Story and photo by Staff Sgt. Gaelen Lowers
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs
FORD ISLAND —“The sick want a cure, the sinner wants absolution, the accursed wants exoneration and Soldiers seek leadership. We are professionals, noncommissioned officers, leaders!”
These comments were the closing line at 8th Theater Sustainment Command’s Noncommissioned Officer Call, aboard the USS Missouri, here, Sept. 21.
“Being a noncommissioned officer is not a job but a time-honored profession,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler, public affairs operations senior NCO, 8th TSC, and narrator for the day’s event.
“Professions produce uniquely expert work, not routine or repetitive work. Effectiveness, rather than pure efficiency, is the key to the work of professionals,” Wheeler added.
Before the start of the formal portion, NCOs lined the deck of the “Mighty Mo” as a show of strength and unit within the 8th TSC’s NCO Corps. They then moved to the bow of the ship for a group shot, followed by guided tours of the historic vessel.
Food was then served, followed by the formal ceremony. Videos showing the history and importance of the NCO Corps played, highlighting some of the NCO Corps’ most decorated members, like Sgt. Audie Murphy.
Command Sgt. Maj. Nathan Hunt, senior enlisted leader, 8th TSC, hosted the event and was keynote speaker.
“This is a great day and great event,” Hunt said. “The traditions of our NCO Corps, our NCO Induction Ceremony, the NCO Call, can’t be found in any regulation. They aren’t mandated by any formal publication saying these things have to occur. They occur because command sergeants major, sergeants major and other noncommissioned officers remember what our traditions are and still uphold them.
“My hats off to Command Sgt. Maj. Tose Tia, (senior enlisted leader, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th TSC) and all of the other noncommissioned officers that put this together,” Hunt said. This is a true testament to our NCO Corps.”
The event included an awards ceremony and cake-cutting ceremony.
“The first cut is made by Command Sgt. Maj. Hunt and the oldest NCO, Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Reynolds, the current operations sergeant major for the 8th TSC, as a sign of honor and respect to experience and seniority,” Wheeler said.
“The saber is then passed to Command Sgt. Maj. Tia and the youngest NCO, Sgt. Samantha Gonzales, supply NCO for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 8th STB, for the second cut, symbolizing the passing of wisdom, knowledge and experience, as well as trust and confidence in those who will continue to carry on the traditions of the NCO Corps,” Wheeler said.
Reynolds told of the pride he felt for the Army and the NCO Corps on that day.
“This event is extremely important,” Reynolds said. “This event is probably the most honorable thing we can do, and we don’t do it enough.
“I was so proud of the NCO Corps and the NCO Call, the way it was conducted and the professionalism that was displayed,” Reynolds added. “I enjoyed seeing all the civilians come through, ask questions, taking pictures, and who wanted to be part of an organization that displayed the professionalism we did. I shed a tear.”