The Ceremony

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt Matthew L. Noll
  • 22 OSS\OSL Supply
When I was asked to reflect on my Senior Non-Commissioned Officer induction ceremony and provide a commentary to McConnell's newest inductees, I thought what should I write about? Maybe I should focus on the high traditions of the SNCO induction ceremony? Or maybe I should talk about the pomp and circumstance, the fan fare or just stick to the facts and nothing else? I also began to think I should explain what being a master sergeant means to me? How about a little of everything. 

To be honest, I studied like crazy to attain every rank. I never made a single stripe on the first try. I took direction from mentors who said, "Study, study, study...take a week of leave prior to the test and cram, cram, cram." That is what I did.
Some years it worked well for me and other years it didn't. But when your hard work does pay off, there is nothing more joyful then getting on stage in front of your peers and putting your jacket on with the new rank. There's nothing more rewarding than wearing your new shiny rank and having your family and friends "tack" it on. 

As you're congratulated on your achievement, you feel the pride swell inside you. For years I felt this was the pinnacle of ceremonies in the Air Force. That is, until I experienced my SNCO induction ceremony. 

The SNCO Induction Ceremony represents not just pinning on your next stripe, but your entrance into a brotherhood. You have reached the top enlisted tier; you are now a Senior NCO. You've worked hard to earn your authority and you cannot allow your integrity to become a source of contention. This is what you have achieved; you have become a master sergeant. 

You have mastered the art of being an NCO. And even more significant, you are a master sergeant in the world's most powerful air force. You are one of the elite. You are now among the "Top Three." This is what the SNCO induction ceremony represents to me. The promotion ceremony is putting on that stripe, the one that forms a roof. 

The induction ceremony says that you are, without hesitation, ready to lead. As you walk through the arch of sabers, you are ceremoniously brought into the fraternity. Your word is your bond. You are a knight of the round table with chivalry at your side. When you think back to basic training and that long trip to Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, did you think you would be a part of the 25 percent to reach this milestone? 

The week of 24-28 August, Team McConnell's new SNCO inductees will attend a professional enhancement course to help prepare them for the additional challenges that come with this stripe. The class will culminate with the SNCO Induction ceremony at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, August 28th. Come out and help celebrate this momentous occasion.