The U.S. Army Medical Department Activity held an NCO Induction Ceremony on September 11, 2019 on Fort Drum, N.Y. The ceremony symbolized the transition of eleven Soldiers from MEDDAC into members of the United States Army Noncommissioned Officer Corps.

The NCO Induction Ceremony celebrates the accomplishments of the new NCOs and helps them to form new and cohesive bonds with other NCOs in their unit. During the ceremony, a candle lighting occurred to represent the qualities of leadership of members of the NCO Corps.

10th Mountain Division Command Sgt. Maj. Samuel Roark was the guest speaker at the event.

"The importance of being a Noncommissioned Officer of the United States Army is huge," Roark said.

Roark said that being inducted into the NCO Corps marked the point in a Soldier's career where they begin to take charge and do what is expected of them without being told.

Sgt. Samantha Paquette was one of the Soldiers inducted during the ceremony. Paquette said that she had no clue what the NCO Induction Ceremony was until it was brought up to her. Initially, she said she interpreted it as 'just another ceremony', but later realized that it was so much more; it was a symbolic gateway to leadership and a way to commemorate a changing point in her career.

The biggest thing that has helped get her to this point in her career was support from her parents, Paquette said. When she had a rough day, her parents always helped her to get back on task to pursue and accomplish her goals.

"Without them, I wouldn't be here today." Paquette said.

Paquette said the best advice she could give junior enlisted soldiers is that they are the key to their own success.

"You have to want it," Paquette said. "You have to be the biggest driving force behind your career."