ANSBACH, Germany -- Thirteen NCOs from Installation Management Command - Europe (IMCOM-E), participated in an induction ceremony at the Ansbach Theater on Bismarck Kaserne today, Sept. 14.

The time-honored ceremony which marks each participant's transition into the Non-Commissioned Officers Corps was hosted by U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach (USAG Ansbach) Command Sgt. Major Philson Tavernier and attended by Command Sgt. Majors representing every Garrison in Europe and IMCOM Europe Headquarters: Command Sgt. Maj. Bryant Mason (USAG Italy), Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Sutterfield (USAG Bavaria), Command Sgt. Maj. Chad Pinkston (USAG Wiesbaden), Command Sgt. Maj. Samara Pitre (USAG Benelux), Command Sgt. Maj. Brett Waterhouse (USAG Rheinland Pfalz), Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia (USAG Stuttgart) and IMCOM-E Command Sgt. Major Ulysses Rayford, who had assembled in Ansbach for their annual Senior NCO Seminar.

During the three-day seminar participants met to discuss such issues as Soldier resiliency and development, promotion board standards, barracks management and Soldier mentoring and counseling, among others. Invited as Special Guest Speaker on day-two of the seminar was United States European Command (EUCOM) Fleet Master Chief Cris Addington, Stuttgart's Senior Enlisted Leader. Addington stressed to attendees the importance of keeping communication open with all ranks. "Senior enlisted leaders have got to continually cultivate and make those connections that keep the information channels open between the ranks." said Addington. "We have to get the real story, what's really happening - not just what appears to be happening."

The ceremony followed the seminar and began with a welcome and invocation by Sgt. 1st Class Kristopher Norville, USAG Ansbach Senior Religious Affairs NCO, then an address by Command Sgt. Major Rayford.

"The legacy of U.S. Army NCOs stands in the ranks of generations of America's Soldiers, one generation of Soldiers building successively on the experience of those that came before - demonstrated experience, competence, ability and leadership." explained Rayford in his opening remarks. "But if you take one thing away from my remarks today it would be this: Never forget your family and to take care of your family." said Rayburn. "Ours is a demanding job; so never forget where so much of your strength comes from. Soldiers understand that and will judge you on the way you treat your family and by the way you treat them." said Rayburn.

During the ceremony each Soldier proceeded through the NCO arches under two crossed swords, after being announced by their company first sergeants by name. Once through they were congratulated and received their certificates from Tavernier who officially welcomed them into the Corps to the applause of the more than 200 audience members and well-wishers in attendance.

The thirteen Soldiers proceeding through the arches today: Sgt. Trayvon Johnson, Sgt. Orlando Lambert, Sgt. Jarod Phillips, Sgt. Kiana Mitchell, Sgt. Tyler Shicks, Sgt. Jacob Doughty, Sgt. Leon Mendozamiranda, Sgt. Scarlett Mitchell, Sgt. Chase Sykes, Sgt. Jose Heredia, Sgt. Krystal Lopez and Sgt. John Seely.

After the ceremony Tavernier spoke of the quiet dignity and professionalism of the American Soldier and reached into his past experience with the military, "After my enlistment, I noticed that the NCO's I admired were the ones who stepped up -- never away - from a challenge, or to take on the jobs that needed to be done. They promoted resiliency and fairness. It just seemed right to me that I would want to become an NCO, and that makes todays induction ceremony especially gratifying for me to host" he said.

"The purpose of the NCO induction ceremony is not only a rite of passage," said Tavernier, "it's a U.S. Army tradition that we need to celebrate for today's Soldiers. This ceremony is the first step in a new NCO's understanding of the tremendous trust and responsibility he or she has gained today."

To see a complete photo set of the ceremony visit:

The U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach (USAG Ansbach) Military Community is located in the Franconian region of Bavaria and is spread across six sites and nine kasernes dispersed around the city of Ansbach and the village of Illesheim: Barton Barracks, Bismarck Kaserne, Bleidorn Kaserne, Franken Kaserne, Katterbach Kaserne, Oberdachstetten Training Area, Shipton Kaserne, Storck Barracks, and Urlas Kaserne. Today, Ansbach is the home of the 12th Combat Aviation Brigade (12th CAB), the community's largest tenant unit. USAG Ansbach continues its mission of streamlining base support operations management, allowing tactical commanders to concentrate on their essential training and missions. The garrison takes pride in its support to more than 6,000 Soldiers, civilians and family members working and living within the USAG Ansbach area. To learn more about the people and facilities of the U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach (USAG Ansbach) and the people they support in Ansbach, Katterbach and Illesheim, visit the community website at