By Sgt. Shannon Black, 27th BSB, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div.February 6, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE ADDER, Iraq - Eleven newly-promoted noncommissioned officers, assigned to the 27th Brigade Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, participated in an induction ceremony at the Memorial Hall here Feb. 1.
A long table, draped with a red, white and blue table cloth and ceremonial punch bowl, was positioned in the center as three senior enlisted NCO's lit three candles as part of the ceremonial right of passage from enlisted Soldier to NCO.
After each candle was lit, the nominees and all other NCO's in the audience recited the three paragraphs of the NCO Creed as the inductees prepare to officially grasp their leadership responsibilities.
Command Sgt. Maj. Edwin Rodriguez, the senior enlisted NCO of the 4th BCT, 1st Cavalry Division, reflected on the traditions and history of the NCO Corps, along with all who attended the ceremony.
Rodriguez, a native of Puerto Rico, addressed the nominees and challenged them to lead their soldiers by example and maintain a high level of professionalism.
"Some people don't believe that today's Noncommissioned Officers have the necessary skills to lead Soldiers because many haven't served in the Army for many years," said Rodriguez. "But many of (the newly inducted NCO's) who have only been in the Army for only a few years, have already been deployed to combat zones at least twice,"
After the nominees were presented with their new-found tools of the trade, which consisted of NCO guides and motivating words from their fellow troops, the inductees drank a glass of punch together, as the narrator of the event explained the ingredients in the mixture including: pride, motivation, skill, caring, tradition, wisdom, judgment, commitment, humility, professionalism and courage.
After the ceremony, the inductees turned and faced the audience, who applauded and then welcomed them all into the Corps of Noncommissioned Officers.