By Staff Sgt. Rob Strain

15th Sustainment Brigade

public affairs

The leaders and noncommissioned officers of the Special Troops Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, welcomed 35 newly promoted noncommissioned officers to the NCO Corps during a ceremony last month at Fort Hood’s Community Events Center.

The ceremony, the battalion’s first since returning from Iraq late last year, officially marks the passing of a soldier from one stage of soldiering into another, said Command Sgt. Maj. Clarence Miller Jr., the battalion’s senior noncommissioned officer and the ceremony’s guest speaker.

“It’s tradition and heritage,” Miller said.

Miller emphasized the importance of the rite of passage for newly promoted noncommissioned officers.

But according to Miller, it’s not all for show.

“This is an opportunity, for us as a battalion, to get our newly promoted noncommissioned officers together in a room and give them some knowledge of what it takes to be a noncommissioned officer in the Corps today,” Miller said.

During his speech, Miller talked about how sacrifice is an essential part of being a noncommissioned officer.

“To perform the duties of a sergeant or a noncommissioned officer, you must and you will sacrifice,” Miller said to the young sergeants sitting in the audience. “There is no way of getting around it.”

Miller explained how sacrifice creates an atmosphere of discipline, leadership and growth.

“To show that you have improved your skills as a leader, you must be tested,” Miller said. “You know what test is – sacrifice.”

For one of the noncommissioned officers being inducted, the ceremony was recognition of a goal achieved.

“It does give me more confidence,” said Sgt. Brandon Harris, a mechanic with the battalion’s 157th Quartermaster Company.

Harris was promoted to sergeant in June 2006, his chain of command at the time pinned the rank on and then nothing more was said about it.

“Actually having a ceremony and other people recognizing it, makes you feel a lot better, make you feel more confident,” Harris said.

Each of the inductees were given a framed copy of the NCO Creed and Charge as well as a leader’s handbook, which will be their tools to get started, Miller said.

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