Fort Greely, Alaska- While not officially recognized or sanctioned by the Army, the tradition of inducting newly promoted non-commissioned officers into the ranks of the NCO Corps has been followed for more than 20 years. In keeping with this enlisted Soldier tradition, the Military Police Officers of 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company held its first NCO Induction ceremony here Jan. 25.

Passing from a junior enlisted Soldier to an NCO is one of the biggest milestones in an enlisted Soldier's career. This tradition is upheld and passed on by the Senior NCOs of an organization, and the 49th Missile Defense Battalion is no different.

Sgt. 1st Class Maureen Meehan, 2nd Platoon Sergeant, saw the time between NCO induction ceremonies growing and wanted to emphasize the pride NCOs share while allowing her Soldiers to be part of such a time honored tradition.

"I still remember my induction into the NCO Corps. While it was many years ago, it continues to serve as a milestone in my career," said Meehan. "This promotion (to Sergeant) will shape these future leaders and build on the pride they have in being an NCO."

Knowing there was nothing a platoon of arctic warriors could not do, Meehan went to work capitalizing on the skills her Soldiers possessed. One such Soldier, Spc. Carlos Gonzales, Military Police Officer, 2nd Platoon, was tasked with producing the script, program, and NCO slideshow.

"Spc. Gonzales took the task and ran with it; he was very eager and motivated to make this mission happen, all before he knew he would be getting promoted and inducted during this event," Meehan said.

"Having the responsibility given to me to make this event go well was challenging," Gonzales said of the NCO Induction Ceremony. "I learned a whole lot about coordinating events and most importantly, I now will be able to pass this tradition on to my Soldiers in the future."

More than 50 Non-Commissioned Officers attended the ceremony at this remote missile defense base to include senior NCOs from the Alaska Army National Guard headquarters in Anchorage.

Alaska Army National Guard State Command Sgt. Maj. Gordon Choate spoke to the newly promoted about the importance of the work NCOs do in the Army.

During the induction, Command Sgt. Maj. Pam Harrington, 38th Troop Command, CSM, administered the Oath of the Non-Commissioned Officer to the inductees, reminding them that Soldiers of lesser ranks now would look to them for guidance and leadership.

A proud tradition of the NCO Corps continues today thanks to the leadership of Senior NCOs as well as the drive and motivation of junior enlisted Soldiers.

Soldiers inducted into the NCO Corps on Jan. 25 at Fort Greely, Alaska:

Sgt. James Bates
Sgt. Carlos Gonzalez
Sgt. Gabriel Ives
Sgt. Christopher Minatra
Sgt. Justin Taylor