LANDSTUHL, Germany -- Since the inception of our country, congruent with the birth of the Continental Army, a Noncommissioned Officer Corps has been charged with carefully and diligently discharging the duties of the grade to which they are promoted and upholding the traditions and standards of the Army.
On March 24, Soldiers from across Europe vowed to take on those duties as they were inducted into the Noncommissioned Officer Corps at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.
During the ceremony, the role of the NCO was highlighted and further detailed during recollections of conflicts NCOs have engaged in since the nation’s origins. Command Sgt. Maj. Rebecca Booker, command sergeant major, Medical Readiness Command, East, discussed her cultivation as an NCO and how the experience molded her perspective.
“You'll walk through that arch and change from being just one of the Soldiers to being the one responsible for the Soldiers,” said Booker, addressing the new NCOs. “It's not about you anymore. It's about your Soldiers. You’re the one who sets the example.”
While the formal induction kicked off in the afternoon, LRMC NCOs started the day with a formation run at 5:30 a.m., leading the new NCOs on a cadence-fueled trot around LRMC, the only permanently forward-stationed medical center for United States and Coalition Forces.
“This uniform has provided me so many opportunities and has challenged me,” added Booker, referencing the U.S. Army service uniform. “I am a noncommissioned officer. It’s not always going to be easy, but it will always be rewarding.”
Traditionally, NCO roles consists of maintaining order and discipline within a unit. Modern NCOs have witnessed those roles expand to include caring for the welfare of Soldiers. With more than half of all enlisted Army personnel positioned in the grades of E1 through E4 -- the population NCOs directly lead – it is apparent the role has become significant to overall readiness.
According to the Association of United States Army, the induction ceremony not only celebrates the newly promoted NCOs but also pays homage to all men and women of the NCO Corps who have served with pride and distinction.
Newly inducted NCOs were welcomed to the NCO Corps with an individual march under arched sabers indicating a change in the mindset as Army leaders. The induction ended with a recital of the NCO Creed by all NCOs in attendance, a doctrine reflecting the duties, characteristics and expectations of Army noncommissioned officers.