by Army Capt. Lyn Graves and Spc. Michael Pfaff
KIRKUK, Iraq (May 26, 2006) – Twenty-six Soldiers from the 426th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division were inducted as non-commissioned officers as they were promoted the rank of sergeant.
Becoming a non-commissioned officer, or NCO, in the Army is an important step for a Soldier and members of the 426th BSB made sure this was a special day for the new NCOs.
As attendees stood for the national anthem, sergeants major and first sergeants faced the newly promoted sergeants. The history of the NCO, from the time of Frederick the Great to the US Army's first drill instructor, Baron Friedrich von Steuben, to the importance of the rank in today's Army, was recited following the national anthem.
"The Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer has served as a guiding document for non-commissioned officers since its inception in 1973, though its concepts have always been part of our corps," the narrator explained.
"Each major paragraph begins with three main letters: N, C and O. These words have inspired non-commissioned officers and have served as a compass to guide us down the right paths that we encounter," he said. "Today, our newest non-commissioned officers will affirm their commitment to the professionalism of our corps and become a part of the "backbone" of the Army."
All present were then invited to recite the NCO Creed.
As each new sergeant walked to the dais, he was greeted by 426th BSB Command Sergeant Major William Maben. Maben handed the sergeant a copy of Field Manual 7-22.7, the Army Noncommissioned Officer Guide, and a copy of the NCO Charge. He then shook their hand to congratulate them.
The 26 new sergeants participating in the induction ceremony represented all four of the battalion's companies.
This induction follows a previous induction in December of 2005 in which Command Sergeant Major Rory Malloy, Command Sergeant Major of the 1st BCT, noted the importance of the rank of sergeant.
"The sergeant operates in an environment where sparks fly," he said. "The sergeant can be accurately described as a being where the axe meets the stone. Although not the lowest level of rank where command is exercised, this level is the first at which enlisted Soldiers are referred to as sergeant, and of all the grade of the NCO, this one, very possibly, has the greatest impact on lower ranking Soldiers."
The NCO inductees are: from HHC, 426th BSB, Sgt. Catherine C. Chiemelu, Sgt. Michael E. Edilson, Sgt. Kathleen T. Kilby and Sgt. Kenneth D. Wietrzykowski. From A Co., Sgt. Joshua Blank, Sgt. Christopher Condrey, Sgt. Kemi Fields, Sgt. Abigail Gales, Sgt. Dionicio Garcia, Sgt. Bernardo Hernandez, Sgt.. Frederick Jolly, Sgt. Justin Kerby, Sgt. James McBeth, Sgt. Jarrett Neff, Sgt. Nicole Parker, Sgt. Douglas Ritchie, Sgt. Michaela Thomas and Sgt. Donald Wayne. From B Co., Sgt. Stephen Lane and Sgt. Joseph Zumdome. From C Co., Sgt. Andrew Colburn, Sgt. Jack Decker, Sgt. Aaron Milton, Sgt. Jessica Smith, Sgt. Joshua Somma and Sgt. Cinnamon Wilkinson.
This work, 426th BSS NCO induction ceremony, by SPC Michael Pfaff, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.