WIESBADEN, Germany -- Twenty-two U.S. and German Signal Soldiers were formally inducted into the ranks of the Noncommissioned Officer Corps during a ceremony hosted by the 102d Strategic Signal Battalion, 2d Theater Signal Brigade, June 28, 2018 in the Tony Bass Auditorium in Wiesbaden.

The new NCOs are assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2d Theater Signal Bde.; Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 102d Strategic Signal Bn.; the U.S. Army Signal Activity - Kaiserslautern (USASA-K), 102d Strategic Signal Bn.; and the Bundeswehr's 282nd CIS Support Battalion in Kastellaun, the 102d Strategic Signal Battalion's designated partner unit.

The guest speaker at the ceremony was U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Ulysses Rayford, the U.S. Army Installation Management Command - Europe senior enlisted leader and a career Signal Soldier. He offered the new NCOs advice from his 26 years of service, including the importance of being good listeners and caring for Soldiers and their families.

"Always do something positive for someone every day," Rayford said.

He said expectations are high for NCOs, and he challenged the inductees to be great.

"Ask questions, be willing to learn and don't be afraid to admit when you make mistakes," Rayford said. "Innovation starts from the bottom, not the top. Be that change agent."

The inductees each walked through an arch and past other NCOs holding crossed sabers before receiving a framed copy of the NCO Charge in English and German.

U.S. Army Sgt. Christopher Sargent, one of the inductees assigned to USASA-K, said it feels good to be part of the NCO Corps and that he feels he worked hard to obtain the rank and responsibilities of an NCO.

"The responsibility is to take care of Soldiers and to accomplish the mission. Treat them with respect and dignity, and they'll do the same," Sargent said.

U.S. Army Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Londers, the 102d Strategic Signal Bn. senior enlisted leader, said the NCO induction ceremony is an important part of maintaining tradition and recognizing the new NCOs for their accomplishment.

"It is a line that they have definitively crossed - they will never not be a sergeant again," Londers said. "This is the day that separates them from their peers."