Aug. 1, 2014 —
Ten Army soldiers assigned to DIA were inducted into the
reputable title of noncommissioned officer at DIA’s first Army NCO induction
ceremony held at DIA Headquarters July 29.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond F. Chandler III led the NCO
charge and was the keynote speaker at the ceremony.
“Our profession, in line with the expectations of the
American people, demands that you live a character-driven life,” said Chandler
while addressing the inductees. “Service is about putting your soldiers ahead
of your needs.”
The induction of nine Army sergeants and one staff sergeant
marks the first NCO induction to occur at DIA. Although Army personnel have
continuously worked at DIA in its nearly 53-year history, an official Army
element command at DIA Headquarters wasn’t formally established until 2013. NCO
inductions and similar ceremonies were previously conducted at other units
outside of DIA at the battalion level or higher.
The shift to NCO marks an important transition in an
enlisted service member’s career where a significant increase in leadership
responsibility is bestowed. NCO consideration is given to those who have
demonstrated a strong moral character in their careers with an aptitude to lead
“We are a standards-based Army; we are a standards-based
military,” said DIA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. “Don’t ever allow yourself
to get into any kind of habit where you say that this is the way we do it here.
For the noncommissioned officer, you are the standard bearer.”
The ceremony included a Lighting of the Spirits event, where
three candles are lit representing values that NCOs uphold. A red candle
symbolizes courage and strength, white for purity and commitment, and blue for
valor and pride. A fourth, purple candle was lit to represent the joint nature
of current operations and recognize the contributions of fellow NCOs and petty
officers across the other services.
The ceremony culminated with a reciting of the NCO creed,
which stresses the values of leadership, integrity, professionalism and mission
accomplishment. NCOs continue a heritage of these qualities that can be
directly traced back to the army of Frederick the Great.
“The creed means more than just words,” said Chandler. “It’s
a commitment … not only to the soldiers that you lead, but to the Army and
ultimately to the nation. It’s part of what makes you a professional.”