CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Across the base Airmen came together to learn about what it means to become a staff sergeant at a NCO induction ceremony last Friday, Sept. 28, at the Landing Zone here.
The ceremony, similar in design to the senior NCO induction ceremony, brought Airmen selected for staff sergeant together to learn about the culture, heritage and meaning behind the fourth stripe.
“There really is a transition from Airman to NCO,” said Master Sgt. Randell Hampton, 3rd Special Operations Squadron first sergeant.
Hampton was one of several leadership figures who helped guide the to-be staff sergeants through the day-long course of events.
The NCO Induction ceremony is a tradition celebrated across the Air Force that returned to Cannon thanks to the ambition of its NCO and senior NCO corps.
“I’m very excited about bringing this tradition back because I believe it is needed,” Hampton said. “I am more excited to pass it to our junior enlisted to see how they shape it.”
The Air Force NCO’s responsibilities are to maintain and improve their technical abilities and to supervise the work of their subordinates.
This increase in responsibility is the backbone of Air Force operations, as these include accepting a vital role in determining an Airman’s successes and failures in their careers, according to Master Sgt. Michael Fisher, 27th Special Operations Force Support Squadron career assistance advisor.
“The move to the NCO corps is vitally important,” Fisher said. “This is a huge responsibility that deserves some attention and recognition.”
After hours of classes and keynote speakers talking to the participating staff sergeant-selects, the event ended with the NCO charge, where all participating members stood at attention and raised their right hand and repeated the NCO creed.
Although one of the ceremony’s intentions is to draw the line between being an airman and becoming a staff sergeant, the biggest takeaway is something less tangible than a stripe.
“My hope is for each of them to understand the seriousness of what is to come as an NCO,” Hampton said.
Similar to what Hampton said, Fisher drew parallels to his time as a parent.
“It’s much like becoming a parent. The success of those who are placed in your charge is largely dependent on how well you execute your responsibilities.”
This new wave of non-commissioned officers are expected to continue transforming and improving our force, now at a higher level.