On Monday Jerry went to his promotion ceremony to become a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. For those of you that don't know every time you get a promotion you go through this ceremony. The base commander and command chief stand on stage give you a certificate and tack on your new stripes (you get punched in the arm its a tradition). The difference with what he did though is he has become a non-commissioned officer or NCO as we call it and when this happens he has to take an oath with all the other Staff Sergeant being promoted this month. The NCO oath:
"NO ONE IS MORE PROFESSIONAL THAN I. I AM A NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER, A LEADER OF PEOPLE. AS A NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER, I REALIZE THAT I AM A MEMBER OF A TIME-HONORED FORCE. I AM PROUD OF THE FORCE OF NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND WILL, AT ALL TIMES, CONDUCT MYSELF SO AS TO BRING CREDIT UPON THE FORCE, THE MILITARY SERVICE, AND MY COUNTRY REGARDLESS OF THE SITUATION IN WHICH I FIND MYSELF."
"I WILL NOT USE MY GRADE OR POSITION TO ATTAIN PLEASURE, PROFIT, OR PERSONAL SAFETY. COMPETENCE IS MY WATCHWORD. MY TWO BASIC RESPONSIBILITIES WILL ALWAYS BE UPPERMOST IN MY MIND--ACCOMPLISHMENT OF MY MISSION AND THE WELFARE OF MY PEOPLE. I WILL STRIVE TO REMAIN TACTICALLY AND TECHNICALLY PROFICIENT."
"I AM AWARE OF MY ROLE AS A NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICER, I WILL FULFILL THE RESPONSIBILITIES INHERENT IN THAT ROLE. ALL AIRMEN ARE ENTITLED TO OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP. I WILL PROVIDE THAT LEADERSHIP. I KNOW MY PEOPLE AND I WILL ALWAYS PLACE THEIR NEEDS ABOVE MY OWN. I WILL COMMUNICATE CONSISTENTLY WITH MY PEOPLE AND NEVER LEAVE THEM UNINFORMED. I WILL BE FAIR AND IMPARTIAL WHEN RECOMMENDING BOTH REWARDS AND PUNISHMENT."
"OFFICERS OF MY UNIT WILL HAVE MAXIMUM TIME TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR DUTIES, THEY WILL NOT HAVE TO ACCOMPLISH MINE. I WILL EARN THEIR RESPECT AND CONFIDENCE AS WELL AS THAT OF MY PEOPLE. I WILL BE LOYAL TO THOSE WITH WHOM I SERVE--SENIORS, PEERS, AND SUBORDINATES ALIKE. I WILL EXERCISE INITIATIVE, BY TAKING APPROPRIATE ACTION IN THE ABSENCE OF ORDERS. I WILL NOT COMPROMISE MY INTEGRITY NOR MY MORAL COURAGE."
"I WILL NOT FORGET, NOR WILL I ALLOW MY COMRADES TO FORGET, THAT WE ARE PROFESSIONALS--NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS--LEADERS."
The part of this that really sucked though is that I could not be there at his promotion. If you have a spouse and children they allow your family to come on stage and help tack on their new stripe and I would have loved to go on stage with him. I am very proud that he has met this milestone in his career but I wish I could have been there for him.
Since he had gone through the ceremony and did the whole NCO creed thing when the first of October comes along he would be able to put on his stripe officially. Which means today he is now SSgt Jerry Shoup in the U.S. Air Force!! In his shop they did what they called the gauntlet where everyone lines up on either side of him and he walks down the center and everyone in his shop tacks on his new stripe. Needless to say he has sore arms now.
I am super proud of him and with this promotion also comes more responsiblities. I know he will have airman under him and that he will be in charge of several programs within his shop and squadron but I plan to be as supportive as possible and help whenever needed. It is just the beginning and in two years he will be eligible to test for Techincal Sergeant and with lots of prep and studying hopefully he'll make it the first time round.
Jerry @ Charleston AFB graduating Airman Leadership School (ALS). The first step in becoming an NCO.
(I will post picks of the promotion as soon as he sends them to me)