FORT McCOY, Wis –
Pride and tradition met as more than 30 U.S. Army Reserve public affairs Soldiers attending a military occupational specialty-producing course were inducted as noncommissioned officers July 20, 2019, at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.
Reserve public affairs Soldiers from throughout the United States attended a two-week career conversion course at Fort McCoy as their MOSs begin to merge from two separate legacy specialties into one: the mass communication specialist.
During the course of their training, noncommissioned officers who had never been inducted as NCOs were afforded the opportunity to participate in the ceremony.
According to Staff Sgt. Brigitte Morgan of the 354th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, “I became an NCO about four years ago, and think the induction ceremony is wonderful because it took so much to finally get here.”
Morgan said that it takes a lot of preparation to become an NCO as NCOs provide the training and mentorship for professional development.
While many of the inductees had recently entered the NCO ranks, some had already held the rank for quite some time.
During the ceremony, Soldiers recited the NCO Creed, signed and received a certificate charging them with authority, and heard from leadership in the NCO corps. In addition, the Soldiers walked through an arch that symbolized the transformation into leaders.
Sgt. 1st Class Kevin McSwain of the 214th Public Affairs Detachment, said that induction ceremonies are a way for Soldiers to learn about the lineage and heritage of the NCO, and a chance to become part of a time-honored corps. As a prior inductee, he said, “It feels good as an NCO to have the confidence to give Soldiers the advice they need and impart valuable wisdom on to them. This ceremony is a symbolic way of saying welcome.”
The Soldiers of the public affairs training class known as Task Force 46S were also briefed by a local senior NCO at Fort McCoy regarding their most important responsibilities of being an NCO; accomplishment of the mission and the welfare of their Soldiers.
Command Sgt. Maj. Paul A. Mantha, Command Sergeant Major of U.S. Army Garrison, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, took the opportunity as guest speaker to emphasize preparedness to the new inductees.
“Take every opportunity for success. Challenge yourself. Challenge others,” said Mantha. “Bring them up ... make sure that as a noncommissioned officer you are challenging your Soldiers and your junior NCOs to be just as proficient in their jobs and their Soldier warrior skills.”