CONTINGENCY OPERATING LOCATION Q-WEST, Iraq - The Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), inducted 48 newly-promoted noncommissioned officers from units across Contingency Operating Location Q-West into the NCO corps during a ceremony March 31 at the Morale, Welfare and Recreation center here.

"Being a NCO is more than acquiring a skill, passing boards or completing courses," said Sgt. Elizabeth Gaytan, a personnel NCO with the STB and the ceremony's narrator. "It is the change in mentality about how we conduct our day-to-day business."

An NCO's focus becomes the accomplishment of the mission and the welfare of their Soldiers, continued Gaytan, a Los Angeles, native.

"We change our frame of thought from worrying about ourselves to mentoring, training, guiding, leading and taking care of our Soldiers," Gaytan said. "We put their needs and welfare above our own."

The ceremony's guest speaker was Master Sgt. Vanessa Price, the food services noncommissioned officer in charge for the 15th Sust. Bde.

"There's nothing like being a part of a team where everyone relies on you to accomplish the mission while ensuring the welfare of all Soldiers," Price, a Shreveport, La., native, said.

As NCOs, the newly inducted Soldiers are charged with making decisions that are both legally and morally sound while taking care of the mission, the unit and the Soldiers, Price said.

These NCOs are ready for the challenge, Price added.

Price told the new NCOs to continue to improve themselves, but reminded them that they are responsible for their Soldiers now - and the NCOs needed to put the Soldiers first.

"Encourage [your Soldiers] to stay focused, and teach them how to make good decisions," Price said.

The NCOs need to know and live the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer, and not just memorize it for the promotion board, and no matter how far the NCO goes, there is always room for improvement, Price said.

"Are you ready for this responsibility'" Price asked the new NCOs.

"Yes, you are," she answered.

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