News: ANA welcomes in 1391 with inaugural NCO induction ceremony; declares day of the NCO
Story by Sgt. Richard Sherba
By U.S. Army Sgt. Richard D. Sherba
PAKTYA PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Nowruz, the Afghan New Year, is a day of celebration and new beginnings. What better way to bring in 1391 than with an inaugural ceremony inducting Afghan National Army soldiers into the corps of non-commissioned officers.
The Afghan National Army’s 203rd “Thunder” Corps held a ceremony at Forward Operating Base Thunder that inducted 80 ANA soldiers into the non-commissioned officer corps on Nowruz, March 20.
“This is the first time the ANA has celebrated the induction of soldiers into the NCO corps; no other corps has had this type of celebration,” said the 203rd Corps ANA Command Sgt. Maj. Habibullah Chamkani. “I am very happy to have this ceremony, especially on Nowruz.”
In honor of this inaugural event, the 203rd Corps declared March 20 the day of the non-commissioned officer at FOB Thunder.
The 80 ANA soldiers were selected for promotion based on eligibility requirements, attendance at the Team Leader Course held at FOB Thunder, and their demonstrated ability to lead soldiers.
These soldiers have been selected, trained and promoted to the position of non-commissioned officer, but their journey does not end here, said Tactical Command Two Command Sgt. Maj. David Livesay.
In his address to the recently promoted NCO’s, Livesay said, “My [U.S.] Army is 236 years old; your [Afghan] army is about eight years old. When I was here eight years ago as an embedded trainer, those soldiers did not have the opportunities that you have today. I couldn’t send any of my ANA soldiers to military schools to further their education. We didn’t have the equipment, the facilities, the weapons, the uniforms, the boots that you have today. They didn’t have the opportunity to go to the literacy school.
“As the ANA continues to grow in both capacity and capabilities it’s vital that the NCOs continue to lead, train and care for their soldiers,” Livesay said. “As NCOs this is the mission I give to you. You will discharge carefully and diligently the duties, responsibilities, traditions and standards of the non-commissioned officer.”
Livesay continued to say, “You will be responsible for the actions of those placed under your care. As a non-commissioned officer you are required to observe and follow all lawful orders and directions given by your superiors. You are charged to enforce good order and discipline within your units and to correct conditions that are detrimental to the readiness of your unit. In doing so, you will fulfill your obligation as a leader and thereby confirm your status as a non-commissioned officer in the Afghan National Army.”
Chamkani led the 80 ANA soldiers in the reciting of the Afghan National Army non-commissioned officer’s creed, followed by the pinning on of the new rank to each of the newly promoted soldiers.
“NCO’s are very important in the ANA, when officers make plans it’s the NCO’s who implement those plans and lead soldiers on the battlefield,” said Chamkani.
“I am proud of my NCO’s, this ceremony was a major event for the 203rd Corps. I have been here for five years and we haven’t had a ceremony like this before,” said Chamkani.
Newly promoted ANA Sgt. Mohammad Wali said, “I am very happy and today was a good thing for the NCO Corps. This was the first time the 203rd Corps had an induction and it’s had a positive impact on the entire NCO corps.”
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