Natick holds inaugural NCO Induction Ceremony

By Bob Reinert/USAG-Natick Public AffairsOctober 8, 2013

Natick holds inaugural NCO Induction Ceremony
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NATICK, Mass. (Oct. 8, 2013) -- Followers became leaders as six noncommissioned officers were recognized Sept. 30 at U.S. Army Garrison Natick's inaugural NCO Induction Ceremony.

Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin B. Stuart of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command served as guest speaker at the ceremony, held at the Lord Community Center. Inductees included Sgt. David A. Gonzalez, Sgt. Matthew C. Lavallee, Sgt. Crystal L. Meints, Staff Sgt. Shaun M. Morand, Sgt. Dennis E. Scofield, and Sgt. Marissa G. Spitz.

"We had the opportunity to be included in this time-honored custom, which many Soldiers may never get to witness and be a part of," Spitz said. "I was happy to see so many folks from around (Natick Soldier Systems Center) at the event, to witness this important day for us Soldiers. We appreciate all of the hard work they do in their research for the Soldiers, and we try to give as much back as we can by being superior leaders and warfighters."

Natick Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Beausoleil reminded those in attendance of the event's importance.

"This induction ceremony that you just witnessed is a time-honored custom of select Soldiers being inducted into the … corps of the noncommissioned officers," Beausoleil said.

In his remarks, Stuart welcomed the Natick Soldiers to the NCO Corps.

"You are now part of the NCO heritage," Stuart told the inductees. "You now have the opportunity to contribute to the legacy of outstanding service and leadership. You now have the opportunity to be part of a team that has been around for about 238 years. You now have the opportunity to be a part of a corps that has been in every battle, every skirmish, every war from the Revolutionary War to present."

Stuart pointed out that today's NCOs must train, teach, coach and mentor Soldiers to success while working under a great deal of scrutiny.

"You see, in a sense, we live in a glass house," Stuart said. "People are always watching us. They need that leadership. They want that leadership."

Stuart told the NCOs that leading Soldiers won't always be easy.

"You've got to make tough decisions sometimes. You're going to face tough situations and circumstances."

Leadership isn't just about rank, positions and functions, Stuart said. He added that it's about relationship, friendship, fellowship, partnership, sportsmanship, sponsorship and mentorship.

"We have to be the best at what we do. We lead by example. Always strive for excellence."

During the ceremony, the NCOs passed under an arch and crossed swords, symbolizing their transition from followers to leaders.

"Once you cross that line, there's no crossing back," Stuart said. "More than ever, our noncommissioned officers are needed in our Army."

Spitz said she was impressed with what Stuart had to say to her and her fellow inductees.

"CSM Stuart … gave a very inspiring speech on the Army values and leadership," said Spitz, "tools I will definitely use on a daily basis."