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Posted: June 8, 2018 3:08 p.m.
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STB inducts new NCOs

Sgt. 1st Class Ben Navratill/

Sgt. Peter Smith, Jr., a human resources technician with STB, 3rd ID RSSB, salutes during a drill and ceremony class at Bagram Airfield, May 18.

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BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - “Who sponsors these Soldiers to be inducted into the NCO Corps?” The question, posed by Command Sgt. Maj. Katrina Herzfeld, boomed across the clamshell auditorium on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, May 19, as more than two dozen newly promoted sergeants and corporals waited their turn to walk across the stage into the NCO Corps.

In response, First Sergeants in charge of the new NCOs read off their names as each one signed into the rolls and walked through an arch, signifying their entry into the Corps.

“The NCO induction ceremony signifies a rite of passage,” said Herzfeld, the senior enlisted advisor to Special Troops Battalion, 3rd Infantry Division Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade. “It signifies a huge step in a junior enlisted Soldier’s career.”

In the Army, becoming an NCO is seen as more than just another promotion. Sergeant is the first rank which requires a leader’s recommendation, based on that Soldier’s leadership aptitude and potential. Candidates for promotion in the active component must also appear before a withering board of senior enlisted Soldiers to prove themselves worthy of the rank.

Herzfeld wanted to make sure the NCOs understood the importance of their new positions.

“I didn’t want it to be just another ceremony,” she said. “I want them to get some professional development out of it. I wanted to give them some tools that will help smooth the transition into the role of an NCO.”

For two days the young NCOs went through a series of classes on leadership and other Army-related knowledge that will help them train and mentor Soldiers. The classes, planned and taught by senior NCOs throughout the STB, included how to prepare and write NCO Evaluation Reports, developing a leadership style, conducting Physical Readiness Training, and many other subjects.

“I feel like they’ll give me more knowledge to help prepare my own Soldiers for promotion,” said Sgt. Peter Smith, Jr., a human resources technician with the STB HR section, about the classes they went through. “I got a lot of new knowledge. Going in depth in the classroom and working with peers was a great experience.”

“They really embraced the classes,” said Herzfeld. “It’s great watching a group of young NCOs ready for the future.”

Smith said he felt like he’d really achieved something as he walked across the stage.

“I’ve been working for the last three years on getting promoted and I really felt accomplished,” he said.

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