USAG Schinnen NCOs kicked off the Year of the NCO with a special event in the garrison's Activity Center Feb. 26, which included presentations of NCO history, a specially designed banner and a video presentation. To watch the video, go to the Related Links box on the right.

From the presentations, to the buffet lunch, and from the banner design to the production of the video - the NCOs did it all in the true can-do, make-it-happen spirit of Soldiering.

USAG Schinnen Command Sgt. Major Mary L. Brown led by reading the proclamation declaring 2009 as the Year of the NCO, an initiative that is very clear in its purpose: to enhance NCO's education, fitness, leadership development and pride in service through the implementation of programs and policies that support the sustainment and growth of the NCO Corps.

The Year of the NCO recognizes the leadership, professionalism, commitment, courage and dedication of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps.

Army-wide, the initiative will strive to better inform and educate Congress, government institutions, and the American people of the roles, responsibilities, and the quality of service of our NCO Corps.

Echoing the words of the proclamation, Brown said, "NCOs are the keepers of our standards. From the recruiting station to basic training to combat zones; civil affairs to medicine to logistics; natural disaster assistance to graveside attendance at Arlington; whether Active, Guard or Reserve take the lead. Hence the phrase, Sergeants take the lead!"

Following this introduction, USAG Schinnen NCOs led garrison personnel through a time capsule of NCO history, courage and sacrifice.

NCOs were selected to make a presentation on the history of the NCO ranks, the uniform, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients from World War II, Staff Sgt. Archer T. Gammon; Vietnam, 1st Sgt. David H. McNerney; Somalia, Sgt. 1st Class Randall D. Shughart; and Operation Iraqi Freedom, Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith; as well as top NCOs serving today in Afghanistan and as the Sergeant Major of the Army.

The history of the NCO Creed, a doctrinal statement of how the "backbone of the
Army" measures up to the expectation of professional Soldiering, was also explained then followed by a ceremonial cake cutting and unveiling of a "Faces of Schinnen" banner that will be displayed throughout 2009.

The NCO Creed also was the "story board" for the video directed by Command
Sgt. Maj. Brown, including the NCOs of USAG Schinnen, and produced with the help of retired Air Force Tech. Sgt. John R. Glantz.

You find the video under Aca,!A"Related LinksAca,!A? on this page.

Since 1775, the Army has set apart its NCOs from other enlisted Soldiers by distinctive insignia, expectations and responsibilities. Historical and daily accounts of "life as an NCO" are exemplified by acts of courage, dedication and a willingness to do "whatever it takes" to complete the mission.

The NCOs of USAG Schinnen have kicked-off this special year in this tradition. Hooah!