Army space inductees cross line into the NCO Corps
April 11, 2013
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The blinding flash of a blade from a sword bearer was drawn across the stage floor by the 1st Space Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Eagan indicating an imaginary 'Induction Line' as he said to all present, "Inductees, step forward and cross the line into the Noncommissioned Officer Corps!"
These action and words represented the heart of the 2013 1st Space Brigade NCO Induction Ceremony, with participation by the 100th Missile Defense Brigade (Ground-based Midcourse Defense), on April 5 at the Peterson Auditorium.
The solemn occasion included a Fallen Soldier Tribute with accompanying bagpiper and the lighting of three candles during the reciting of the NCO Creed. 1st Space Brigade Soldiers also performed in traditional uniform the 'Watches.'
Before the Soldiers could be recognized in the full status of an NCO, they were required to stand four watches, one every four days. Gifts were brought for each of the watches and included items such as bread, brandy, beer, wine, and tobacco.
"This induction ceremony plays an important role signifying the transition from Soldier to leader," said Eagan, before introducing the guest speaker for this year's event, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert A. Winzenried, command senior enlisted leader for North American Aerospace Defense Command U.S. Northern Command. "As leaders we must not ever forget: who - who we are or who we serve or who we represent. We must also remember where we came from and why we are the backbone of the Army. Today our Soldiers will cross the line of the NCO Corp."
Winzenried told the inductees, "So you are now going to enter into that world where you are going to be where the rubber meets the road."
"You are going to be looking knee-cap to knee-cap with Soldiers and having to tell them what is going on. Not to blow smoke and not to tell them everything is great. But to find things that are going to keep them motivated, keep them on track to be in your shoes one of these days," he continued. "As a senior leader none of us got here by ourselves. We always get here because of the people who we surround ourselves with. And so when you are out there building your teams you have got to really look at who you want to surround yourself with."
In closing he reminded these new NCOs that, "It is all about positive leadership. It is that positive attitude that is going to get your folks through and get you through tough times. Never forget, positive leadership is the key."
After these remarks, the fourth watch (crossing the line and joining the NCO Corps) was performed on stage with Winzenried and Eagan presenting 29 inductees with a copy of the NCO Creed. They also received a copy of the FM 7-22.7, The Army Noncommissioned Officer Guide and the History of the Noncommissioned Officer.
There were nine inductees from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Space Brigade; 15 inductees from 1st Space Battalion; two inductees from 53rd Signal Battalion; and three inductees from the 100th Missile Defense Brigade.
The history of the NCO Corps extends to the earliest days of the U.S. Army, but the role of the NCO did not change significantly until 1775, with the birth of the Continental Army. What little is known about the NCO role comes from two main sources: training manuals and scattered accounts by Soldiers. The predominant sources are writings by NCO volunteers in the Civil War.