FORT HOOD, TEXAS - The 15th Brigade Support Battalion hosted a non-commissioned officer induction ceremony welcoming newly promoted "First Team" NCOs to the time-honored Corps, Oct. 25.
"The history of the non-commissioned officer dates back to the birth of the Continental Army in 1775," said Command Sgt. Maj. Stephanie McAdoo-Duff, 15th BSB command sergeant major. "This ceremony is a celebration of Soldiers joining the ranks of such an honorable and elite corps of professional men and women."
As the crowd sat waiting for their NCO to pass under the arch, the lights dimmed to reveal a Fallen Soldier table on display honoring those who served but did not come home.
After a moment of silence, the ceremony continued with the history and tradition of the NCO Corps. Inductees and guests learned what it truly means to be an NCO.
"Our professional NCO Corps is what sets us apart from both allies and adversaries," said Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony McAdoo, human resource command, command sergeant major. "It ensures that we will win on any battlefield and under any circumstance."
The time came for the inductees to officially join the corps. Two NCOs, equipped with sabers, stand guard as the prospective NCOs wait to pass through the arch and officially make their transformation from Soldier to leader.
"Once you put on this rank, you're inducted into a corps bigger than yourself," said Staff Sgt. Dewayne Reed, platoon sergeant, Bravo Company, 15th BSB. "Everything they talked about in the ceremony is what I strive to be for my Soldiers."
As the prospective NCOs approach the arch, the guardsmen only raise their sabers to allow those they deem worthy to pass.
"Being an NCO is more than just a leader in the formation, it's tradition that generations before, have built for us," said Staff Sgt. Bamidele Agbaje, senior mechanic, Bravo Company, 15th BSB.
The Troopers of 15th BSB voiced their concerns by asking the "Soldiers Request" to the Senior Non-Commissioned Officers in attendance.
"The Soldiers Request during the ceremony, symbolizes the relationship between the NCO and the Soldier," said Spc. William Westbrook, information technology specialist, 15th BSB.
As a part of the Soldier’s Request, Westbrook, asked Command Sgt. Maj. McAdoo-Duff, to treat Soldiers with respect.
"The NCO motivates the Soldiers and in return the Soldiers motivate the NCO," added Westbrook.
Being able to watch the ceremony served as motivation for junior Troopers to strive to become NCOs.
"When the Army song came on, I was in tears," said Westbrook. "Seeing everybody here in dress uniform is inspiring me to one day walk through the NCO arch myself."