From Soldier to Non-Commissioned Officer
By SPC Mark Pettit, CPL Myeong Hyeon KimNovember 14, 2018
USAG Humphreys, Republic of Korea -- Soldiers from 1st Theater Tactical Signal Brigade were inducted into the noncommissioned officer corps during a ceremony Oct. 26th to celebrate their recent promotion to sergeant.The NCO induction ceremony is a long standing tradition in the United States Army to celebrate the joining of the noncommissioned officer corps and to emphasize and build on the pride of the elite corps of noncommissioned officers."It's the Corporals and Sergeants of today that will be the Sergeant Majors leading our Army tomorrow," said Command Sgt. Maj. Rick Merritt, Eighth United States Army Command Sgt. Maj, guest speaker for the induction ceremony."Today, an NCO has to be able to understand three things," said Merritt. "They have to be able to understand mission command (the commander's intent), mission statement priorities, and how they can use discipline to prioritize that without supervision."The induction ceremony also serves to honor the memory of those men and women who have served the NCO Corps with pride and distinction."The tool that we will always have to deter aggression and defeat our enemy, will always be the American soldier," said Merritt. "The NCO has always been the backbone of [the United States Army] for 243 years. Those things will never change.Ninety one newly promoted sergeants from the brigade were inducted. These noncommissioned officers are now charged with the responsibility to mentor, train and look after the health and welfare of the soldiers entrusted to them."An ideal NCO to me is the one who is professional in his field, who can care for the soldiers under him and who is knowledgeable" said Cpl. Kim, Ja Young, a Korean Augmentation to the United States Army assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Signal Brigade. "As a KATUSA NCO, I am now in charge of KATUSA soldiers working in the 1st Signal Brigade Headquarters. I don't see a drastic change from soldier to NCO, but it is more responsibility."The ceremony ended with the newly inducted NCOs quoting the NCO Creed, a tool used to educate and remind enlisted leaders of their responsibilities and authority, and serves as the NCO code of conduct."Being an NCO means that I must be reliable," said Sgt. Frank Runnels, a 25B, information technology specialist assigned to Bravo Company, 304th Expeditionary Signal Battalion. "I cannot keep my soldiers in the dark, they must be able to rely on me to provide the information they need in an adequate amount of time."