By Maj. Charles Patterson, Task Force Med-AfghanistanJanuary 26, 2013
PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan -- Army supply sergeant Ibilola Animashaun emigrated from Lagos, Nigeria to the United States in the 1990s, took the oath of citizenship while serving in Iraq, and continues her promise today in the 582nd Medical Logistics Company.
On Jan. 25, she and 24 other noncommissioned officers swore another oath at an induction ceremony at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan.
After pinning the rank of sergeant a year ago, "now I can say I am an NCO," said Animashaun. "Now the recognition, knowing the history of it, and being inducted into the Corps, is outstanding."
An induction ceremony, like the one hosted here by Task Force 14th Medical from Fort Benning, Ga., is an Army tradition that marks the beginning of an NCO's service in the Corps. The inductee is sponsored by another senior NCO, passes under the arched sabers, signs the register, and recites the Noncommissioned Officer's Charge to start his or her journey.
"I'm looking forward to leading and mentoring Soldiers," she said about her career. "It is about motivating Soldiers to become better."
The mission of taking care of Soldiers has not changed, but the career field is showing signs of change. Parallel to taking care of Soldiers and their families, the priority mission echoed by guest speaker and Task Force Medical-Afghanistan's Command Sgt. Major Alexis King, there remains a growing need to strive for self development in today's Army.
"I'm all about education. I'm all about self-development. I'm all about motivation -- self motivation," Animashaun said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge to set myself apart."
And setting herself apart may be the path to furthering her Army career while the future force is requiring smaller numbers of NCOs. In the face of these challenges, the ceremony meant something deeply personal to Animashaun.
"I hope that one day [my daughter] will be able follow in my footsteps. I wish she was here to see this," she said. "She would be proud of me."