|Oregon soldiers carry on NCO induction tradition while serving in Iraq
By Sgt. 1st Class Wayne W. Chastain, A Company, TF 3-116 Armor
FOB WARRIOR, Iraq- The noncommissioned officers (NCOs) of the 116th Brigade Combat Team's Alpha Company, Task Force 3-116 Armor, celebrated their second annual Noncommissioned Officer's Induction Ceremony May 20 at Warrior Gym on Forward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq.
This year's ceremony inducted eight new Sergeants into the company's NCO Corps. The ceremony included Alpha Company NCOs and several high-ranking NCOs from other battalions, as well as NCOs from the Air Force that are co-located with the Brigade on FOB Warrior.
Guest speakers were Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Brooks, the TF 3-116 Armor Command Sergeant Major, and Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Whittier, the 145th Support Battalion Command Sergeant Major.
The ceremony started with a narrator telling of the history of the NCO Corps, followed by comments from Command Sgt. Maj. Brooks to the new inductees.
"Promotion to the NCO Corps is the most important promotion any of you will get while in military service…It is proper that you be recognized through ceremony," said Brooks.
Brooks went on to discuss the responsibilities that come with promotion into the NCO Corps.
"NCOs must ensure their soldiers meet all standards…NCOs must enforce standards to develop their soldiers in the daily skills that will help them succeed in their missions. It is a privilege to be entrusted with the responsibility of both the lives of your soldiers and the mission that must be accomplished," he said.
Command Sgt. Maj. Whittier then offered some words of advice to the new inductees. He said NCOs must be prepared at all times for the unexpected, and he challenged the new NCOs to be ready for that.
The ceremony went on with the history of the NCO Creed. Then the inductees were presented by their sponsors to Command Sgt. Maj. Brooks for the reading of the NCO Creed and swearing in of the new NCOs with the "Charge of the Noncommissioned Officer."
Brooks and Whittier then performed the ceremonial "wetting of the stripes," done by pouring water over each new sergeant's rank. The ceremony concluded with presentation of coins to the new sergeants by both Brooks and Whittier, and congratulations offered by every member of Alpha Company's NCO Corps.
The newly inducted Sergeants were Richard Rourke, James Flood, Johan Bagge, Chadwick Getman, William Childs, Robert Powers, Gilbert Tweedy and Brian Polley. Sergeant Bagge was injured in an attack by insurgents on June 3.
Soldiers of the 116th BCT have been in Iraq since December 2004 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Members of the brigade are helping Iraqis in their area maintain security, establish their new government, develop their economy and facilitate communications.
The 116th BCT includes units from the states of Idaho, Oregon, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, New Jersey and Maryland. Alpha Company, Task Force 3-116 Armor is headquartered in Ontario, Oregon.
Reading Creed: Inductees read the Noncommissioned Officer Creed at an induction ceremony held by Alpha Company, Task Force 3-116 Armor, at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq, May 20. In line left to right are sergeants Richard Rourke, James Flood, Johan Bagge, Chadwick Getman, William Childs, Robert Powers, Gilbert Tweedy and Brian Polley. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Dean Harrison, TF 3-116 Armor)
Signing: Sgt. Robert Powers signs his Noncommissioned Officer's Creed as Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Brooks and Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Whittier look on during an induction ceremony held by Alpha Company, Task Force 3-116 Armor, at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq, May 20. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Dean Harrison, TF 3-116 Armor)
Wetting: Command Sgt. Maj. Joseph Brooks and Command Sgt. Maj. Charles Whittier ceremoniously wet Sgt. Gilbert Tweedy's stripes during an induction ceremony held by Alpha Company, Task Force 3-116 Armor, at Forward Operating Base Warrior, Iraq, May 20. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Dean Harrison, TF 3-116 Armor)
CPT Monte Hibbert
116th BCT Public Affairs