Yongsan Soldiers enter NCO corps with rite of passage
April 15, 2009
- Yongsan Soldiers honor Year of the NCO
<strong>YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea</strong> - Senior enlisted leaders welcomed 16 noncommissioned officers into the corps with an NCO Induction Ceremony April 14 at the Yongsan Multipurpose Training Facility.
The sergeants participated in a unique ceremony to assume on the mantle of role models and leaders of Soldiers.
"The NCO Induction Ceremony is a time-honored rite of passage into the NCO Corps that brings meaning to what being an NCO is all about," said 1st Sgt. Darrin Costello, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison-Yongsan. "It's a great way to honor the NCO Corps and to honor Soldiers who are being inducted to the NCO Corps."
After the arrival of the official party, USAG-Yongsan Command Sgt. Maj. Rusch lit three candles symbolizing valor and hardiness, purity and innocence, and perseverance and justice.
Following the candle-lighting ceremony, 1st Sgt. Robert Wingers, 1st Sgt. Ramona Geiger, 1st Sgt. Willie Grandison and 1st Sgt. Darrin Costello marched onto the stage to form an arch of swords under which the 16 Soldiers walked through to become NCOs.
"I worked a long time to be in this position," Sgt. Michael Fillingim said. "It feels great to be an NCO and I will do my best to give proper guidance to my Soldiers, so that they are ready to fight on the battlefield."
The induction ceremony took on a special meaning as the Army celebrates 2009 as the "Year of the Noncommissioned Officer."
Another inductee, Sgt. Sandy Ackerman of Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 41st Signal Brigade, vowed to utilize "everything I have learned to train my soldiers and to give proper direction and motivation to do their jobs."
Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Rusch gave credit to Yongsan Readiness Center Sgt. 1st Class Marcia Matthews for organizing the event.
"Also, the Noncommissioned Officer Association gave the inductees a free one-year membership," Rusch said. "Command Sergeant Major Winzenried gave them a coin and a signed certificate welcoming them into the Corps, as well as the NCO Guide on digits."
The guest speaker, the senior enlisted leader in Korea, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Winzenried, encouraged the NCOs to find a role model.
"NCOs, this marks the beginning of your journey as a leader in our Army and I advise you to find a role model for this is critical to your development as a leader," he said. "They're easy to find. Always look around for the NCOs that Soldiers are going to for advice and guidance."
Secondly, he emphasized the need to enforce military standards.
"Deep inside we all want to be liked," he said. "We may be afraid that by enforcing rules the Soldiers may not like us. That may happen, but it is much more important to be respected than liked. So I encourage everyone to be role models and task you to follow the creed."
Finally, he closed his remarks with a meaningful question, which left all the NCOs in the room with something to think about.
"Remember it's all about standards and discipline," he said. "Remember all Soldiers are entitled to good leadership. Will you provide it'"
<div align="center"><a href="http://www.flickriver.com/photos/usag-yongsan/sets/72157616743739668/"><img src="http://www.flickriver.com/badge/user/set-72157616743739668/recent/shuffle/medium-horiz/ffffff/333333/25389429@N05.jpg" border="0" alt="usag.yongsan - View my 'Yongsan Noncommissioned Officer Induction Ceremony' set on Flickriver" title="usag.yongsan - View my 'Yongsan Noncommissioned Officer Induction Ceremony' set on Flickriver"/></a></div>