By Steven StoverOctober 17, 2019
FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - The 780th Military Intelligence (MI) Brigade (Cyber) hosted a Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Induction ceremony for 27 NCOs at the Post Theater on October 16 in order to "charge" them with their increased duties and responsibilities as detailed in the Creed of the Army Noncommissioned Officer and the NCO Charge.
Command Sgt. Major James Krog, the senior enlisted leader for the 780th MI Brigade, was the guest speaker, and he led an official party consisting of the other brigade senior NCOs including Command Sgt. Maj. Kelly Barnes, the senior enlisted leader for the 781st MI Battalion (Cyber); Command Sgt. Maj. Sean McNamara, the senior enlisted leader for Task Force Echo III; and 1st Sgt. Stanley Collins, Headquarters & Headquarters Company, 780th MI Brigade.
In addition to reciting the NCO Creed and the NCO Charge, the inductees learned about the history of the NCO Corps.
Staff Sgt. Jacob Starling, the narrator for the ceremony, said the American NCO tradition began with creation of the Continental Army in 1775.
In his narration, he told the audience that Gen. George Washington, the commander of the Continental Army, believed the Army's leadership, including commissioned and noncommissioned officers, was a major weakness and in 1778, after Valley Forge, he turned to a Prussian military officer, Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, to instill discipline and military training into his Army. Baron von Steuben's drill manual, Regulations for the Order and Discipline of the Troops of the United States, was first published in 1779 and became the basic training guide for the Continental Army. The "little blue book" standardized NCO duties and responsibilities, from corporal through sergeants major, and became the primary NCO regulation for the next 33 years.
Starling also informed the inductees that the word "sergeant" is a French word which means "a servant or valet" and derives from the Latin word "serviens" which means "servant or soldier". He said the correlation between sergeant and servant has been incorporated into today's NCO leadership curriculum under Servant Leadership.
In his remarks to the new NCOs, Krog talked about the leaders and mentors who had an impact on his storied Army career which began 33 years ago when he enlisted in the Oklahoma Army National Guard as a Combat Engineer in July of 1986.
Krog told the NCOs not to hold a grudge. He said Soldiers make mistakes and most of them are done without ill intent. He also told them to take care of their Soldiers, train them to complete the mission, and to lead by example.
Krog was serving as a platoon sergeant during one of his combat deployments when he said his first sergeant gave him these words of advice, "(He told me to) train my Soldiers and be confident in their training because training Soldiers is taking care of Soldiers."
He said the new NCOs may not know all the answers, but challenged them to look for those answers and to not stop until they find them.
"Train your Soldiers and yourself, gain as much knowledge as possible, don't be afraid to ask questions or to look something up. What you do impacts the team, company, brigade, the Army," said Krog.
Krog also told them to "enjoy what you're doing, enjoy taking care of Soldiers...have fun with what you do."
Cpl. Matthew Taylor, from Simi Valley, California, was one of youngest inductees and described what it meant to him to become an NCO.
"Being an NCO means taking responsibility and looking after those who you are in charge of. Primarily, it is putting others before yourself," said Taylor. "It's a very humbling experience and a major responsibility."
The NCOs who inspired Taylor were Sgt. Kyler Kline, Staff Sgt. Christiane Roberto, and Staff Sgt. Starling, because those three NCOs were "great influences on the kind of leadership I have seen that I want to exemplify."
Specifically, the traits those three NCOs personify was "being fearless in the face of adversity, fighting for those who you lead even if that means going up against the people in charge of you, fighting for what is right, for what your Soldiers need, and putting their needs above your own," said Taylor.
The Soldiers and Army Civilians of the 780th MI Brigade (Cyber) send our warmest regards and congratulations to Taylor and the other 26 new NCOs: Sgt. Matthew Alderman, Sgt. Brandon Bissett, Sgt. Tanner Carr, Sgt. Janice Davis, Sgt. Joshua Day, Sgt. Thomas Fazio, Sgt. Tyler Hornbeck, Sgt. Samuel Idoni, Sgt. Duncan Jentzsch, Sgt. Justyn Johnson, Sgt. Kristopher Joyce, Sgt. Alan Kim, Sgt. Keefe Matson, Sgt. Stephen Paradis, Sgt. Cristian Perez, Sgt. Alex Prufer, Sgt. Jaslyn Riat, Sgt. Ryan Riebling, Sgt. Jiseng So, Sgt. Rodrigo Valdes, Sgt. Grant Ward, Sgt. Scott Wareham, Sgt. Marlin Washington, Sgt. Kristian Winslow, Sgt. Adam Wong, and Sgt. Jonathan Woods.
We wish them all the best, "Be - Know - Do".