By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJune 30, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 30, 2016) -- The Army takes the transition from enlisted Soldier to NCO seriously, and Fort Rucker gained 42 new leaders as they were welcomed into the NCO Corps during a ceremony at the post theater June 24.
Soldiers from 20 different units were inducted into the NCO Corps where they were charged to lead by example. Command Sgt. Maj. Gregory M. Chambers, command sergeant major of the Aviation Branch, presided over the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence NCO Academy-sponsored ceremony, and offered his advice on the significance of the moment and the Soldiers' newfound responsibilities.
"This ceremony signifies a critical point in a Soldier's career, where they become an NCO -- where they assume a greater level of responsibility for Soldiers, equipment and the accomplishment of the mission," he said during the ceremony. "Being a disciplined and responsible NCO will help you perform your job as an NCO leader. Remember, they go hand in hand -- you can't be disciplined without being responsible and you can't be responsible without being disciplined."
Chambers recited excerpts from the Soldiers Creed and the NCO Creed, as well as listed some core Army values and said that it was important for each Soldiers to understand the meaning behind the words.
"I do not expect you to memorize all of the creeds or have them posted at your workplace, but I do expect you to understand them," he said. "They all constitute our values, our morals and our characteristics of our Army.
"Discipline is doing what is right when it concerns what our Army is all about -- our values, our professional conduct, our trust to our nation and the citizens of our country," said the command sergeant major. "The professional discipline in front of Soldiers you are entrusted to lead and take care of as an NCO is critical to the development of your Soldiers. The example you set in front of your Soldiers will probably be one of the greatest tests of discipline there is.
Chambers added that the Soldiers shouldn't look at the Army as a job, but a profession, and that true professionals are expected to be more than just being technically and tactically proficient.
A true professional is a competent, committed, adaptive Soldier who is physically fit and part of a cohesive team of trusted professionals that respect the diversity of their team and the unit, he said, adding that a professional Army Soldier understands that duty in the Army is all the time.
Although many things make up an Army professional, Chambers said one key element that cannot be overlooked is trust.
"Trust is critical to a noncommissioned officer," he said. "Trust must be earned between you and your Soldiers. Trust must be earned between you and your leaders. Trust is the bedrock of our Army, so understand when you erode that trust, you tear down our Army and our profession."
For Sgt. Alaia Russell, 615th Aviation Support Battalion, building that trust and that profession is something she is looking forward to.
"I'm happy that I get the opportunity to do this," she said. "To be an NCO means that I'm going to be able to take care of Soldiers. It means that instead of just learning and taking that knowledge, I'm going to be able to train and apply everything that I've learned from my leaders and my experiences -- and that's what it's about."