By Spc. Terence Ewings

1st Cavalry Division public affairs

CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ, Iraq - Newly promoted corporals and sergeants joined the Noncommissioned Officers Corps during an induction ceremony May 21.

"Spartan" noncommissioned officers of 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, recited the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer and became part of "The Backbone of the Army" during the time-honored tradition.

"Soldiers are stepping up and taking on the responsibility of becoming a leader," said Command Sgt. Maj. Cassandra Redd, senior enlisted leader for battalion.

"I feel like a proud parent who is finally letting her children out in the world," Redd said. "These NCOs are going to branch out and do great things for the Army."

Upon hearing their names announced, the Spartan noncommissioned officers stood before unit leaders and crossed a line, signifying a milestone in their military careers.

The newly inducted corporals and sergeants now return to their respective units as the first line of leadership charged with mentoring and developing young soldiers.

Command Sgt. Maj. Antoine Overstreet, brigade senior enlisted leader and guest speaker for the induction ceremony, shared words of wisdom with the young enlisted leaders and asked that they "live the NCO Creed."

"It was definitely great to have the brigade leadership here to welcome us into the corps," said Sgt. Randy Hummelgaard, a mechanic assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company.

Hummelgaard said his favorite part of the ceremony was the lighting of the red, white and blue candles, which represented the three paragraphs of the NCO Creed.

"Seeing the candles lit and hearing the NCO Creed was very memorable for me," Hummelgaard said. "Joining the ranks and having a ceremony to acknowledge you as leader makes everything feel surreal."

Spartan Battalion deployed to U.S. Division-North last summer to support the brigade's mission.

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