164th TAOG inducts 19 Soldiers into NCO corps
May 24, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (May 23, 2013) -- In a ceremony replete with tradition and symbolism, 19 warfighters made the transition from enlisted Soldier to noncommissioned officer May 19 at the Fort Rucker theater by passing under crossed sabers.
The 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group's NCO induction ceremony is believed to be the unit's first induction ceremony in nearly eight years.
Command Sgt. Maj. Jorge O. Soriano, 164th TAOG command sergeant major, said it was necessary to bring back the NCO induction ceremony because the ceremonies serve multiple benefits.
"At its core, it's about upholding traditions and passing along (these traditions) to the next generation of leaders," he said during the ceremony. "We should never miss an opportunity to take care of our Soldiers, and that includes recognizing the Soldiers who have truly achieved something special like earning the privilege to wear the stripes of a noncommissioned officer.
"(The NCO induction ceremony) also serves to remind all NCOs of the charge we took when we became sergeants," Soriano continued. "For those NCOs in the audience right now how have never had the opportunity to go through an NCO induction and formally accept the charge … please consider this your ceremony too -- I am among those."
Command Sgt. Maj. Richard A. Mitchell, Air Traffic Service Command's top-enlisted member, was invited to be the guest speaker during the ceremony and agreed on the importance of recognizing Soldier's accomplishments and what it means to be inducted into the corps.
"That promotion to sergeant means more than just a pay raise and shoulder boards," he said to the audience. "There should be a sense of pride and accomplishment when one is promoted to sergeant, but there must also be a realization that a tremendous amount of responsibility comes with that promotion."
Sgt. Miranda L. Jackson, who was inducted into the corps, said she is ready to take on the added responsibility and is looking forward to her future as a leader.
"I've had NCOs above me that have prepared me for today, and they made this easy for me," she said. "It has always been my decision to become and NCO and I'm ready for the extra responsibilities -- I'm here to make it all the way to the top."
Mitchell also offered advice to the newly inducted sergeants as he reminded them that they will no longer be graded by their actions alone, but the actions and merit of their Soldiers.
"You must be ready to put the welfare of your Soldiers and the accomplishments of the mission above your own personal needs," he said. "You are now noncommissioned officers, sergeants, leaders. We are depending on you to get it right to ensure your Soldiers are trained and ready." Mitchell added that Soldiers in their charge rely on leaders to protect them, train them for combat and make them better Soldiers.
"Many have come before you and many have paid the ultimate price to defend our nation and the reputation of this time-honored corps," he said. "Take care of your Soldiers, be committed to excellence, and never forget the pride and responsibility that comes with being a noncommissioned officer."
Inductees from the 597th Maintenance Detachment include: Sergeants Troy L. Altman, Angel R. Garcia and Robert Hubbard. Inductees from Headquarters, Headquarters Company include: Sergeants Shalisa L. Allen, Valene W. Carter, Miranda R. Gainer, Braxton J. Henry Jr., Brandon S. Whitmer and Angelique F. Young. Inductees from the 1-58th Airfield Operations Battalion include: Sergeants Martin L. Baldwin, Tony L. Barnes, Dennis A. Dickerson Jr., Eric D. Goldman, Miranda L. Jackson, Jerry L. Jordan, Francine M. Murray, Eric D. Ruffin Jr., Karim L. Toney and James K. Varner.