SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii -- Fellow noncommissioned officers, officers, coworkers and families joined 15 U.S. Army Health Clinic-Schofield Barracks Soldiers as they were inducted into the Noncommissioned Officer Corps, Dec. 4, at the Sgt. Smith Theater, here. NCO induction ceremonies are a rite of passage symbolizing the transition from Soldier to leader.

Inducted were Sgts. Daniel Bowles, Jr.; Randall Busick; Catherine Degraeve; Robert Edwards; Lucila Gifford; Cesar Juan; David Mann; Kyle Morrison; Felicia Narcisi; Jennifer Pete; Justin Runyan; Ruben Sanchez; Carl Thompson; Lisa Wilkinson; and Eduardo Zamora.

The ceremony's opening remarks were made by Sgt. Maj. Randall Watts, senior enlisted advisor, USAHC-SB, and the guest speaker was Sgt. Maj. Garner Daugherty, former senior enlisted advisor for the Department of Nursing, Tripler Army Medical Center.

The history of the Noncommissioned Officer began with the birth of the Continental Army in 1775. The NCO was a blend of traditions from the British, French and Prussian armies. In 1778 at Valley Forge, Inspector General Friedrich von Steuben standardized NCO duties and responsibilities for corporals, sergeants, first sergeants, and sergeants major.

Sergeants and corporals were expected to instruct recruits in all manners of military training. NCOs of today retain many of the duties and responsibilities from 1778.

NCOs are referred to as the "backbone of the Army" because they are the primary trainers of Soldiers, standard bearers, and are closely associated with the welfare of the troops and discipline in the ranks.