NCO Induction Ceremony

Y’all had better sound off! This is not about you. This ceremony is for your Soldiers seated in front of you! I’d better be able to hear their name and unit loud and clear all the way in the back row. And don’t think that I won’t have you get down and start pushing – I don’t care what rank you are!”

That was the instruction that my fellow NCO sponsors and I received from one of the Sergeants Major as we rehearsed for the NCO Induction Ceremony, Thursday, September 27. I don’t think I was the only one whose throat suddenly became parched and hands started to sweat a little after the Sergeant’s Major demand went out. Soldiers who have been in the Army for at least a week have likely run into at least one Sergeant Major who seemed a little bit crazy and made them question what they had gotten themselves into.
 
Sergeant Major is the highest enlisted rank in the Army. After the amount of time and dedication to the service required achieving that position, they often have a ‘bark’ intimidating enough to make you not want to bother to find out if it matches their ‘bite’.  They also are not known to make hollow threats. Although I found the thought of watching someone senior to me in rank (and likely age) such as a sergeant first class receive a punishment that is more common for Soldiers in the rank of specialist or private fairly humorous, I kept a poker face and reviewed exactly what I was required to say so that I wasn’t the one who got “dropped”. Besides, the sergeant major was right, as usual: the ceremony was about the Soldier that I was sponsoring and welcoming him into what is known as an “elite corps”.
 
The Non Commissioned Officers Corps includes Soldiers in the ranks of corporal, E4, through sergeant major/command sergeant major, E9. It is our primary responsibility to train and take care of Soldiers whether they are seniors, peers or subordinate. We are also responsible for the execution of commands given by commissioned officers in order to accomplish the mission. If it sounds like a lot of responsibility, it is – but that is why we are also known as “the backbone of the Army”.
 
The NCO Induction Ceremony is for Soldiers who were promoted from the junior enlisted ranks to sergeant.  I have never had the opportunity to be a part of this right-of-passage ceremony, and the only emotion that rivaled the honor that I felt for having been selected to sponsor one of my Soldiers was the sense of pride in him. Once he walked onto the stage and passed through the wooden gate which was adorned with each of the NCO insignia, it signified to all of us that we could count on him to help the team out however and in whatever way is needed.  When the time came, I had no reservations and didn’t need a threat to motivate me to ‘sound off’ so that everyone in the main post chapel could hear loud and clear that Sgt. Taylor Kline was my candidate for induction.​

2 comments on this blog post

  1. About time the Army began to instill some esprit de corps back in to the NCO ranks!!!! Well Done.
  2. The NCO Induction Ceramony needs to happen more often EVERYWHERE.
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