FORT MONMOUTH, N.J. - With pomp and symbolism Fort Monmouth and the CECOM Life Cycle Management Command officially began the celebration of the Year of the Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) here in Pruden Auditorium on Monday, Feb. 23.

The event was hosted by Maj. Gen. Dennis L. Via and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Linza Chapman. Soldiers in period uniforms from 1775 to the present day Army Combat Uniform provided a visual picture of NCOs throughout the years while a narration told of the duties of each of the ranks of NCOs.

After unveiling the official poster for the yearlong event, Via praised NCOs for their service.

"Historical and daily accounts of 'life as an NCO' are exemplified by acts of courage and dedication and a willingness to do whatever it takes to complete the mission," Via said. "NCOs have been celebrated for dedicated service in military events ranging from Valley Forge to Gettysburg, to charging Omaha Beach and battles along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, to current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq."

He added in his remarks that the NCO leads by example, trains from experience, enforces standards and takes care of Soldiers. Via remarked that, as each of the posters for the various NCO ranks were unveiled during the ceremony, a picture of someone of that rank who helped him along his career path came to mind.

"The Army NCO is a professional trainer and expert in their craft, planning and conducting individual and collective training for their Soldiers and their teams," he said. "We at CECOM and Fort Monmouth take great pride in the technologies we develop here. However without NCOs to use those technologies to build strong and effective teams to accomplish their mission, the technology is meaningless."

Via quoted Chief of Staff of the Army General George W. Casey, Jr. who in announcing the plans for the Year of the NCO at the Association of the United States Army Land Warrior breakfast said "the NCO is the glue that is holding our Army together, and that's allowed us to accomplish the impossible everyday."

NCOs handled most of the duties at the NCO ceremony. The national anthem was sung by Staff Sgt. Angela Jacobs, Senior NCO, Dental Command, Patterson Army Health Clinic; the invocation was given by Sgt. 1st Class Velda Scott, Senior NCO, Legal Office; and the reciting of the NCO Creed was led by Staff Sgt. Nona Burns, Patterson Army Health Clinic.

Via thanked all of the NCOs present, both active duty and retired, for their professionalism and for being the backbone of the Army. "We would not be the Army we are today without the service, dedication, commitment and sacrifice of our NCOs and the support of their families," he said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16