that I am an NCO and not just a Soldier anymore,” said Slater “That I will have Soldiers underneath me, and that I will be looked upon by others to hold a higher standard.”
Senior leaders within the brigade gave advice to the new NCOs and shined a light on the path in front of them.
“With a ceremony like this, there were a lot of leaders giving advice,” said Slater. “I got advice in what I can do to better myself as a leader, and how to uphold the standard. I need to show my Soldiers what the standards are and get them to uphold them, so that one day they can teach their Soldiers the same standards.”
And as senior leaders told the new inductees the demands of being an NCO, Soldiers watched their peers transform into their leaders.
“When I spoke my part during the ceremony, I’m asking my NCO for his guidance and wisdom to teach and prepare me for anything I come across in the army or life,” said Martinez.
The ceremony inducted two of Martinez’s NCOs.
“I look to my NCOs, and see how they care, their passion, their selflessness, good balance and dedication,” said Martinez. “I’m very happy and proud for them – they’re amazing Soldiers, and I know they will be great NCOs.”
And just like Slater and the 33 other NCOs who walked across the stage, Martinez hopes one day she will be the one walking on her stage and her Soldiers will be in the stands supporting her.
“Today I’m supporting my NCOs, I’m congratulating them and thanking them for their selflessness,” said Martinez. “This ceremony inspires me to one day be on that stage as I become the type of leader that people look up to and the type of leaders that makes a difference on their Soldiers.”