U.S. Army Africa pays tribute to Year of the NCO
March 2, 2009
- 12 NCOs inducted in Noncommissioned Officer Corps
VICENZA, Italy - The Southern European Task Force Europe-U.S. Army Africa and the Vicenza Military Community launched the Year of the NCO with an Induction Ceremony Feb. 17 at the post theater.
It is appropriate to induct new NCOs as part of our tribute to the Year of the NCO, as they represent the future of the noncommissioned officer corps, said Command Sgt. Maj. Earl Rice, SETAF-U.S. Army Africa command sergeant major.
Twelve sergeants passed between symbolic NCO ranks and were congratulated by the command sergeants major from Caserma Ederle, who welcomed them to the NCO Corps.
The ceremony also included a video tribute to NCOs, the reciting of the Charge of the Noncommissioned Officer, A Soldier's Request and the NCO Creed, and the cutting of a Year of the NCO cake.
The guest speaker, Command Sgt. Maj. (retired) George L. Horvath III, spoke on the changes he's witnessed since he joined the Army in 1970 and the responsibilities that still remain for NCOs today.
"My job was relatively simple compared to today," Horvath said. "It boggles my mind when I see the kinds of decisions you have to make today."
But, Horvath said, even with all the new technology, some things remain the same.
"There is no place in my or in your Army for a minimum-standard NCO," he said. "If you're a minimum standard NCO, you'll kill people on the battlefield.
"The easiest way to enforce the standards with your Soldiers is to say, 'look at me'. You cannot lead from the rear," he added.
Rice noted that past leaders such as Horvath established the foundation for NCOs today.
"Our senior leaders empower NCOs to accomplish their duties day in and day out," Rice said. "NCOs are always willing and able to step up to the task."