By Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers, 8th Theater Sustainment Command Public AffairsDecember 6, 2012
FORD ISLAND, Hawaii -- One by one, newly promoted noncommissioned officers walked down the carpet under drawn swords as they were formally welcomed "to the Corps!"
That was the chant shouted by the audience and participating members during the 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, NCO Induction Ceremony, hosted by Command Sgt. Maj. Toese Tia Jr., senior enlisted leader of the 8th STB, at the Pacific Aviation Museum, here, Nov. 7.
The NCO Induction Ceremony is a tradition carried on by the NCO Corps, dating back hundreds of years. It's a tradition that the 8th STB doesn't take lightly.
"You can sum it up in one word: commitment," said 1st Sgt. John Manning, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th STB. "The NCO Corps of the 8th TSC is committed to traditions and values of the Corps. It's important to preserve our heritage and for new NCOs to know where we came from as a Corps. These ceremonies that we do are a way for us to preserve that honor and tradition that has carried us though the past couple hundred years."
Soldiers said they feel the pride and commitment of the 8th TSC's NCO Corps.
"I think this unit differs from my past units, because it gives their NCOs more support and greater authority and responsibility," said Sgt. Timothy Hall, information assurance NCO for the 8th TSC and one of the inductees. "Winston Churchill once stated, before he stormed the beaches of Normandy, that he didn't want to fight alongside NCOs from the United States Army because they were afraid to lead. I think this unit gives its NCOs what they need to succeed and become the greatest leaders this Army has ever seen."
Command Sgt. Maj. Nathan Hunt III, senior enlisted leader, 8th TSC, spoke of why the inductees should feel proud when stepping across the threshold to become NCOs in the U.S. Army.
"There is no other profession where you are going to be asked to perform at the level you may be asked to perform here in the Army," Hunt said, and then continued, "no other profession where you will be asked to risk your life again and again, or to take another person's life and be okay with it. This is not just a job, young sergeant. Don't treat it that way."
Hunt concluded by saying that only one percent of our nation's citizens have ever raised their hands, pledging to defend America from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
"Many, if not all, of our NCOs being inducted today joined our Army while we were fighting two wars," Hunt said. "I think it is fair to say that joining any branch of the military while our country is at war takes a fair amount of courage, and in my book, courage is what makes heroes.
"Thanks for being a member of the team, and as far as I'm concerned, you are all heroes," he added.