In Part 1 of 2, NCOs experience Radar Hill, induction ceremony
Story and photos by
Sgt. Kimberly K. Menzies
94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command Public Affairs
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Leaders with the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, U.S. Army-Pacific, participated in Command Sgt. Maj. John W. Foley’s Leader Professional Development (LPD) Week in February.
The week was planned as a way to emphasize leader development and to encourage employing different techniques to effectively develop leaders at all levels.
“Readiness is the No. 1 priority of the Army, and when you talk about readiness, you really can’t have ready units (ready Soldiers) without properly developed leaders and Soldiers,” said Foley, the command sergeant major of the 94th AAMDC. “Technology will only take you so far. It is your people, your Soldiers, that really make the advances for our Army and our nation.”
Many times the emphasis of leader development is demonstrated through a single event. Foley considers it an unremitting plan.
“Leader development is a continuous strategy, really a daily thing – whether you do it formally through NCO (noncommissioned officer) inductions, ceremonies, classes, vignettes or in an informal manner,” expressed Foley.
During the four days, leaders in the unit conducted and participated in informal and formal leader development events across all ranks and military occupational specialties.
“I like to conduct LPDs that combine the officers, warrant officers and NCOs,” shared Foley. “I think it is more powerful than doing an independent, stove-pipe session. Let’s face it, when you do an NCODP, no one else knows what we are doing. When we incorporate everyone, not only is that ambiguity eliminated, but you are also all learning from each other.”
The informal portion of the week was conducted through conversation and shared military experience. The formal portion of the week consisted of a physical activity event, an NCO induction ceremony and a staff ride.
“The vision was to do something in the physical domain – some (physical readiness training) that would challenge most leaders and NCOs, to do something to recognize newly promoted NCOs and to incorporate a portion were we learned about our local military history here, where we came from and how that translates to what we do in the unit today,” said Foley.
• Strenuous physical activity
For the physical activity event, NCOs and promotable specialists conducted an early morning run up Radar Hill at Fort Shafter. The run, which began prior to sunrise, initially had to be illuminated by ChemLights to prevent possible injuries due to limited visibility.
“After conducting preparatory drills, we ran a few miles on Radar Hill,” said Sgt. Geysi Johnson, the property book office NCO with 94th AAMDC. “It definitely was not what I would call easy. It was my first time on Radar Hill, and when I turned the corner on the road to start on the trail, I looked up, saw the incline lit up with ChemLights, and I swear my legs groaned. … To have accomplished running that hill felt great.”
• NCO induction
The second formal element of Foley’s LPD week was an NCO induction ceremony to recognize several of the newly promoted NCOs within the unit.
An NCO induction ceremony is a historical rite of passage for enlisted leaders where the new inductees sign and accept the NCO Charge, heed the Soldiers’ Request and are bequeathed their leadership duties and responsibilities.
“Inducting NCOs into the NCO Corps is important to celebrate their accomplishment while emphasizing their duties and responsibilities,” said Master Sgt. Ronald Quinata, the current operations NCOIC with the 94th AAMDC. “Advancing by becoming an NCO in the Army is a milestone that needs to be celebrated.”
According to Quinata, being an effective NCO is more than receiving an increase in pay and having the ability to give orders to Soldiers. He believes NCOs have a responsibility to take care of Soldiers and their families. A good NCO will mentor Soldiers and NCOs to become leaders.
“Ceremonies like this serve as a reminder of the weight and importance of the NCO Corps,” said Quinata. “The duties and scope of being an NCO need to be truly understood so that leaders continue to develop their subordinates to be better than they are.”
“Becoming an NCO was one of my main goals when I decided to enlist in the United States Army,” said Sgt. Nathan Thompson, an inductee and the all source production NCOIC with the 94th AAMDC. “My feelings about being able to fulfill that goal cannot be accurately described with words.
“Capable and competent NCOs are what allow the Army to be the best Army in the world. Our guidance and leadership are required to ensure mission success, and I am honored to be part of the backbone of this organization and to accept all the responsibilities that are essential to that role,” said Thompson.