***image1***One-by-one in a room brimming with chevrons, 25 newly promoted sergeants affirmed their new responsibilities and took their place in the U.S. Army NCO Corps during an induction ceremony March 25 at the Kaiserslautern Community Activity Center.
The ceremony, regarded as a rite of passage, marked the first held for Soldiers of the 21st Troop Support Battalion, based at Panzer Kaserne, which has undergone a recent structural reorganization
“This is an important event in their lives,” said First Sgt. Tony Rucks, HHC, 200th Troop Support Brigade. “You can only be inducted into the NCO Corps once in your life. To get to this point, they’ve trained and led Soldiers, and deserve to be inducted.”
Inductee Sgt. Jeffrey Taylor, an administrative specialist, said he wants to continue the strong legacy of the NCO Corps by taking care of Soldiers. He said he welcomes the added responsibility.
“It’s the very beginning for me. I want to be in a position where I can help other Soldiers under my care,” said the four-year veteran, who pinned on his sergeant chevrons March 1. “I’m ready to take on that responsibility and prove myself.”
Events such as the induction ceremony are only part of the overall leadership program the 21st Theater Support Command’s top enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Jerry L. Reid, has instituted throughout the command.
“This is where you set the tone for how you form a young NCO and build the NCO Corps,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Reid, after personally congratulating each inductee. “We will continue to mentor and train our NCOs with events like this, because I feel it solidifies and validates a Soldier becoming an (NCO).”
Units in the command hold induction ceremonies throughout the year. They demonstrate the importance that commanders place on the strength of their NCOs, said Command Sgt. Maj. Reid.
Like the passing of the torch, three inductees recited a section of the NCO Creed while three senior NCOs lit colored candles that signified the meaning of each section.
The red candle signifies the hardness and valor of the NCO. The white represents the competency of the NCO and purity in deed and thought. The blue candle is a sign of vigilance, justice and truth of all NCOs.
This tradition of induction dates to the beginning of the Army.