Aug 11, 2023, Sergeants Major Academy Staff and faculty gathered to hold the opening ceremony for SMC Class 74 at the NCO Leadership Center of Excellence. The 503 class members are drawn from across the Army’s Active Duty, Reserve and National Guard Components. Seven of the class members are from sister services including the Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. In addition to the students from the United States armed forces the class also hosts 69 international students drawn from 59 countries spanning the globe Albania to New Zealand.
The Welcome ceremony was hosted by the NCOLCoE’s newly appointed commandant Tammy Everette. CSM Everette welcomed the class with a motivational speech.
“Please enjoy this opportunity to focus on being a fulltime student,” said CSM Everette to the gathered class members. “The Sgt. Maj. course was designed to be challenging, because once you graduate and leave Fort Bliss you will be placed in leadership positions around the world where you will be faced with complex problems that you must work to solve.”
Sergeants Major Academy deputy director Sgt. Maj. Donald Petrie also spoke to the class and offered them some advice. “Continue to do the things that have gotten you to this point: Professionalism, accountability, dedication, the strong sense of pride in yourself and the uniform that you wear.”
During the ceremony class leadership was announced, and the class revealed their class motto “live the legend.” Both the motto and the class leader positions were voted on from a selection of nominees and proposed mottos.
After the ceremony ended students had the chance to attend the “Experience El Paso” fair. The fair was organized by the city chamber of commerce and included representatives from businesses and organizations local to the El Paso and Fort Bliss area. These groups provided giveaways and information for the newly arrived students and their families.