Nov. 18, 2009
329th RSG welcomes 25 Soldiers into NCO corps
By Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne
Virginia Guard Public Affairs
FORT PICKETT, Va. — Noncommissioned officers from the 329th Regional Support Group welcomed more than two dozen Soldiers into the NCO corps during a special ceremony Nov. 11 at Fort Pickett.
1st Sgt. Gary Calhoun hands Sgt. Tracey Goldsmith a copy of the NCO creed at the conclusion of the NCO induction ceremony Nov. 11 at Fort Pickett. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class A.J. Coyne, Virginia Guard Public Affairs)
A number of speakers addressed the NCOs on hand, reading everything from the the history of the NCO corps to passages such as “Boots of the NCO” and “A Soldier’s Request.”
Three ceremonial candles were then lit by Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Smith, the command sergeant major of the 329th RSG. The red candle represented the blood sweat and tears spilled by NCOs throughout the years. The white candle symbolized the pure spirit and integrity required of the NCO corps. The blue candle represented the strength and mettle of the corps.
Finally, the 25 inductees were brought on stage where they recited the NCO Creed and joined the NCO corps.
“I cannot tell you how proud I am of every NCO sitting in this room right now,” Smith said. “You make the difference because the officers are planning but we’re executing.”
Smith charged every NCO in the group to live up to the foundations of what the NCO corps was built upon and to take to hear the words in the NCO creed.
“It is so easy to turn a blind eye but it takes a real leader to stand up and make a corrective action,” Smith said. “We need to make sure we instill that pride, that dedication and that discipline in all our Soldiers.”
“You are the future of the Virginia Army National Guard and the United States Army,” Command Sgt. Maj. Carl Holcomb, the Virginia National Guard command sergeant major, told the inductees. “You’re the ones who are going to come up and take our place. Never be afraid as NCOs to do the hard right over the easy wrong.”
Holcomb explained that the NCOs now have one of the greatest obligations that can be put on a person’s shoulders- the responsibility of taking care of Soldiers. He asked them to teach and mentor their Soldiers so that when the time comes, they can step up take the place of the current NCOs.
“The NCO creed is your charge,” Holcomb explained. “Read it and make it a part of your life. Congratulations to you all and welcome to the Corps.”
Sgt. Dustin Thompson of the 1032nd Transportation Company was one of the Soldiers inducted into the NCO Corps at the ceremony.
“I was honored to be here,” the Abingdon resident said. “As a new NCO you go from being supervised to being a supervisor. This symbolizes the importance of taking on that responsibility.”
Thompson was also individually recognized by Smith for his performance as a Soldier and as an NCO who sets the right example. Holcomb later congratulated the young Soldier and presented him with a coin for his achievements.
The NCO induction ceremony was important for several reasons, Holcomb later explained.
“First, each of the Solders inducted here crossed the threshold where they not only must continue to be Soldiers but they now officially became leaders,” he said. “Second, with that leadership role comes the responsibility for mentoring and directing their subordinates who now look to them for guidance.
“Developing leaders has been the legacy of the NCO Corps since its beginning and I feel confident the young warriors who have taken the oath tonight will continue that proud tradition.”