News: U.S. and Afghan Army enlisted leaders conduct joint NCO induction ceremony
By U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Travis Wheat
KHOST PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Task Force Wolfpack composed of Soldiers from the 4th Battalion, 25th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) and the Afghan Soldiers from the 1st Brigade of the Afghan National Army’s 203rd Corps conducted a joint NCO Induction Ceremony at Assistance Platform Clark, Khost welcoming the newest members of the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps.
The ceremony brought together 28 newly inducted noncommissioned officers to stand shoulder to shoulder, continuing a tradition that dates back to Frederick the Great. The event allowed all NCOs to recognize and appreciate the traditions and professionalism that make us the “The Backbone of the Army”.
Task Force Wolfpack deployed to the Khost Province in late 2013 with the mission to advise and assist the1st Brigade of the ANA’s 203rd Corps with their operations and to continue to professionalize the ANA. This ceremony marks another milestone in the accomplishment of that mission.
The ceremony began with the history of the NCO and the significance of the Induction Ceremony. Everyone in attendance also paused to remember a fallen noncommissioned officer, U.S. Sgt 1st Class Jared C. Monti. Monti distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a team leader with the Headquarters and Headquarters Troop, 3d Squadron, 71st Cavalry Regiment also of the 3rd BCT, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy in the Nuristan province of Afghanistan, June 21, 2006.
The ceremony included two guest speakers. The first was Command Sgt. Maj. Alam-Watton Jar, the command sergeant major of the1st Brigade of the ANA’s 203rd Corps. He expressed his gratitude to everyone involved with the ceremony for their contributions and said the ANA’s NCO Corps serves as the roots that will allow the National Army and Afghanistan to continue to grow. He also said there are many things that make our Armies different however, there are two things that make us the same.
“We all are NCO’s and we share the same goal of serving and protecting our countries,” said Jar.
After a round of applause, Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney “Ray” Lewis, the command sergeant major of the 10th Mountain Division, took the podium. His message focused on leadership and development , using a tool kit as an analogy to illustrate the skills new leaders must acquire.
“Each NCO has a tool kit and at first the only tool you have is a hammer. That’s it. That’s what the sergeant has, so when that sergeant looks at his squad or his fire team, every problem he sees is a nail. However, each problem is different and may require different tools. You’re not going to be successful when you start whacking every problem you come across,” said Lewis.
Lewis then turned his attention the all of the NCOs in attendance and charged them with assisting the newly inducted NCOs in “filling their tool kits”.
Upon completion of the guest speaker’s remarks, the ceremony continued with both command sergeants major moving to center stage where they called the name of each newly inducted NCO to step through the archway. Each U.S. Army NCO received the Charge of the NCO,signed by both Lewis and the newly inducted NCO. They also received a copy of the NCO Creed. The ANA NCOs received a copy of the ANA NCO Creed and a certificate signed by their Brigade commander and Brigade command sergeant major.
As the the newly inducted sergeant’s made their way through the archway, they fell into a joint formation and concluded the ceremony with reciting the NCO Creeds of both armies which was followed by a reception that allowed all of the NCOs an opportunity to get to know one another and to build lasting memories.
Staff Sgt Daniel Weber of the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, TF Wolfpack was appointed as the narrator for the ceremony, a duty he was more than happy to perform.
“Narrating the NCO Induction ceremony was one of the highlights of my time as a Non-Commissioned Officer. I was proud to not only watch the US Army Soldiers become NCOs, but also glad to see the ANA took the ceremony very serious, looked well, and glimmered with pride to be inducted”.
SFC Jamie McIntyre of HHB, TF Wolfpack serves as the operations sergeant major and was impressed by what he saw.
“This event to me shows the epitome of espirt de corps. To start your career as a Non-Commissioned Officer in an event of this magnitude sets the standard for these young Sergeants. It teaches them the history and significance of the stripes they are wearing proudly, and instills a sense of historic pride in them,” said MacIntyre.
By U.S. Army 1st Sgt. Travis Wheat