December 1, 2016 –
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Approximately 106 Soldiers across the 368th Eng. Bn. participated in the battalion’s first Non-Commissioned Officer Induction Ceremony signifying the passage from enlisted Soldier to the rank of Sergeant within the NCO Corps, November 29, 2016.
“I am incredibly proud to be able to do this and especially proud of all the NCO’s that are here today,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen M. Bodwell, 368th Eng. Bn. and native of Northbridge, Mass.
The ceremony kicked off with a welcome introduction from guest speaker, Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony Simms of the 176th Engineer Brigade based in Grand Prairie, Texas.
“NCO’s must have character, a mixture of values and attributes that motivate their ability to see what needs to be done, do it, and influence others to follow,” said Simms.
Each participant marched on stage and sounded off with their name and unit affiliation while a short biographical description with accompanied personal photographs displayed in the backdrop.
“It was a rite of passage for me, I’m going from being a junior enlisted to a member of the NCO Corps” said Sgt. Kendra K. Taylor, construction engineer, 389th Eng. Co. and native of Chicago, Ill.
“I’m looking forward to the leadership development and hoping to become the leader I look for in my own leaders,” said Taylor.
The packed ceremony filled nearly every seat in the base theater.
“We were all a little nervous but after today we move to the next step in our careers. We have to be more professional and take care of our Soldiers and be the best NCO we can be,” said Sgt. Roberto J. Sierra, horizontal construction engineer, 475th Eng. Co. based in Ponce, Puerto Rico.
During the ceremony the participants, one-by-one signed the “Charge to the Newly Promoted Non-Commissioned Officer” oath as a symbolic contractual gesture of commitment to uphold the NCO Creed and Army Values.
“The NCO induction ceremony is an incredible event to see and to partake in and if anyone has an opportunity to do this within their unit I highly encourage it,” said Bodwell.
Representation from the following companies participated in the ceremony: 312th Eng. Co, 389th Eng. Co., 461st Eng. Co, 475th Eng. Co., Headquarters and Headquarters Co. and Forward Support Co. of 368th Eng. Bn.
The 368th Eng. Bn. (Task Force Granite) headquarters is currently serving a nine-month deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (Spartan Shield) under the 176th Eng. Bde. (Task Force Chaos).
368th Eng. Bn. is a U.S. Army Reserve unit based in Londonderry, N.H. and is a subordinate unit of the 302D Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 412th Theater Engineer Command.