TIKRIT, Iraq — Ten Soldiers were inducted into the noncommissioned officer corps, March 31, during the 701st Brigade Support Battalion's NCO Induction Ceremony held inside the North Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center at Contingency Operating Base Speicher.
Four Soldiers from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and six from 701st Brigade Support Battalion, 4th IBCT out of Fort Riley, Kan., were formally inducted into an elite corps of noncommissioned officers who have proudly and continually served as the "backbone" of the Army.
The guest speaker of the ceremony, the 'Dragon' brigade's operations officer, Maj. Peter A. Lind, gave the inductees words of encouragement and emphasized the importance of becoming an NCO.
"Noncommissioned officers are the heart and soul of the Army," he said, as he quoted General Carl E. Vuono, the Chief of Staff of the Army from June 1987 to June 1991. "They are the heart because they are the pulse, and they are the soul because they represent and demand the Soldierly virtues of dedication, and discipline, and the sense of responsibility."
Sitting calmly and professionally throughout the ceremony, the 10 inductees looked on and listened intently to the words of Lind. Then, the moment came when they were all officially into the NCO Corps.
Staff Sgt. Stacy Mouzon of Sumter, S.C., and headquarters platoon sergeant for Company A, 701st BSB and the master of ceremonies for the induction ceremony, said he is exceptionally proud of Soldiers who get inducted into the NCO Corps.
"Today, as we saw our newly inducted NCOs cross that line, coming from that E-four rank to that E-five rank, it just makes the carrying on of tradition and that tradition, to me, shows that we as enlisted Soldiers are promoting those individuals who are ready for that next step of responsibility of taking care of troops and handling troops," he said.
After the last Soldier was inducted into the corps, they all stood together and thunderously recited the NCO Creed.
"I really never thought that I'd come in and get my 'stripes' as quickly as I did," said Denton, Texas, native Sgt. Peter Willis, an infantry team-leader with the personal security detachment platoon, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4IBCT. "I felt a great sense of pride walking across the stage and joining the [Corps of NCOs]."
This work, Ten Soldiers inducted into a time-honored corps, by SGT Shantelle Campbell, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.