The 12th Aviation Battalion , U. S. Army Aviation Brigade, held its NCO Induction Ceremony, Feb. 6, at Thurman Auditorium. The ceremony signaled a transition to being an NCO for 37 Soldiers, which included those from two units within the U.S. Army Aviation Brigade and two battalions conducting support missions with the 12th Aviation Battalion.
Twenty-four Soldiers were from 12th Aviation Battalion. Three Soldiers were from the TAAB’s U.S. Army Priority Air Transport Battalion and Operational Support Airlift Agency. One Soldier was from B Company, 2nd Battalion, 82nd Assault Helicopter Battalion, and nine Soldiers were from 249th Engineer Battalion.
Command Sgt. Maj. Edwin T. Brooks, 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), thanked those who took the time to “support and witness this pivotal moment in the lives of the NCOs sitting here, representing more than 140 years of service.”
He offered advice and wisdom to the newly inducted NCOs, recounting what it takes to be a good NCO. Serving in the military isn’t to be taken lightly or half-heartedly, he said.
“As that young civilian transitions from civilian into Soldier and advances through the ranks to sergeant,” Brooks said, “not only have they chosen the path less chosen … but they have also demonstrated the leadership potential to excel and lead others along that very same path.”
How each person became an NCO is different, but, for all of them, “they were ingrained and grounded in the Army values that were drilled into their subconscious since basic training” and continues to be reinforced throughout their subsequent leadership courses, he said.
Each course is a time to reinforce what was learned, Brooks said.
“Without reflection, there is no growth,” he said. “Be a steward of learning, because the Army thrives and evolves because learning organizations consist of learning individuals.”
To be a good NCO, a Soldier must have the right kind of professionalism, discipline and attitude. The NCO must carry themselves well, take care of their uniform and appearance, be physically fit, and communicate clearly and respectfully.
“Put your pride in one pocket and your ego in the other,” Brooks said about the importance of being humble. “Great things will come to you. Soldiers will recognize … they will see that you are true.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Richard A. Woodring, Military District of Washington, also spoke at the ceremony.
“I don’t know how long I’ve been an NCO, but I know that I’ve been an NCO longer than my driver has been alive, and he’s 24 years old. I’ve been a sergeant major for about 13 years now,” said.
He recalled a time when a sergeant major gave him advice before a deployment.
“‘I want you to spend 15 minutes every day to make yourself bigger, stronger, smarter and faster.’ I thought about that, and I added one more. I put ‘richer.’ What I mean by that, and 15 minutes a day doesn’t seem like much, but over the course of a week that’s an hour and 45 minutes. Everything at this point, now that you’re a non-commissioned officer, is going to take time away from you. Whether it’s family, whether it’s your duties and responsibilities as a non-commissioned officer, taking care of your Soldiers’ training, leading — you name it. Everything is going to take time away from you. Spend 15 minutes on yourself every day. It’s not selfish. It’s doing the right thing for you.”
Instead of buying material goods, put the money you get in your Army career into investments, so that when you retire, you can “do whatever you want or do nothing,” he said.
Richer means taking better care of you, Woodring said.
“Someday we’re all going to take this uniform off. You need to spend that time, that 15 minutes, to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success on the outside world,” he said.