FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The 5th Engineer Battalion held a noncommissioned officer induction ceremony April 9 at Abrams Theater, where 32 of the unit’s newest NCOs crossed under the Arch of the NCO Corps, a symbolic acknowledgement of induction, said Headquarters and Headquarters Company 1st Sgt. Michael Green, the event organizer.
According to Green, the ceremony serves as a celebration in which Soldiers move into positions of increased responsibility.
“It’s important to have a day to celebrate those making the change to noncommissioned officer and joining the corps,” he said. “Sergeants are the most important part of the Army; they are where the rubber meets the road.”
To welcome the inductees into the corps, red, white and blue candles were lit, signifying the colors of the American flag. After the induction, the new NCOs recited the NCO Creed.
Sgt. Kloe Duncan is a combat engineer from Destin, Florida, assigned to the battalion’s HHC. She has been in the Army three years and said the ceremony gave her “a sense of pride.”
“It was really a sense of crossing a metaphorical line,” she said.
Duncan said although she’s “pretty new” to the corps, she’s finding being an NCO is “a plethora of many things.”
“It’s being that hard person when corrections need to be made, but also still being human at the end of the day when your Soldiers are having hardships in their lives,” she said. “It’s being approachable so your Soldiers feel confident they can speak with and confide in you. Also, it’s leading them and teaching them new things so they can become an NCO and one day replace you in your position.”
Sgt. Jack Sovine, from Orange Beach, Alabama, is a team leader at the 515th Sapper Company who supervises four Soldiers. He said a big takeaway for him from the ceremony is the importance of caring for the Soldiers assigned to you.
“You take care of them,” he said. “They take care of you.”
Like Sovine, Sgt. Lizette Rivera, a team leader with the 509th Clearance Company, also supervises four Soldiers.
The Bronx, New York, native said she’s noticed junior Soldiers look up to her.
“They rely on you,” she said. “So, it’s really important you take your role as an NCO very seriously. Like they said (during the ceremony), we are the backbone of the Army.”
Green said events like this are important to bring back.
“NCO inductions are a tradition that we lost sight of over the years,” he said. “It’s time for us to slow down and reinvigorate the traditions that the Army has instilled into us older leaders.”