Army’s Year of the NCO observance

Don’t forget, this year is the Year of the NCO, a time designated to honor our dedicated Noncommissioned Officers, past and present. Considered the backbone of our Army, NCOs are a part of our Army Strong tradition, and have touched many parts of society – including the halls of congress.

If you’re in the D.C. local area, join us tomorrow as we honor former Army Noncommissioned officers currently serving as members of the 111th Congress with a Noncommissioned Officer Parade from 5-7 p.m. May 19, at Fort Myer, Va., as part of the Army’s Year of the NCO observance, hosted by Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., and Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth O. Preston.

The Army will honor Sen. Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI); Sen. Daniel K. Inouye (D-HI); Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ); Rep. Henry E. Brown, Jr. (R-SC); Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO); Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX); Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL); Rep. Jim Marshall (D-GA); Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ); Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN); Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-NY); Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX); Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY); Rep. John Salazar (D-CO); Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA); Rep. Tim Walz (D-MN); and Rep. C.W. “Bill” Young (R-FL).

The observance will take place from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at Whipple Field, Fort Myer, Va.

With more than 200 years of service, the U.S. Army’s Noncommissioned Officer Corps has distinguished itself as the world’s most accomplished group of military professionals. Historical and daily accounts of “life as an NCO” are exemplified by acts of courage, and the dedication and willingness to do “whatever it takes” to complete the mission. NCOs have been celebrated for decorated service in military engagements ranging from Valley Forge to Gettysburg, to charges on Omaha Beach and battles along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. In recognition of their commitment to service and willingness to make great sacrifices on behalf of our nation, Secretary Geren established 2009 as “Year of the NCO.” Throughout the year, the Army is honoring NCOs through initiatives and events that enhance awareness and public understanding of the roles and responsibilities of today’s NCO; as well as enhance and accelerate the development of NCOs through education, fitness, and leadership development initiatives.