CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea - "As a noncommissioned officer, I realize that I am a member of a time honored corps, which is known as 'The Backbone of the Army'."1
Soldiers with 1st Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment "Death Dealers", 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team "Bulldog", 1st Armored Division (Rotational), 2nd Infantry Division/ROK-U.S. Combined Division, conducted an NCO Induction Ceremony at Camp Humphreys, May 3.
"It goes back to the history and traditions of the non-commissioned officer corps," said Command Sgt. Maj. Troy Willey, a native of Bridgeville, Delaware, senior enlisted advisor for 1-67AR, 3ABCT, 1AD. "It's really a stepping stone, the way I see it. A transition point, going from junior-enlisted Soldier to joining the non-commissioned officer corps."
The unique characteristic of the Death Dealers battalion NCO Induction is the combined feature of the ceremony. There were 28 U.S. and five Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army (KATUSA) Soldiers inducted.
"It was such an honorable experience," said Sgt. Sohn, Hyung Kyu, a native of Seoul, Republic of Korea, senior KATUSA for 1-67AR, 3ABCT, 1AD. "The ceremony kind of symbolized how the U.S. Army really values their NCOs; and it shows how Command Sgt. Maj. Wiley always treats KATUSAs the same as U.S. Army Soldiers."
Sohn has been a KATUSA for a little longer than a year but has come a long way from starting his service as a tank crew member.
"It's a whole different level of responsibility," said Sohn. "For example, before becoming the battalion senior KATUSA, I used to be a tanker. As a private or a private first class, all I had to worry about was just myself, my tank and my crew; and that was basically everything I had to worry about. After getting the senior KATUSA badge, I had to deal with way more things."
The phrase "Backbone of the Army" is often used when referring to the U.S. Army NCO Corps, and that pride is further instilled in NCOs upon their induction.
"Our Army is the greatest Army in the world because of our noncommissioned officer corps," said Willey. "We have some smart young leaders out there and that's really what makes our Army great. That's why we are the backbone of the Army because the Army runs off of noncommissioned officers. It's led by the officer corps and run by the NCO corps."
1. Army.mil. NCO Creed. www.army.mil/values/nco.html (accessed June 19, 2019)