LIVORNO, Italy - Being inducted into the Army's Noncommissioned Officer Corps is a time-honored tradition, with even more focus on the event in 2009 as it is Year of the NCO.

Accordingly, Camp Darby held an induction ceremony March 6 for seven Soldiers: Staff Sgt. Joshua Eubanks, Staff Sgt. Ekachai Steinhorst, Staff Sgt. Thomas Garrard and Sgt. Nicole L. McCabe, all Soldiers with the 511th Military Police Platoon; Sgt. Christopher Everett, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Livorno; Sgt. James Wassom, U.S. Army Health Clinic Livorno; and Sgt. Jennifer Livingston and Sgt. Ryan Hall from AFN Livorno.

USAG Livorno Command Sgt. Maj. Felix Rodriguez told community members attending the ceremony that throughout the Army's history, the NCO has been a pivotal figure, but never more so than today with our full spectrum of operations.

"As we embrace our ever-growing and ever-changing responsibilities, our leaders trust our judgment and support our decisions, because they know we are the backbone of our Army," said Rodriguez. " We are NCO Strong and Army Strong, Hooah!"

Inductee Hall added that "the Army, (and our nation), depends on us to shape our junior enlisted soldiers into the kind of warriors we need them to be."

"For anyone in any career field to be successful, proper and thorough training is paramount and NCO's do that job," said Hall. "In fact, the way that we train our troops needs to reflect that that they are 'America's Finest' and our up and coming warriors can live up to the up to the expectations that are placed upon them."