Recognizing newly promoted Army noncommissioned officers has been a ceremonial tradition since the NCO creed became official in 1986.
That tradition was continued in U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart March 4, when 15 Soldiers were officially inducted into the NCO corps during a ceremony in the Patch Community Club.
The Army NCO induction ceremony is a type of initiation and reminder of NCO responsibilities to junior Soldiers.
“Moving into the NCO ranks means you’re embarking on another journey,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Anthony M. Bryant, U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart command sergeant major, during the event. “It’s a great part of history.”
The 52nd Signal Command has hosted Army NCO inductions in Stuttgart for the past three years.
Command Sgt. Maj. Mark A. George, command sergeant major for the 52nd Signal Battalion, addressed the new NCOs during the event.
With the advent of the new Army leader development model, “there are upcoming new challenges for NCOs,” George said. “NCOs need to focus and maintain mental control.”
He also encouraged enlisted leaders to continue to recognize NCOs in the future.
“This is my last induction,” George said. “I retire on Oct. 1 this year and have confidence that the NCOs of the unit will continue the tradition.”
In typical military fashion, the ceremony began when the official party marched onto the stage at the Patch Community Club in single file. George then ordered all doors locked, and the crowd grew silent as the German and U.S. national anthems were sung.
Newly promoted NCOs came together from various units to publicly recite and affirm commitment to upholding the NCO creed. Inductees represented the 554th Military Police Company, U.S. Africa Command, U.S. European Command, the Defense Intelligence Agency, 52nd Aviation Regiment and Stuttgart Dental Clinic.
“I’ve been an NCO for five years,” said Sgt. Darnel Carey, an NCO assigned to the 52nd Signal Battalion. “I [had] never heard of an NCO induction until I came here to Stuttgart.”
The induction puts NCOs in the spotlight so that other Soldiers know what they can expect from them, he added.
During the ceremony, three NCOs recited parts of the NCO creed as they walked toward the front of the stage, where a table displayed a carved wooden candelabrum with the letters “NCO.”
Each inductee was announced by a fellow unit NCO before entering the hall to receive two copies of the NCO creed: one signed by George, and one etched onto a wooden plaque.
Guest speaker Fleet Master Chief Roy M. Maddocks Jr., U.S. European Command senior enlisted advisor, explained the significance of being an NCO.
The NCO corps is the lifeblood in all branches of military service, he said, and NCOs exemplify professionalism and the drive to get things done.
They “lead, train, and take care of the next generation,” he added.