21st TSC honors new NCOs during ceremony
June 25, 2013
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany - The 21st Theater Sustainment Command officially recognized the dedication and professionalism of soldiers moving into the ranks of the noncommissioned officers during an noncommissioned officer induction ceremony at the Vogelweh Military Complex, June 20.
More than 30 soldiers were recognized during the ceremony, which marks a rite of passage for soldiers moving into the noncommissioned officer corps, signifying their new role as leaders within the Army.
"It's very important to recognize these new NCOs because this is their stepping stone away from not only being a soldier, but also being a leader," said Sgt. 1st Class Carmen Rivers, a financial manager with the 266th Financial Management Support Center and a native of Los Angeles. "This confirms all of their hard work and their dedication."
Being recognized as an noncommissioned officer is "a once in a lifetime opportunity," said inductee Sgt. Garion Johnson, a signal support systems specialist with the 21st TSC's 16th Sustainment Brigade and a native of Detroit. "Not too many people get to join this elite group."
For most, the ceremony is acknowledgment of the long road and hard work the noncommissioned officers have put into their careers in hopes of one day being able to lead soldiers.
"You have to prove that you're worthy enough to be a leader by being competent with your job, both tactically and technically, and that you have the ability to lead soldiers," said inductee Sgt. Joey Carter, a human resources specialist with the 16th Sustainment Brigade and a native of Decatur, Ala.
"To become an NCO you have to make sure that you have heart and that you really want it," said Rivers. "If you're doing it for the pay, that's the wrong answer. Do it because you want to take care of soldiers."
"In order to become a good NCO, you have to be able to follow before you can lead," said Sgt. 1st Class Talonda Mott, a financial manager with the 266th FMSC and a native of Chicago. "A lot of the soldiers up there [on stage] have had the time to watch their mentors and see the different things that they've done."
"Another thing it takes is integrity," added Mott. "It takes heart - it takes a lot of heart to be able to step up and speak up for those who can't speak for themselves and sometimes making that hard decision."
The new group of noncommissioned officers brings new ideas and a fresh perspective to a corps of professionals dating back more than 238 years.
"I am really excited and I am ready to go to the next step and lead my soldiers," said inductee Sgt. Bridgette Refile, an ammunition specialist with the 16th Sustainment Brigade and a native of Philadelphia.
"There's no greater joy than taking care of soldiers and that should be [an NCOs] number one priority," said Rivers. "If your number one priority is taking care of soldiers and you're accomplishing the mission in doing so, then you're ready to become a noncommissioned officer."