FORT KNOX, Kentucky -- The Non-Commissioned Officer Corps officially grew Wednesday afternoon as Ireland Army Community Hospital welcomed 17 NCOs into the corps in its first NCO Induction Ceremony in six years.

The ceremony at Waybur Theater included an Honor Guard provided by the Human Resources Command, video presentations, a guest speaker and the traditional NCO Sabers.

"US MEDDAC Fort Knox had not had an NCO induction ceremony in six years," said Command Sgt. Maj. Iteago L. Felton, IRACH command sergeant major. "This is a ceremony every sergeant should have after the promotion to rank of sergeant. I will make sure that happens from this point on, with the next NCO induction ceremony being in November 2013 and every six months after."

An NCO Induction Ceremony is a celebration of the newly promoted joining the ranks of a professional noncommissioned officer corps. It emphasizes and builds on the pride of the members of such an elite corps. The ceremony also serves to honor the memory of those men and women of the NCO Corps who have served with pride and distinction.

"The rank of sergeant is the dream of every Soldier upon entry into the US Army," Felton said. "Sergeant is the one of the most recognized ranks in the world. Today 17 sergeants were inducted into the Non Commissioned Officer Corps and the dream has turned into reality with this ceremony."

The guest speaker for IRACH's ceremony was Command Sgt. Maj. Benjamin Scott, command sergeant major of the Northern Regional Medical Command. Scott told the newly inducted NCOs congratulations on their special day, and offered fifteen points of advice on leadership and life during his speech.

"Develop relationships," he said. "We get nothing accomplished without having someone else with us. Don't use 'backbone' as a cliché. You are always watched, and you represent the Army."

He suggested the importance of simple things, such as having people over for lunch -- an easy way to develop better relationships and improve communication, and studying people to know them by their first name. He discussed the significance of intelligence and character as human traits, having the ability to negotiate, and working hard so at the end of the day, results are truly accomplished.

"If you fall short today, just make it up tomorrow," he said. "Overcome attitudes that 'we've always done it this way.' We don't always need to do the same things the same way."

To the NCOs who participated, such as Sgt. Justin Lewis, this day was a culmination of many years of hard work.

"As a NCO you must be a leader of Soldiers," said Lewis. "An NCO leads their Soldiers to success in all aspects of their lives, from duty specific to the home life. An NCO is someone that is looked to for guidance and it is our honor as well as our responsibility to ensure our Soldiers are on the correct path for success. The induction ceremony was inspirational. It was a proud moment to have my senior NCOs welcome me into the Corps."

Sgt. Monica Treme' agreed that the ceremony instilled pride and a desire to continue working harder.

"Being an NCO to me is about having pride in the Corps, other NCO's, your job, country and the Soldiers that you lead," said Treme'. "Being part of the NCO induction ceremony just made me feel more pride being in the Corps and wanting to lead Soldiers even better than before."

Scott concluded his speech during the ceremony by offering a challenge to the newly inducted NCOs.

"If you can do something better, should you?" he asked. "Then why aren't you? Get engaged. That's leadership. Lead yourself first."

IRACH NCOs inducted were:
SGT Anthony Alexander; SGT Ryann Alexander; SGT Daniel Brophy; SGT Shawn Brown; SGT Judson Charlton; SGT Bridget Edmondson; SGT Melissa Ferguson; SGT Kenneth Fitzner; SGT Roxanne Flores; SGT Larry Hendricks; SGT Dominique Johnson; SGT Justin Lewis; SGT Shawn Moyer; SGT Ryan Myers; SGT Michael Poole; SGT Justin Russell; SGT Monica Treme.