Greca recognizes NCOs at Army Birthday celebration
June 22, 2009
- Fort Polk celebrates Army's 234th with emphasis on NCOs
FORT POLK, La. -- Soldiers and local dignitaries gathered at the Showboat Theatre June 15 to celebrate the Army's 234th birthday. The festivities began with a streamer ceremony -- Brig. Gen. James Yarbrough, commander, Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk, and JRTC and Fort Polk Command Sgt. Maj. Christopher Greca, affixed streamers to the Army flag representing all of the Army's campaigns.
"You have just witnessed 178 streamers being added to our flag," Greca said. "The streamers represent the millions of Soldiers who have served. Though not always voluntarily, they endured the hardships sometimes associated with our profession of arms. All of these streamers are snapshots of time. They represent the battles and campaigns that have defined us, not only as a country, but as an Army."
Greca recognized the contributions of Fort Polk's non-commissioned officers to the Army's history, including Sgt. Rene Carella, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Staff Sgt. Rockman Cosby, 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Staff Sgt. Ryan Somerlot, 83rd Chemical Battalion and Staff Sgt. Eric Goldson, Operations Group.
"Since our beginning, non-commissioned officers have made a difference to our Army," he said. "They helped Washington preserve our forces at Valley Forge, stood with Winfield Scott at Chippewa, and directed Zachary Taylor's guns at Palo Alto. I could continue with every significant campaign in our history."
Greca highlighted the exploits of several Fort Polk Soldiers in recent actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"This is our history, and it is happening on the battlefields on which we find ourselves today, by organizations assigned to JRTC and Fort Polk in Iraq and Afghanistan," Greca said. "Our leaders are defining our history."
Greca also recognized Fort Polk NCOs for their volunteer service to the Army and the community, including Sgt. Terrance Carter, Medical Activity, Staff Sgt. Stephen Hadder, 5th Aviation Battalion, Cpl. Edward Cummings, 4th BCT, 10th Mtn Div, Cpl. John McCall, 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.
"Whether in battle or at home, influencing, impacting, developing, teaching, coaching or counseling, these NCOs and others are making a difference and have for 234 years," he said. "Our NCO corps is unrivaled by any other in the world -- envied by our allies, feared by our enemies. This is a large part of the snapshot of our Army, stationed right here at Fort Polk. Whether on the battlefields of Iraq or Afghanistan, in the billets of Fort Polk, or the streets of Leesville, Anacoco or DeRidder, our NCOs and leaders are making a difference today."
As an example of the Army's appreciation for history and continued excellence, two NCOs were inducted into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club. Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Grzywa and Sgt. 1st Class Ronnie Robertson were inducted by Greca.
Looking to the future, Greca said the Army's story is not finished.
"My pledge is that we will continue to lead and set the example for the years ahead, and at future Army birthday celebrations NCO leaders will continue to display themselves as the standard setters, role models and the backbone of our Army."