JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas --
The 433rd Airlift Wing held a Senior NCO and NCO induction ceremony sponsored by The Alamo Wing Top 3 Association, Chief's Group, First Sergeants Council and Alamo Rising 6, at the Robert D. Gaylor NCO Academy here Jan. 20, 2018.
Ten NCOs were inducted into the combined Senior NCO and NCO ceremony. Due to an ongoing inspection, more newly appointed NCOs would have been in attendance, but could not attend due to duty.
It was the first NCO induction ceremony to take place in recent years according to Senior Master Sgt. Jorge De Jesus, a 356th Airlift Squadron flight engineer instructor.
“This ceremony came together because I found out that other wings were having formal induction ceremonies for their NCOs and Senior NCOs,” De Jesus said. “The people in this ceremony were promoted in the past six months. The next ceremony will be in July (2018),” he said.
Support by colleagues in the form of mentoring and by family were key reasons the 10 Airmen were honored in the ceremony according to Col. Thomas K. Smith Jr., 433rd Airlift Wing commander.
“Mentoring, you didn’t get to where you are without people (Airmen) around you or without your family there,” he said. “Don’t forget that you need to mentor those below you as much as you are asking for mentoring help from those above you,” Smith said.
Smith compared the Airmen’s promotions to former astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.
“It’s a small step for you in your career, but it is a giant leap for the Air Force because it is a new set of people taking on great responsibilities within our Air Force,” he said. “We need you to continue to advance and continue to reach your potential,” the wing commander said.
One honoree believes the ceremony celebrating his promotion will make him a better Airman.
“I will be able to look at Airmen and try to help them out and be a better mentor to get them to my level in my career,” said Master Sgt. David Ponce, a 433rd Aircraft Maintenance aircraft mechanic . “As I progress in my career, I am glad I did take that step,” the former enlisted Marine said.
Promotion to the rank of Staff Sgt. and from Tech. Sgt. to Master Sgt. is important according to De Jesus. “It’s a milestone. It should be celebrated and we (the NCO sponsors) want to make it special for this group and all the groups coming up after them.”