JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas —
Brooke Army Medical Center welcomed its newest non-commissioned officers into the ranks of the professional NCO Corps during a formal induction ceremony held in the auditorium Oct. 4.
“It is a great day to observe a valued tradition like this,” said BAMC Command Sgt. Maj. Diamond Hough as he welcomed the inductees, their family members and fellow NCOs. “I am proud to bring you here today for this ceremony.”
Hough introduced the guest speaker for the ceremony, Command Sgt. Maj. Napoleon Noguerapayan from Fort Bliss, saying, “Noguerapayan is the embodiment of the non-commissioned officer – his character is above reproach.”
Noguerapayan spoke to the 27 inductees about their role as leaders.
“NCOs have been part of a strong Army for over 240 years,” he said. “You name the conflict and we were there.”
Many things have changed over the years including the uniform, the environment, the enemy and technology Noguerapayan said, “but what hasn’t changed is the determination of NCOs to fight and to win.”
He advised the new NCOs to engage with their Soldiers, but more importantly to listen to them.
“The Army and the nation demands that you be a leader who is agile, flexible, adaptable; a critical thinker who can make decisions,” Noguerapayan said. “Because, make no mistake … the enemies of freedom are watching.
“You need to be that leader who remains technically and tactically proficient, physically and mentally ready,” he said.
Noguerapayan also stressed the importance of resiliency and teamwork.
“Greatness happens when we work together and we defend each other,” he concluded.
The ceremony steeped in tradition featured the reading of the NCO history, a presentation by fellow NCOs and the lighting of the three candles representing the NCO spirit: A red candle for courage and blood; a white candle representing purity and commitment; and a blue candle for valor and pride.
The ceremony concluded with the new inductees reciting the NCO charge led by Hough followed by the inductees walking through the NCO arch as a ceremonial rite of passage.