Standing out: Combat engineer specialists step up, laterally transfer to corporal
July 21, 2012
FORT DRUM, N.Y. - Four Soldiers assigned to the 444th Engineer Company of Oswego, received a lateral transfer to the rank of corporal here, July 14.
During the company's annual extended combat training, specialists Barry J. Bullis, of Baldwinsville, Christopher Zajac of North Syracuse, John M. Anderson of Henderson, and Charles J. Delaney of Brewerton, N.Y., received prestigious entrance into the corps of the non-commissioned officer in an evening ceremony.
Because of their outstanding performance, unit leadership decided to induct the Soldiers into the ranks of the non-commissioned officers.
"The main body of the 444th, which contain the bulk of our non-commissioned officer leadership, is on deployment in Afghanistan," said Sgt. 1st Class Charles Haws, unit training NCO.
Since January, members of the 444th have been deployed to Afghanistan. The mission is primarily route clearance, said Haws.
"In the rear detachment, we have specialists stepping into NCO positions," said Haws. "The lateral transfer to the rank of corporal is a way to recognize their position and their outstanding leadership."
"I have been impressed so far with how they have performed with their respective groups at levels that outrank them," said Capt. Andrew H. Kless, an engineer officer with the 444th. "This rank shows our respect to them as leaders."
The criterion for a lateral transfer from the rank of specialist to corporal in the U.S. Army is that the specialist must be serving in a leadership position, which would have been occupied by a non-commissioned officer. The rank of corporal is usually given to soldiers working in combat arms and combat support occupations.
"We thank our leadership for trusting us to take the responsibility," said Anderson.
"Knowing that our senior leadership trusts us with the rank of an NCO is an honor," said Anderson. "When our members [soldiers] return home, they will know we were here to keep the company in good shape."
The four new corporals said they look forward to more responsibility and higher expectations from their superiors.