Misawa Air Base, Japan - The Soldiers of Detachment D, 1st Space Company, 1st Space Battalion participated in the first noncommissioned officer induction ceremony ever held for the detachment. Joined by their sister unit on the base, the 708th Military Intelligence Battalion, nine newly minted Joint Tactical Ground Station noncommissioned officers took part in the symbolic ceremony, hosted by United States Army Japan Command Sergeant Major, Command Sgt. Maj. James P. Norman.

The Soldiers were selected for induction to the NCO corps by a promotion board consisting of first sergeants and above. The NCOs will now be held to a higher standard, and will be given responsibility over Soldiers of a lower rank.

"Being a first line leader is huge. You are where the metal meets the meat, and I see that all of these young NCOs do so and act so while remaining extremely humble, asking why do
I need a ceremony? They fail to realize that the ceremony is not for them. It is for everybody. In it is the responsibility of any senior enlisted leader to pass on the knowledge of keeping and teaching time-honored traditions ensuring they are sacred and solemn to his/her subordinates," said Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey C. Johnson, Det. D sergeant.

The Soldiers took a symbolic blood oath, symbolic from the civil war, signified by red wine in a goblet on the induction table. Norman offered words of advice to the newly inducted members of the corps.

"I am humbled to do this and hope my words do justice to the auspicious occasion. As I look across the auditorium I see the future of our profession. For within your ranks there is a possibility one of you will rise to become a division sergeant major, and possibly the highest enlisted position," Johnson said.

"You can never rest on what you have already achieved. There is always more to do, more to prove and more to accomplish. The job that you're now undertaking to do upon induction is the most important job in the service… It is the job of the first line leader. You are that leader. You are where the rubber meets the road," Johnson said. "You are now the one responsible for your unit accomplishing or failing its assigned mission. It is you, the team leader, who leads physical training in the morning. It is you who conducts pre-combat checks… you are the one who will ultimately move the formation down the road and achieve greatness.

"Equipment may change, uniforms may change, Soldiers remains the same. The role of the NCO remains the same. Live the warrior ethos, train your Soldiers. Lead your Soldiers, everything they do they will do because you led them that way," he continued. "Your journey has just begun. You are now a noncommissioned officer. A leader."

Each newly inducted NCO signed the charge of the noncommissioned officer, a pact to uphold the oath that is the creed of the NCO. Doing this signifies they accept the responsibility and fully receiving their rank of authority.

"This ceremony reinforces that leading mentality and that they fully understand
the Charge of the Noncommissioned Officer as well as solemn oath that they affirm during the ceremony known as the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer. For most, as it was for me as a young leader, this ceremony is a very motivating and empowering experience that should be afforded to every new corporal or sergeant," said Johnson.

Inducted at the ceremony were: Sgt. Vyncent Beasely, Sgt. Daniel Flores, Sgt. Michael Hollenbaugh, Sgt. Miaarka Loveless, Sgt. Ryon Powers, Sgt. Chad Raudebaugh, Sgt. J.C. Thomas, Sgt. Sean Tompkins, and from the 708th Sgt. Joseph Hodges, Sgt. Sheriden Plunkett, and Sgt. Daniel Werts.