500th MI BDE upholds tradition, welcomes NCOs into Corps

500th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater
Story by Staff Sgt. Shameeka Stanley

Date: 09.05.2018
Posted: 09.14.2018 20:56
News ID: 292944
500th MI BDE upholds tradition, welcomes NCOs into Corps

WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii— “No one is more professional than I”, echoed through the building as the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) was recited. The creed embodies a sergeant’s commitment to their duties and responsibilities as a leader. And when it comes to a sergeant’s business, it’s serious business.

The 500th Military Intelligence Brigade-Theater (MIB-T) hosted a NCO induction ceremony to welcome its newly promoted NCOs, which also included NCOs from the 782nd Military Intelligence (MI) Battalion Detachment-Hawaii, 780th MI BDE, at Wheeler Chapel on Wheeler Army Airbase, Hawaii, Sept. 5.

The NCO Corps is a ‘time honored corps’ grounded in heritage, values and tradition that originated with the establishment of the Continental Army on June 14, 1775. The NCO induction ceremony is a tradition conducted to celebrate the transition of Soldier to leader as they join the ranks of the NCO Corps.

“[This ceremony] reaffirms what NCOs need to do through the “Soldiers Request” and welcoming us into the Corps,” said Sgt. Eric Yarbro, a military intelligence analyst assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC) 500th MIB-T. “As an NCO, it is my duty to [take care of] Soldiers and whatever they need.”

Each inductee, 43 in all, sat and listened to a select group of junior enlisted Soldiers as they raised their voices of courage as they spoke the words of the “Soldiers Request”. The Soldier’s Request affirms the junior enlisted Soldier’s expectation of their Sergeants and what they will hold them accountable for.

Yarbro, a Plano, Texas native said, “I take it as a charge from them. I don’t just listen to the words. I genuinely take those words as a challenge from those Soldiers to be the best NCO I can be for them.”

As these sergeants step into a new realm of responsibility, their old ways have passed away and they are now ready to lead from the front with competence, character and commitment.

“I’m prepared to do whatever it takes to make sure that they have everything they need to get the mission done,” said Sgt. Colin Pate, a signals intelligence analyst, assigned to 782nd MI Battalion., (Detachment Hawaii), 780th MI BDE. “I’ve been put in a position where I am responsible for Soldiers, so I have to take care of them. They are my Soldiers, that’s my team and I want to have the best team. So I’m going to give them everything I can because they always come first.”

This ceremony holds a very special significance for many NCOs that have passed through the NCO arch, at the conclusion of the ceremony.

For 1st Sgt. Robert Berry, B Company, 715th MI Battalion., 500th MI BDE, NCO induction ceremonies hold a special significance to him, having been inducted, here in Hawaii, a decade ago.

“You are in charge now,” said Berry, as he gave a speech during the ceremony. “Gone are the days of showing up at the right time, right place and looking for someone to tell you what to do. Your Soldiers will still do that, but they’re looking around for you to tell them what to do.”

As an Army leader, NCOs are responsible for taking care of Soldiers with training, education and development. They set and maintain the standard and lead from the front.

“Demanding excellence from yourself is an absolutely reliable way to extract excellence from your Soldiers,” said Berry. “Avoid stating the standard; instead, set the standard yourself, personally. Lead from the front, not from above.”