FORT BELVOIR, Va. - NCOs from all over Fort Belvoir joined government civilians and other community members for the post's Year of the NCO Prayer Luncheon in the Mount Vernon Room of the Officers' Club June 18.

Highlighting the event was guest speaker Sgt. Maj. Tommy Marrero, chief of chaplains and regimental sergeant major.

Marrero joined the Army in 1984; and, throughout his 25-year career, he has been stationed all over the world, including Camps Casey and Hovey, Korea; and Wurzburg, Germany. He has also completed a tour with the 1st Infantry Division in Tikrit, Iraq.

He earned a variety of awards and decorations over the course of this career, including the Bronze Star and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, among many others.

During his speech, Marrero noted what being with Soldiers means to him.
"If I were given the choice of working at the Pentagon or being with Soldiers, I would want to be with Soldiers. So, it is great to be here," Marrero said.
Marrero then thanked the assembled NCOs for their dedication and service.

"I am really proud of these Soldiers, civilians and servicemembers currently serving," Marrero said. "I commend those of you who have joined our ranks since the tragedy of 9/11.

"I came into the Army in 1984, during a time of peace. So, I commend you for joining when you did, because it takes a lot of guts to join the fight," Marrero said.

"It's a great day to be a Soldier, a great day to be an NCO, and a great year to celebrate the Year of the NCO," Marrero added.

At the conclusion of his speech, Marrero reminded the attendees that God is always looking out for us.

"Anytime you get into trouble, no matter what you face, you will always be protected," Marrero said. "Always remember that God is with us."