By Sgt. M. Benjamin GableApril 17, 2009
HUMPHREYS GARRISON-As the sun rose over Humphreys Garrison, 30 Soldiers and noncommissioned officers formed up near the post chapel to begin the second post-wide "Year of the NCO" run, here April 10.
The relatively small number of runners, though, soon swelled to over 500 as the lead group was joined by other companies during their four-mile route. Each company joined the run with their guide-ons and shouted cadences to keep in step.
Humphreys Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Jason K. Kim, a native of Seoul and a 28-year veteran of the Army led the Soldiers and set the pace.
"This is a great event," he said. "The run promotes unity within the companies and battalions." This was the second post NCO run this year, the first was held in February.
In October of 2008, the Army Chief of Staff declared 2009 "The Year of the NCO." With more than 200 years of service, NCO's have distinguished themselves as some of the most professional men and women in the world. And this year, the Army is showing its respect and commitment to these leaders by highlighting their strength and leadership abilities.
According to Kim, it is important to capitalize on these opportunities to showcase NCO's for the Army and the American people. He added a good NCO is someone who can train Soldiers, lead from the front and be able to accomplish any mission given to him or her.
"Every time I see an NCO, they make me so proud," he said, "I just refer to the first line in the NCO creed - No one is more professional than I."
After the run, Kim and Command Sgt Maj. Victor Garcia, Defense Commissary Agency Senior Enlisted Advisor, Fort Lee, Virginia, who was at Humphreys Garrison for six days for training, spoke with Soldiers and NCO's in attendance. Garcia noted the importance of NCO's doing their best on a daily basis and celebrating the Year of the NCO. "I have missed many 'Hooah' events such as this one because of my schedule over the last year," said Garcia. "But I was very excited to participate in this event with so many great Soldiers here at Humphreys."
Sgt. 1st Class Eugene Brown, S-4 noncommissioned officer in charge from Headquarters Company, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade, participated in the run and led Soldiers with cadences. Brown said the run was a great chance for Soldiers to come together and enjoy camaraderie and esprit de corps.
Kim plans to have a "Year of the NCO" run no less than six times this year. He also hopes to have NCO induction ceremonies during the months in which there is no run. He said it's also a way to honor Soldiers at Humphreys Garrison for the sacrifices they have made for their country.