Soldiers from Fort Bragg's 20th Engineer Brigade reach enlisted milestone
August 24, 2009
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Twenty-four Soldiers from the 20th Engineer Brigade held up their right hands and were sworn in to the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers at the York Theater Friday.
The ceremony, the 20th Eng. Bde.'s first since redeploying in November of last year, was to recognize the Soldiers who had been promoted to the rank of sergeant and mark what is often a significant moment in the career of an enlisted Soldier.
"This is pretty much my whole purpose in joining the military - to become a non-commissioned officer," said Sgt. Richard Raby, who serves as the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear sergeant for the 100th Eng. Company. "So this is a great, great thing for me."
The ceremony began with the singing of the National Anthem and the posting of the colors by the honor guard. It also included a candle lighting ceremony honoring NCOs of the past, present and future, and the tradition of the NCO in which six Soldiers portrayed historic NCOs in full costume.
"Throughout our Army's history, NCOs have performed vital tasks as small unit leaders, technical experts, trainers and most importantly, guardians of the Army's standard," said Command Sgt. Maj. Butler Kendrick Jr. of the 20th Eng. Bde., and host of the ceremony. "Being an NCO is not just a job, it is a profession and a way of life."
Sgt. Alexandra Cramer, the deputy brigade commander's driver, 20th Eng. Bde. said she feels great pride being inducted, crediting NCOs from her past as being the reason she wanted to become an NCO.
"This is a significant stepping stone for all of us as young, noncommissioned officers," said Raby.
Guest speaker, Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry Faulk, 1st Battalion (Air and Missile Defense), 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment of Fort Hood, Texas, along with Kendrick, presented each Soldier with a coin, the NCO charge and the NCO creed after they passed under the ceremonial arches.
The event concluded with the youngest of the inductees, Sgt. Daniel Grubbs, 21, and Faulk cutting the cake together, symbolizing the passing of wisdom and experience to the junior NCOs.
"My sincerest congratulations to each of you upon completion of this milestone in your noncommissioned officer professional career," said Faulk.