CAMP HOVEY, Republic of Korea -- More than 90 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division Soldiers sat patiently waiting for a formal welcome into the NCO corps.
The NCO induction ceremony is a celebration of newly promoted Soldiers joining the NCO ranks, emphasizing and building on the pride shared between members of such an elite corps.
"There's something about the NCO induction ceremony that reminds me why I serve and how proud I am to be a NCO," said Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Oliver, Detroit, Michigan native, command sergeant major, 3rd ABCT, 1st AD. "I hope this ceremony has a similar impact on you as well."
During the ceremony, Oliver recounted a story of five American Soldiers and two Iraqi security forces members killed in a suicide-truck bombing at a on a military base in Mosul.
"Five Soldiers paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country," Oliver said. "Ten years ago on today."
The leaders who gave their lives placed a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle between an explosive-filled dump truck and a local police station containing more than 3000 Iraq citizens, preventing an insurgent attack.
"The story that sergeant major told motivates me, even though we are not actively at war right now," says Sgt. Ryan Bowler, Delta Company, 2nd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd ABCT, 1st AD, Lake Jackson, Texas native. "Should an incident arise I ask myself: would I be willing to sacrifice myself for others to live, the way those Soldiers did?"
The story resonated with the novice leaders still learning what it means to be a NCO. The ceremony also served as an opportunity to honor past NCOs who served the nation with pride and distinction as NCOs.
"It felt great going through today's induction ceremony," said Bowler. "I will be motivated for weeks to come knowing and learning what I need to give to the Soldiers under my care."
As one charged with leading, protecting and developing the Army's most precise resource, the Soldier, it goes without saying that becoming a NCO is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly.