Date set for Order of the Sword induction

by Tech. Sgt. Corey Clements
USAFE Public Affairs

***image1***Preparations are underway for the Order of the Sword induction ceremony to honor General William T. Hobbins, commander of U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

USAFE Command Chief Master Sgt. Gary Coleman and a team of individuals throughout the command are working diligently to put together this red-carpet event.

“General Hobbins is a leader who personifies the symbolic meaning of the noncommissioned officer sword – truth, justice and rightfully-used power,” said Chief Master Sgt. Randall Marshall of Headquarters USAFE Installations and Mission Support.  “It is our honor to induct him into the Order, and we pledge our loyalty to him with this symbol of our gratitude and grateful appreciation,” he added.

This induction will be the enlisted corps way of honoring General Hobbins for his devotion to the enlisted men and women of USAFE and will include ceremonial traditions that are rarely, if ever, seen in other events.

One of the traditional events is the breaking of the glasses after the toast.
“It signifies the honor that the toast conveys cannot be undone, like the glass cannot be reconstructed,” said 86th Airlift Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. Harry Viel.  “Thus, the honor we bestow on General Hobbins is irrevocable, an everlasting act,” he added.

Another tradition that will take place is the signing of the proclamation on the scroll by all enlisted members attending the ceremony. This tradition dates back to Order of the Sword ceremonies in the Middle Ages when there were no typewriters or word processors, only rolled parchment paper.

“Today, this tradition is kept alive to add authenticity and another connection between the original ceremony and modern day events,” said 435th Air Base Wing Command Chief Master Sgt. David Spector. “Also, the scroll is a record of attendees and proceedings to be forever encased in a display case and serve as an unending reminder to the general of the dedication and loyalty of his enlisted force,” he said.

The induction is Nov. 17 at Ramstein  Officers’ Club. The social hour will begin at 6 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m., followed by presentations and activities.
The event is open to enlisted members, their spouses and General Hobbins’ invited guests only.  

The cost per ticket is $36 for a gourmet chicken and beef dish or $24 for a gourmet vegetarian dish. Tickets can be purchased from your first sergeant and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.