Story and Photo by
Capt. Gary Mason
130th Engineer Brigade Public Affairs, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — A new group of noncommissioned officers in the 130th Engineer Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, became part of the backbone of the Army during an NCO induction ceremony at the Nehelani, here, Feb. 10.
Signifying their transformation into leaders, the 130th Eng. Bde. inductees passed through an archway depicting a replica of a 10-foot engineer castle display as their NCO sponsors introduced them.
Induction into the NCO Corps signals a Soldier’s transformation into a leader. NCOs are charged with accomplishing the mission, and they are responsible for the care, welfare and training — both technical and physical — of junior Soldiers.
Spc. Laura Lerma, 130th Eng. Bde., stood to attention and made a ceremonial “Soldier’s Request” to all NCOs present.
“Speak with me often, sergeant, for the praise and guidance you give will be expected,” she called out. “I’m an American Soldier expecting to be trained.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Roy Ward, senior enlisted leader, 130th Eng. Bde., then explained why he continues to serve and where he finds the energy to continue as the Army goes through its transitional process.
“I serve because of Soldiers like the four that stand before me today, making ‘Soldier’s Requests’ that inspire me to command while they serve unselfishly, assisting others,” he said.
The tradition of commemorating the transformation of a Soldier to an NCO can be traced to the army of Fredrick the Great. Today, the Army commemorates this rite of passage as a celebration, emphasizing and building on the pride Soldiers share as members of such an elite corps.
“When you go to an airport and people say thank you for your service, what do you say to them?” asked Command Sgt. Maj. Terrence Murphy, engineer regiment command sergeant major, Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and induction guest speaker. “What you say to those who served before you is key.”
“As up and coming leaders, we have a responsibility, and it is not just to where the stripes,” Murphy continued. “You have a responsibility for America’s sons and daughters, who are now at your fingertips. You are responsible as leaders to bring them up.
“The Soldiers Creed should be in your heart everyday when you come to work. The day (the creed) is not in your heart, you need to find a new employer.”
The Creed of the NCO has been serving as a guiding document for noncommissioned officers since its inception in 1973, though its concepts have been always been a part of the NCO Corps.
Each major paragraph of the creed begins with three letters: N, C and O. These words have inspired NCOs, and have served as a compass to guide them down the right paths that they encounter.
During the brigade’s ceremony, the newest NCOs affirmed their commitment to the professionalism of the corps, becoming the backbone of the U.S. Army.
NCO Corps Inductees
130th Eng. Bde.
Sgt. Eric Rohr
65th Eng. Bn.
Sgt. Ashley Bersterman
Sgt. Jason Burns
Sgt. William Cull
Sgt. Jonathan Hair
Sgt. Rachael Jonmichael
Sgt. Megan Long
Sgt. Eduardo Palencia
Sgt. Daena Robinson
Sgt. Genaro Sexton
84th Eng. Bn
Sgt. David Alex
Sgt. Christopher Anderson
Sgt. Johnathan Ayers
Sgt. Cody Dunn
Sgt. Brandon Durance
Sgt. Ali Ebrahimnejad
Sgt. Caleb Hill
Sgt. Justin Nation
Sgt. Jennifer Page
Sgt. David Viera
(Editor’s Note: Vanessa Lynch, news editor, contributed to the content of this article.)