SOTO CANO AIR BASE, Honduras –
The 612th Air Base Squadron welcomed six Airmen into the top enlisted tier during the base's first senior non-commissioned officer induction ceremony here, Sept. 9.
Although not as large scale as a “normal” Air Force base's SNCO induction ceremony, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Lelah Windell, 612th ABS Logistics Flight superintendent and the ceremony's lead coordinator, said she would be remiss in her duties as a SNCO if the six inductees weren't honored for reaching such an important milestone in their careers.
“We don't necessarily have the capability to put together a large-scale ceremony here in our remote, deployed environment, but we (the 612th ABS) all kind of pooled together our resources so we could properly induct them into the SNCO tier,” Windell said. “This is important not only because it honors the inductees, but it also shows our junior NCOs and Airmen that it is a big deal to make it to the ‘top 3.’”
U.S. Army Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Robin Bolmer, Army Support Activity command sergeant major, was the event's guest speaker and spoke about the importance of the event and the change in expectations each of the six inductees will soon realize.
“While some of you may think this ceremony is about congratulating and patting these great professionals on the back for a job well done, it is actually meant to place them on notice in front of their fellow service members and let them know they are now expected to perform at a higher level than before,” Bolmer said. “I do not expect SNCOs to never make a mistake, but the mistakes should be less frequent than before and should never be the same mistake twice... There is a reason why a chief master sergeant, sergeant major, or a commanding officer will walk into a room and ask to speak with the SNCO present. The expectation is that the SNCO is going to have the answers because they are proficient and knowledgeable about everything going on.”
Bolmer then spoke about two other unique differences of being a SNCO.
“You are now a leader of a larger group and your success is no longer based on your individual achievements, but on the achievements of your subordinates. If your subordinates are successful, you are successful because their actions are a reflection of your leadership,” Bolmer said. “Also, in many cases it is not until you are a SNCO that you are directly supervised and work hand-in-hand with a commissioned officer. The SNCO is in the best position to understand and ensure the execution of the commander's intent, and the ability to turn the commander's intent into action is invaluable to the success of any unit.”
After Bolmer's speech, the following individuals were recognized and inducted into the SNCO tier:
Tech. Sgt. Robert L. Bridgeforth, 612th ABS deputy airfield manager
Tech. Sgt. Eric Anthony C. Bamba, ASA housing NCO in charge
Tech. Sgt. Donovan A. Chavez, 612th ABS radar systems NCO in charge
Master Sgt. Joseph A. Flores, 612th ABS assistant fire chief of fire operations
Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Harris, 612th ABS engineering superintendent of the planning section
Tech. Sgt. Justin M. Williams, 612th ABS aerospace ground equipment section chief
The 612th ABS' SNCO induction ceremony committee was created this year to ensure the ceremony will carry on to future years.