By Dottie White
USASMDC/ARSTRAT Public Affairs
FORT CARSON, Colo. — U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command’s 1st Space Brigade hosted a ceremony inducting 14 new Soldiers into the noncommissioned officer corps March 9 here.
The NCO induction ceremony is a traditional event that celebrates newly promoted sergeants joining the ranks of the NCO corps and emphasizes the pride and esprit de corps all NCOs share as members of an elite group.
Retired 1st Sgt. Darryl Thomas, victim advocate, 1st Space Brigade and guest speaker for the event, told the newly promoted NCOs to take care of Soldiers.
“Be aware of what your Soldiers are going through and what they need to make it; train them right; and above all else be a leader not a follower,” Thomas said.
Following Thomas’ remarks, each Soldier passed under the NCO arch as they crossed the stage, the symbolic gesture of officially entering the NCO corps, before they were congratulated and presented their certificates by Thomas and Command Sgt. Maj. Scott Sutherland, command sergeant major, 1st Space Brigade.
Once the inductees received their certificates, they followed the lead of Sutherland in reciting the Creed of the Noncommissioned Officer. The ceremony concluded with everyone in attendance singing the Army Song.
Following the ceremony, Sutherland said it was great to induct these young NCOs into the backbone of the Army.
“They are being recognized as they go through the arches in that time-honored tradition so all can see the importance of what is put on their shoulders as they become young leaders,” he said. “They will become the first sergeants and sergeants major for our forces in the future, and they will continue to uphold the Army’s traditions.”
“This means a lot to me,” said inductee Sgt. Dontavius Thomas, 1st Space Battalion. “Being inducted is one of the first things in a young NCO’s career. Becoming an NCO means becoming a part of the backbone of the Army and becoming a leader.
“I plan on leading from the front and leading by example,” said Thomas, a native of Anniston, Alabama. “If I tell my Soldiers to do something, it’s something I’ve done in my career or I plan on doing.”
Another inductee, Sgt. Brian Lisko from Phoenix, Arizona, and a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Space Brigade, said it was an honor and a privilege to be a part of the ceremony.
“This is something I’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” Lisko said. “I’ve had a lot of NCOs who I’ve looked up to, and to follow in their footsteps and the footsteps of my grandfathers, who both served in World War II in the Army, is definitely a privilege and an honor.
“In my role as an NCO, I’d like to help retain the NCOs of tomorrow,” continued Lisko. “A lot of kids come in, and they get out after four years as specialists. Hopefully the knowledge of me having already done that and having the opportunity to come back in and imparting that wisdom on them will help to retain future NCOs.”
Brig. Gen. Tim Lawson, deputy commanding general for operations, SMDC, who was in attendance, said he was proud of the newly inducted NCOs.
“This is a great day for the nation, the Army and 14 NCOs,” he said. “No other country has an NCO corps that rivals ours. Today, we witnessed the ushering in of the next generation of junior leaders who will continue this legacy.”