Story and photo by Devin Fisher
The Engineers’ NCO Induction Ceremony publicly recognized each of the corporals and sergeants as they walked beneath an arch representing their crossover from junior enlisted to the NCO corps, following their sponsorship from a fellow NCO.
“Being an NCO is the best thing you can ever be,” said Hans Liebrich, guest speaker and former 4th Eng. Bn. command sergeant major.
The ceremony featured an NCO tribute video, the inductees reciting the NCO oath and NCO creed and concluded with the singing of the Engineers, 4th Infantry Division and U.S. Army songs.
Take care of your Soldiers and their Families was the simple message Liebrich shared with each inductee following his rite of passage.
“If you take care of your Soldiers, they will take care of you,” the 30-year Army veteran said during his speech.
He said NCOs have to be able to stand up and correct Soldiers, officer and enlisted alike.
“They may not be in your unit, but they are in your Army,” Liebrich said.
NCOs also need to exploit discipline and be able to hand out both punishment and praise for their Soldiers, he said. “If you can’t handle it, you need to turn in your stripes.”
He concluded with “I’ll be a Soldier till I die” to a roaring Hooah from the audience.
Battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Lauro Obeada, who arrived at Fort Carson in August, brought the NCO induction tradition back to the 4th Eng. Bn.
“We’re going back to the basics; it’s part of tradition to properly induct our newly promoted (corporals and sergeants) into the NCO corps,” he said, noting many units stopped holding the ceremonies due to the high operations tempo.
“It’s important to recognize (that being an NCO) is not an easy job, it’s a very difficult job,” Obeada said. “We want to do it the proper way so they are recognized, not just promoted to (sergeant) … but actually what it means to be a noncommissioned officer.”
While NCO induction ceremonies are typically closed to only enlisted members, Obeada invited Family members and officers to experience the occasion.
Inductee Cpl. Paul Bays, 62nd Engineer Company, 4th Eng. Bn., was touched by the ceremony.
“It means a lot,” said the five-year Army veteran who had not seen such a ceremony. “It’s neat to see and get appreciation for your hard work becoming an NCO.”