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NEWS | June 5, 2024

NCO induction ceremony held for 14 new aviation battalion NCOs

By Spc. Ericka Gillespie | Virginia National Guard Public Affairs

The Virginia National Guard’s Sandston-based 2nd Battalion, 224th Aviation Regiment, 29th Infantry Division welcomed 14 Soldiers to the noncommissioned officer corps during an NCO Induaction Ceremony held June 1, 2024, at the Army Aviation Support Facility in Sandston, Virginia. The ceremony honored those Soldiers promoted to the rank of sergeant over the last year.

““As NCOs you will need to be technical and tactical proficient,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Laronda S. Williams, the 2nd Battalion command sergeant major, during her remarks at the ceremony.

“As an NCO, you’re going to be faced with many challenges, you’re going to have to make on the spot corrections, you’re going to have to deliver good news, and bad news,” Williams said. “And while doing all of this, you’re going to have to remain professional.”

Following her words of inspiration, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Martin, the host for the ceremony, provided a background of the history of the NCO Corps. He explained that to maintain and be the backbone of the Army, metamorphosis must happen, a follower must become the leader when becoming an NCO. The noncommissioned officer provides the essential link between the Army’s commanders and its men and women.

After the historical overview of the NCO Corps, Command Sgt. Maj. Latane I. Gilliam, 2nd Squadron, 183rd Cavalry Regiment command sergeant major, and Williams moved forward to light the symbolic candles while each of the three paragraphs of the NCO Creed. 

The first candle lit was red, to represent “the blood, sweat and tears shed by the NCO Corps in every conflict from the Revolutionary War to our present-day war on terror.” 

Next was a white candle to represent the “corps' pure spirit and integrity,” dedication to caring for Soldiers and their families, and the camaraderie and esprit de corps of the NCO Corps. 

The last candle lit was blue to represent the “strength and mettle of the corps, its moral courage, and its refusal to compromise on standards, integrity, loyalty and love of fair play.”

While the newly inducted NCOs moved through the arch representing the symbolic transition from follower to leader, first sergeants proudly stood at attention and declared their approval of their Soldiers transition to Gilliam and Williams. Newly inducted NCOs then stood at attention with their right hand raised and were swore in by Gilliam and Williams.

“As you move into your new position, remember to never stop learning and growing,” reminded Gilliam.

Each of the 14 new NCOs received a copy of the NCO Creed, the Noncommissioned Officer Guide and a certificate signifying their move into the NCO Corps.

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