The Bayonet

Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2014

3rd BSTB welcomes newest NCOs in elite corps

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The 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion held a Noncommissioned Officer Induction Ceremony Feb. 26 in Marshall Auditorium located inside of McGinnis-Wickham Hall.

Fifteen newly promoted sergeants assigned to 3rd BSTB, 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, were officially inducted to the ranks of the professional noncommissioned officer corps. This is the first NCO Induction Ceremony since returning from deployment from last year.

A ceremony based off tradition and history, the NCOs walked underneath an arch with the NCO rank embedded in gold, completing the rite of passage.

Each inductee was given the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer and Charge of the NCO, signed by Command Sgt. Maj. Carmelo Cruz, 3rd BSTB command sergeant major.

“The duties of NCOs are numerous, but the most important one is to train your Soldier in the individual skills necessary for them to survive in combat,” said guest speaker Command Sgt. Maj. Harry Ferguson, 75th Ranger Regiment signal command sergeant major.

“It is incumbent upon you to ensure that your Soldiers are proficient in the individual skills that will enable them to function as a collective team, in order to accomplish your unit’s wartime mission and meet the commander’s objectives.” He said NCOs are the keepers of our standards, from recruiting stations to basic training, to combat zones; from Infantry to logistics to medicine;and to the military police who control the roads and keep post secure.

Ferguson said as an NCO, they have started upon a course of labor, where the Soldiers that they are charged to lead and the officers appointed above them, expect them to be the subject matter expert in their chosen field of endeavor. Over the span and arch of their career, it is necessary they develop the “skills, knowledge, and attributes” needed to become a competent professional. The other side of the coin of being a professional, he said, is the adherence to the codes of conduct that bind the Army profession together. NCOs have a legal and moral obligation to treat Soldiers, and their Families, with the dignity and respect the surely deserve. The rank recently bestowed upon is a badge of responsibility, and a huge responsibility, Ferguson said.

“I am very fortunate to be inducted. It lets you know that you are a part of something bigger. On top of that, I just got to the unit so it’s a privilege,” said Rifle, Colo., native Sgt. Samantha Jo Chappell-Riehm, a human resource specialist assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd BSTB. “When I first enlisted, I was hoping to stay in long enough to become an NCO. It took me longer than I liked, but I’m glad I made it.”

She knew from the start she wanted to be an NCO because her father is a retired first sergeant. Along with the guidance she received from her mentor.

“My mentor made me step up to the plate. She took care of me and my Family. No matter what the situation job, personal, anything — she always went above and beyond, not only for me but any person,” she said.

“I was mousy and rebellious, she helped tone my skills toward being a better leader and she made sure I was stronger in my personal life. My goal is to retire after 20 years and attend culinary school.”

Chapell-Riehm said her entire goal for becoming an NCO was so she could take care of her Soldiers, because she didn’t have as much support as she would have liked when she was coming up in the ranks.

Thinking on when he first enlisted into the Army back in the early 1990s, his grandmother would always tell church members and friends that her grandson was in the service.

He would respectfully chime in and say, the Army is no longer referred to as ‘service.’

“How wrong I was. You see, my grandmother was a product of a different time in our society, and our country,” Ferguson said.

“As someone who was born during the Great Depression, lived during World War II and survived the deep South during the era of Jim Crow, she had a much different view of things than I. To her generation, they called the Army ‘The Service’ because you joined out of a need, or desire, to render ‘service’ to the country and your fellow man. Coincidently, by serving you became a leader to those who stayed back, uplifted and supported you in your service to our nation.

“We serve to make our country, our institution, and our Army better; Service was their watchword and so to should it be yours.”

“Lastly, remember that your star is on the rise and your only limitations in this world are your dreams, your aspirations, your willingness to work hard, and your ability to persevere through adversity,” he said.

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