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photo by Spc. Opal Vaughn/14th Public Affairs Detachment
Soldiers with 25th Brigade Support Battalion, 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, recite the “Soldiers Request” during a ceremony to formally recognize Soldiers into the Noncommissioned Officers Corps at Forward Operating Base Warhorse in the Diyala Province of Iraq March 8.
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARHORSE, Iraq – One by one, 16 Soldiers with the 25th Brigade Support Battalion were squirted with water and had their rank insignias washed by their chain of command as a part of a Noncommissioned Officers Corps ceremony here March 6.
Sgts. Krystal Lumpkin, Phillip Romero, Jeremiah Thompson, Cantrelle Dansby, David Plummer and Nicole Krajewski of Headquarters and Headquarters Company; Sgt. Brandon Hollins of Distribution Company; Sgts. Scotty Case, Ian Jackson, Kandra Scott, Larry Vargas and Jarrod Jackson of Forward Maintenance Company; and Sgts. Virginia Endo, Evette Lee-Stewart, Patricia Rogers and Michael Venturino of Brigade Support Medical Company, were inducted into the NCO Corps by their chain of command, which was finalized by the washing of their new sergeants rank.
The ceremony was not just for the inductees and their sponsors, but was for the junior enlisted Soldiers as well.
"Reciting the 'Soldiers Request' meant a lot to me," said Pfc. Marcia Martinez, Distribution Company. "It means having my NCO or my higher enlisted sergeants train me to do better for myself. The 'Soldiers Request' says train me to be self sufficient so that I may lead the way. It's really self-explanatory, but it allows me to do better for myself with their support and their guidance.
"The ceremony was a good experience for me and for my peers," she continued. "The more I rehearsed, the more it had meaning; and it caused me to say the 'Soldiers Request' during the ceremony with more meaning."
Instilling good values and continuing in the traditions of the NCO Corps are important, especially when leading and training junior Soldiers, said Staff Sgt. April Dill, the Distribution Company noncommissioned officer in charge.
"It was a really good ceremony. I'm really glad that they went back to the old school ways, which allows our new Soldiers to see it," Dill said. "This ceremony teaches Soldiers the values of the NCO Creed – to know it, live it, train and lead Soldiers by it. It also allows our junior level Soldiers the opportunity to see how NCOs get to the next level."
NCOs in military history are not just an American idea, said Sgt. 1st Class Cherrie Kennedy, 25th BSB, explaining NCO history started long before America was formed.
"The origin of the NCO in military forces is said to be traced back to the Roman armies and their system of clerks," Kennedy said. "It's no wonder that Rudyard Kipling eventually wrote, 'The backbone of the Army is the noncommissioned officer' in his poem 'The Heathen.'
"Regardless of where, when, under what circumstances or by whom it is used, leadership boils down to getting Soldiers to willfully carry out orders and accomplish the mission," she continued. "The more expert the leader, the more likely Soldiers are to follow. NCOs must be able to motivate and inspire Soldiers to carry out missions for the greater good of the Army."