By Spc. Fabian Ortega

13th Sustainment Command

public affairs

The 1st Medical Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command welcomed 28 new sergeants on Thursday into the noncommissioned officer corps during an induction ceremony at the Fort Hood Catering and Conference Center on Thursday.

The ceremony serves as a rite of passage for newly promoted sergeants and allows noncommissioned officers of a unit to build and develop a cohesive bond, support team development and serve as a legacy for future induction ceremonies, according to the Association of the United States Army Web site.

The ceremony included traditional events such as “A Soldier’s Request,” lighting of the candles, recital of the NCO creed and a keynote speaker, 13th Sustainment Command’s Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Fountain.

“We are leading our soldiers in a war that is going on right now,” Fountain said to guests, soldiers and new noncommissioned officers at the induction ceremony. “We need our noncommissioned officer to lead. We ask you to be smart and to be able to multitask because of the fight we are in today.”

During his keynote address, Fountain expressed his gratitude for those who joined the military after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Many of you volunteered to serve in a time of war, that exemplifies all of the Army values,” Fountain said. “You have heard the NCO creed here today; always remember that these are not just words but a way of life.”

During the reading of “A Soldier’s Request,” a soldier charged his noncommissioned officers to teach and train him, symbolizing the noncommissioned officer-soldier relationship.

“Do not break my spirit with your words, sergeant. For though I will do what you demand, your guidance, patience, and understanding will more quickly teach me to ‘Be, Know and Do.’”

Afterward, three noncommissioned officers responded with the recital of the creed of the NCO.

“No one is more professional than I... I will not forget, nor will I allow my comrades to forget that we are professionals, noncommissioned officers, leaders!”

The ceremony marked the second induction ceremony this year.

The brigade’s most senior enlisted member, Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin B. Stuart, said induction ceremonies are important.

“This is a special day, a day in which we pay tribute and honor those NCOs,” Stuart said. “Soldiers lean on the noncommissioned officers to get the job done; they lean on the noncommissioned officers for teaching, mentoring, coaching and guidance; that’s what the noncommissioned officer is about,” he said.

During the ceremony, the new noncommissioned officers were told that their new mission is to develop junior enlisted soldiers and lead by example.

“We must lead by example; always take the hard right, instead of the easy wrong,” Fountain said. “Put the welfare of the nation, the Army and your subordinates before your own.

“It’s not easy being a noncommissioned officer.”

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