BAMBERG, Germany -- More than 220 noncommissioned officers from several units on post gathered for an NCO Call March 5 at the Warner Conference Center to recognize the Year of the NCO.

The event was planned and managed by U.S. Army Garrison Bamberg personnel, but the event was intended for all NCOs on post, said Command Sgt. Maj. Bruce A. Lee, USAG Bamberg.

"The Year of the NCO is about you, you, you and you," Lee said looking about the several NCOs in attendance. "We want to recognize the leadership, professionalism, commitment, courage, and dedication of the NCO Corps."

In January, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, Chief of Staff of the Army George W. Casey Jr. and Sergeant Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston announced 2009 as a year for recognizing contributions made by NCOs past and present.

"When the Secretary of the Army, the Chief of Staff and the Sergeant Major of the Army announced the Year of the NCO, it got me thinking," Lee said. "Why now' Why this year'

"We have been out front since day one of our history," he said. "I came to the conclusion that we are doing more now as an NCO Corps than ever before and we need to continue to sustain, improve and tell our story because it's a powerful one.

"We are the keepers of the standards. Nothing happens in the Army without an NCOs involvement. You are the caretakers of America's sons, daughters, brothers and sisters.

"You are making history and may not realize it," Lee said. "We are winning the war on terror because of what you do every day. Tomorrow is uncertain; our next enemy is unknown; how they will fight is unknown; where the fight will take place is unknown. The one thing we know, for certain, is NCOs will be leading the way in that fight."

Sgt. Carlos Prendergast, 16th Sustainment Brigade, said having the Soldiers gather for the NCO Call was important.

"It is very rare that we have the backbone of the community all at one place at one time," Lee said, who came up with the idea for the NCO Call.

Prendergast said the venue was appropriate for the NCOs to share their mutual experiences and collaborate on the purpose of the Year of the NCO.

Lee explained the reasons for having the Year of the NCO and what the campaign is trying to accomplish. He pointed out three initiatives for the Year of the NCO, which are to enhance, recognize, and inform:
Aca,!Ac Enhance NCOs' education, fitness, leadership development, and pride in service through implementation of programs and policies that sustain and grow our NCO Corps.
Aca,!Ac Recognize the leadership, professionalism, commitment, courage and dedication of the NCO Corps.
Aca,!Ac Inform and educate the American people, Congress, and government institutions of the roles, responsibilities and the quality service of our NCO Corps.

The NCO Call was one of many Year of the NCO events that will take place on post this year, Lee said.

"Throughout the year, we will highlight these initiatives in various forums and I encourage you to come out and take part no matter what organization might be hosting the event," Lee said. "I ask that you do your part. Do your part by sitting down with your young Soldiers and Officers and tell the NCO story. Tell them what the Year of the NCO is all about. Take the time... go to the Web pages and blogs and news articles and continue to educate yourself.