NCOs of "Pershing's Own" recognized by Army Secretary
April 21, 2009
FT. MYER, Va. -- Army Secretary Pete Geren commended the noncommissioned officers of The United States Army Band, "Pershing's Own," during a visit to their headquarters at Fort Myer, Va., April 21, 2009. Geren noted the unique contributions of the band's NCOs in representing the Army to over two million Americans at 5,800 events in 2008.
Aca,!A"YouAca,!a,,cre great professionals and great NCOs,Aca,!A? Geren said. Aca,!A"You are great ambassadors for the Army, and you tell the Army story in a powerful and unique way.Aca,!A?
GerenAca,!a,,cs visit coincided with a rehearsal of the Army Concert Band and the popular music ensemble Downrange in preparation for a concert in Newport News, Va. He presented each Soldier with a coin and handshake.
Aca,!A"The message you send out to the entire world is a powerful message. ItAca,!a,,cs a lift to the spirit of Soldiers and their Families Aca,!" a message thatAca,!a,,cs inspiring to all who hear it,Aca,!A? he said.
The Army Secretary also visited the bandAca,!a,,cs music library, where Army Band Chief Arranger Sgt. Maj. Paul Murtha discussed the responsibilities of maintaining sheet music for the national anthem of each country. Music sometimes changes when the leadership of foreign governments change, and Murtha explained how the band took pains to ensure the right piece of music would be played at ceremonies, a situation Geren compared to the orderly cataloging of flags for diplomatic use at the Pentagon.
Murtha said the Army secretary seemed Aca,!A"very interested in what we do here,Aca,!A? and enjoyed discussing the importance of avoiding diplomatic faux pas.
Aca,!A"Everyone gives out coins,Aca,!A? he added, Aca,!A"but this oneAca,!a,,cs a keeper.Aca,!A?
Before departing, Geren expanded on the importance of the Year of the NCO.
Aca,!A"When we reflect over what the Army has accomplished since 9/11 and the extraordinary demands that our country has put upon our Soldiers and their Families, the leadership that has held our Army together during these challenging times is the NCO,Aca,!A? the Army secretary said.
Geren said designating 2009 the Year of the NCO helped raise the profile of the noncommissioned officer.
Aca,!A"We want to Aca,!A| inform the Congress, inform America and inform young people who are considering careers and thinking about what they want to do with their life,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"Today just a small percentage of America has any kind of personal contact with our Army. And we want Americans, we want young people who are considering careers to see these NCOs, to see what an extraordinary opportunity it is to serve our country.Aca,!A?
The essence of an NCO is about Aca,!A"a commitment to service; to something thatAca,!a,,cs larger than themselves,Aca,!A? said Geren. Aca,!A"We have an NCO creed that our NCOs embrace and live daily. No matter where you serve as a noncommissioned officer in the United States Army, you embrace that creed and you live that creed. ThereAca,!a,,cs an intangible there, a sense of duty, a sense of accomplishment, a sense of responsibility, a sense of pride. Those intangibles really bind our noncommissioned officer corps together.Aca,!A?