From the 95th Training Division (IET) Commander

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When I was a young lieutenant on active duty, the promotion of a Solider into the NCO ranks was a sacred event. The entire battalion would form up on the parade field for the ceremony, complete with the command’s color guard. Before each promotion took place, the Command Sergeant Major would recite the Creed of the Non-Commissioned Officer to the assembled mass of Soldiers, NCOs and Officers. It was his way of reminding all of us, not just the new Sergeant, of how critically important the non-commissioned officer is to our Army.

Many years later, it is my great fortune to find myself back in a unit that is all about training and employing the most professional NCOs in the United States Army Reserve – Drill Sergeants. Though the years have passed, the NCO Creed hasn’t changed, nor has the role of the NCO. NCOs are still the backbone and bedrock of excellence in our Army.

If you haven’t thought about the NCO Creed in a while, take a few moments and read it. The NCO Creed spells out what a professional non-commissioned officer is and does. The expectations are high. This is how it should be, because our NCOs are charged with caring for our most important resource – our Soldiers.

Nowhere in the United States Army Reserve is this more true, or more critical, than in the Drill Sergeant community. Our Drill Sergeants are called upon to take raw civilian volunteers, mold them into Soldiers, and make them capable of successfully serving in the Army anywhere in the world. Not all NCOs have what it takes to be a Drill Sergeant. Nor can you “just show up” and magically graduate from the Drill Sergeant Academy. Becoming a Drill Sergeant is no easy thing.

Once you become a Drill Sergeant, it doesn’t get any easier. As a Drill Sergeant, you embody the standard set by the NCO Creed. This never changes, whether you are on mission “pushing troops” or are at home station taking care of the routine business of readiness. The expectation is that you will know your Soldiers, lead your Soldiers, and care for your Soldiers – and that you will do all of these things by taking appropriate action in the absence of orders. You don’t need to be told what right looks like – you already know.

If we want to remain relevant as an organization, we must be ready. There is no other option. This means excelling in the four aspects of readiness: Mission, Soldier, Safety, and Family Readiness. We will succeed in this, because our NCOs, are among the very finest in the United States Army Reserve and are empowered to perform the time honored duties which our Nation has entrusted to them. Our NCOs are the key to the Army Reserve’s readiness, and are why we will be ready and relevant, no matter the challenge.

“Iron Men of Metz!”

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