Fort Cavazos, Texas – The 1st Cavalry Sustainment Brigade welcomed 31 inductees at a Non-Commissioned Officer Corps induction ceremony held here at Howze Theater on 28 July.
The transition from being a Trooper to a noncommissioned officer is a time-honored tradition that goes back to the time of the Prussian king Fredrick the Great, who required that his Soldiers stand one watch each day for four days to become an NCO.
"As my generation continues to move out and retire, we pass along these traditions to ensure that the bench of NCOs is solid," said Master Sgt. Jeffrey Hicks, an NCO from the Special Troops Battalion. "The foundations we're laying will prove fruitful for the Army in the future."
As Fredrich Wilhelm von Steuben, a Founding Father who reformed the Continental Army into a disciplined and professional military, said in the Blue Book. "Each Sergeant and Corporal will be answerable for the squad committed to his care. He must pay particular attention to their conduct in every respect and that they keep themselves and their arms always clean," so do the NCOs of today teach, coach, and mentor the Troopers under their charge.
During the ceremony, Troopers light a burning trio of candles representing the NCO's values. The first is the red candle which symbolizes courage and strength; the second is the white candle, which burns for purity and commitment; and finally, the blue candle, which represents valor and pride.
"The meaning of being an NCO is to be a people server," said Sgt. Omar Lopez-William, an NCO in the 553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion. "Do what's right when no one's looking. To lead by example and set the standard."
After the Troopers have lit the candles, both Troopers and NCOs recite the Soldier's Request. The inductees' new charges request their NCOs to lead, train and respect them. When they were once peers to their charges, they must now understand that they have the additional responsibility of having and leading Troopers.
"We're the first line regarding standards and discipline," said Sgt. Jacob Lowther, an NCO from the 553rd CSSB. "If we're down, then the Soldiers will be down. If our standards are lacking, they will be lacking."
"America's First Team" is proud to welcome the new members of the Non-Commissioned Officer Corps who serve with pride and distinction.