WIESBADEN, Germany -- Twenty U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to the 2nd Theater Signal Brigade were welcomed into the ranks of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps during an NCO induction ceremony hosted by the 102nd Strategic Signal Battalion, Nov. 9, 2017 at the Hercules Theater in Ramstein.

The new NCOs are assigned to units in 2nd Theater Signal Bde., including the 102nd Strategic Signal Battalion; Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Theater Signal Bde.; and the Lt. Gen. Robert E. Gray Regional Cyber Center Europe.

The guest speaker was Sgt. Maj. Kenneth "John" Carlson, the 21st Theater Sustainment Command G-6 Communications and Information Management sergeant major. He spoke about the meaning of the Army values, NCOs as the "backbone" of the Army, and what it takes to be a good leader.

"Being a good leader is tough and evolutionary. Being a good leader means that those that count on you can count on you being there when they need you the most. And a good leader means that those that you count on will be there for you when you need them the most," Carlson said.

Carlson emphasized the importance for leaders to stay current, proficient and be constant learners.

"Soldiers can only benefit from your leadership if it is current, relevant and trustworthy. This comes from consistently improving yourself personally, professionally and spiritually as a Soldier and as a member of something much larger than us," Carlson said.

During the ceremony the Soldiers walked through an arch on stage as their names were read aloud and emerged on the other side as NCOs.

Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Davis, 102nd Strategic Signal Bn. senior enlisted advisor, said becoming an NCO is the key point in a Soldier's life when they transition from follower to leader.

This critical promotion takes you into an entirely new world where you are the teacher, coach and mentor. You are responsible and entrusted with the development of America's future leaders -- a tall task that will require many long hours and dedication to duty," Davis said.

He said junior leaders in the 102nd Strategic Signal Bn. face a unique set of challenges serving in Europe. Davis explained the battalion's Soldiers are geographically dispersed across the theater, requiring junior leaders to be technically proficient and often operate independently to lead teams providing robust communications support in garrison and to the Soldiers on the battlefield.

"A newly indoctrinated NCO is able to rise to all duties and responsibilities as you are now a part of the backbone of the Army," Davis said.

---

2nd Theater Signal Brigade conducts Department of Defense Information Network operations to enable mission command in support of U.S. Army, Joint and multinational operations throughout the U.S. European Command and U.S. Africa Command areas of operation.