No one is more professional than I. I am a noncommissioned officer, a leader of Soldiers. As a noncommissioned officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as "The Backbone of the Army…"

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, MD -- Thirty-one Soldiers joined the noncommissioned officer ranks in an NCO induction ceremony here hosted by the 781st Military Intelligence Battalion (MI BN) in the McGill Training Center, April 11.

Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Cullen, the garrison command sergeant major for Fort George G. Meade, was the guest speaker and part of the official party. Other members of the official party included Command Sgt. Maj. Cecil Reynolds, the command sergeant major for the 781st Military Intelligence Battalion (MI BN), and 1st Sgt. Stanley Collins, the first sergeant for Echo Company, 782nd MI BN (E/782 MI).

Prior to ceremony Cullen explained the importance and separation that occurs when a Soldier becomes an NCO.

"It's a challenge because NCOs, as they get promoted, are still with the Soldiers with whom they serve," said Cullen. "After the ceremony, it shows that separation has now occurred, and they are now leaders of that organization."

The ceremony was steeped in Army tradition and included an acapella singing of our National Anthem by Spc. Manning Stone and an invocation by Staff Sgt. Daniel Goodman. Members of the 781st MI BN read the history of the NCO Corp and NCO Creed, and the recitation of the NCO Creed was presented by 1st Sgt. Danny Hurst, the first sergeant for Alpha Company, 781st MI BN (A/781 MI), Master Sgt. Cory MacNeil, Delta Company, 781st MI BN (D/781 MI), and Sgt. 1st Class David Jorden, Charlie Company, 781st MI BN (C/781 MI).

After being officially inducted into the NCO Corps and receiving a copy of the NCO Creed and the NCO Charge from the official party, the newly minted NCOs recited the Oath of the United States Army Noncommissioned Officer and the Charge of the NCO.

Following the ceremony two of the new NCOs discussed what the ceremony meant to them and their goals for the future.

"I can use the mentorship I've learned over the past couple of years, and help promote and teach those same standards to other Soldiers," said Sgt. Daniel Goodman, E/782 MI. "My goal is to help mentor other Soldiers and move them along the path that I have been on."

"Being an NCO means much more responsibility," added Sgt. Garth Summey, D/781 MI. "I need to be an example and take into consideration other people's needs, more so than I did when I was a lower enlisted."

Summey said that while his long-term goal was for more advancement; his focus at this point was on becoming an expert in his field.

Cullen had this advice for the new NCOs, "Be patient, never stop learning, and always ask questions. And most of all, take care of your Soldiers. Take care of them and they'll take care of you."

Participating in ceremony and joining the NCO Corps were -- Sgt. Benjamin Allen, B/781 MI; Sgt. Jonathan Baker, D/781 MI; Sgt. Daniel Cardinale, B/781 MI; Sgt. Michael Chong, B/781 MI; Sgt. Taylor Domschke, D/781 MI; Sgt. Gregory Esquivel, B/781 MI; Sgt. James Fearing, A/781 MI; Sgt. Reed Follensbee, C/781 MI; Sgt. Joshua Gallamore, A/781 MI; Sgt. Derek Gilbert, D/781 MI; Sgt. Daniel Goodman, E/782 MI; Sgt. David Gunnerson, E/782 MI; Sgt. Jeffrey Lu, D/781 MI; Sgt. Melanie Miller, C/781 MI; Sgt. Michael Morin, B/781 MI; Sgt. Moriah Moya, A/781 MI; Sgt. Christopher Pandoliano, D/781 MI; Sgt. Jason Postema, C/781 MI; Sgt. Justin Riopelle, E/782 MI; Sgt. Kristina Robertson, E/782 MI; Sgt. Andrew Sessoms, B/781 MI; Sgt. Brian Stout, E/782 MI; Sgt. Garth Summey, D/781 MI; Sgt. Cameron Sutherland, E/782 MI; Sgt. Ryan Szaroletta, A/781 MI; Sgt. Aisha Umar, C/781 MI; Sgt. Ryan Vandegriff, B/781 MI; Sgt. Jesus Vargas, D/781 MI; Sgt. Gregory Waxmonsky, D/781 MI; Sgt. Stewart Williams, B/781 MI; and Sgt. Allyn Wilson, A/781 MI.