13th SC(E) welcomes newest NCO's during induction ceremony
By Spc. Alexandra Hemmerly-Brown
LSA ANACONDA, Iraq — More than 30 new sergeants assigned to the 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) were inducted into the noncommissioned officer ranks Dec. 1, at an initiation-type ceremony here.
The NCO induction ceremony is a celebration of newly promoted Soldiers joining the ranks of a professional noncommissioned officer corps, according to FM 07-22.7 Appendix F. The ceremony also serves to honor the memory of those men and women of the NCO corps who have served with pride and distinction.
Highlights of the ceremony included a reading of "Boots of the NCO," a Lighting of the Candles ritual, "A Soldiers Request," and a speech by Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Fountain, the 13th SC(E) command sergeant major.
"We are at war and the Army needs our leaders to be better than the leaders in the past," Fountain said.
Fountain spoke, inspiring the new NCOs to do their best at every task they undertake.
"Your whole life must change because the world expects you to lead their sons and daughters into combat and bring them back home safely," he said.
A little bit of NCO history was given through the reading of "Boots of the NCO."
"With boots on, U.S. Soldiers have fought wars, policed cities, stood between hostile forces, provided humanitarian relief, rescued civilians.and died," says an excerpt of "Boots of the NCO." "No matter where, or when, or what the mission, an Army NCO was there.wearing boots."
Three candles were lit, and each held their own special meaning. The red candle represented valor, the white purity and innocence, and the blue candle represented justice.
As the new NCOs were formerly inducted into the corps, they crossed under an archway symbolizing their passage from lower-enlisted Soldiers.
A lower-enlisted Soldier faced the group of newly-inducted NCOs and read "A Soldiers Request," charging the NCOs to train him as a symbol of how all NCOs should train their Soldiers.
"Treat me with respect, sergeant, for no heart in the world is more loyal than the American Soldier," says part of the request.
"I shall leave this Army knowing with my last step and my last breath, that my fate was always safest in your hands."
The new NCOs responded by reciting The Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer.
Sgt. Rovelyn B. Viloria from Honolulu, Hawaii, an aerial ECP administration agent with the 657th Area Support Group, who was promoted in July said she liked the ceremony.
"It was really nice, it gives you a reality check," Viloria said.
Of her tour in Iraq so far, she said she is enjoying her new responsibilities as an NCO.
"I'm in a learning process," she said.
Viloria said when she returns to the states, she thinks Soldiers assigned to her might have more respect for her because she has had the experience of serving in Iraq.
Sgt. Timothy A. Lansdale of Kauai, Hawaii, the billeting NCO for the 657th ASG, who was also promoted in July agreed.
"The ceremony was a good experience…it gave me a feeling of belonging," he said.
Lansdale said being an NCO has built up his self-confidence, and that he'll be taking home more knowledge to pass on to other Soldiers.
"Every Soldier should be able to learn from their NCO," Lansdale said.
Sgt. Kevin B. Wellnitz, assigned to the 657th Movement Control Team, joins