CAMP TAJI, Iraq - Fifty Soldiers from Irvine, California's 419th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion were inducted into the noncommissioned officers corps during a ceremony here March 27.

Many new NCOs waited to take part in this ceremony, to listen to the advice and expectations as new leaders from the 419th CSSB senior NCOs.

"You guys own a piece of the Army now. These Soldiers are yours. You let the officers borrow them sometimes, but at the end of the day you take them back," said Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Swanson, a native of Perris, Calif., and 419th CSSB command sergeant major.

First Sgt. Royce L. Harris, a Lubbock, Texas native and Alpha Company, 949th Brigade Support Battalion first sergeant explained, "The soldiers are not here to serve you, but you are there to serve them."

First Sgt. Craig D. Hale, a Weatherford, Texas native and F Company, 949th BSB first sergeant said, "You are the future legacy of the Army, and your leadership, dedication and commitment is what defines you. you need to lead the troops, feed the troops, and train them."

First Sgt. Brian P. Stoops, a native of Butler, Pa., and Mannheim, Germany's 68th Transportation Company first sergeant said, "NCOs, I charge you to know yourself and seek self-improvement; know your Soldiers and train them. Set the example in all that you do. Remember, setting the example is not a job, it is a way of life, 24/7."

First Sgt. Lamando A. Parker, a native of Salisbury, N.C., and 991st Trans. Co., first sergeant said "Your success is not judged by how far you move up in the ranks ... but how many Soldiers you help move through the ranks. NCOs are homegrown. As sergeants, you produce good or bad NCOs"

As a Perris, Calif. native, 1st Sgt. Donald R. Mills and Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 419th CSSB first sergeant said, "Always do the right thing," as many senior NCOs offered their guidance of advice and were witness to these young leaders who took the first step into the NCO corps under the archway.

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