NEWS | Sept. 28, 2021

From Peers to Leaders: KATUSAs Participate in NCO Induction Ceremony

By Ms. Amelia Gillies USFK Public Affairs

USAG Humphreys, Republic of Korea -- Thirty-two newly promoted soldiers from the 6-52 Air Defense Artillery (ADA) Battalion, along with five soldiers from the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) program, joined the ranks of the Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Corps during an induction ceremony at the Wightman NCO Academy Auditorium on Camp Humphreys, Sep. 24, 2021.

The NCO induction ceremony is a time-honored tradition recognizing the transition of enlisted soldiers into a position of leadership within their organization, and honoring their willing acceptance of the greater responsibilities that come with leadership.

“Ceremonies like this allow us to come together and remember our heritage,” said Sgt. Maj. Henry A. Scott, Command Sergeant Major of 6-52 ADA Battalion, 35th ADA Brigade. “It is important for our NCOs to understand the traditions and where they came from, and the responsibilities they now carry as the leaders of tomorrow's Army.”
NCOs are responsible for executing complex tactical operations in joint and multinational environments, maintaining and enforcing standards and discipline, as well as the health, welfare and development of their subordinates.

“The reason that the U.S. has the strongest military in the world is because of the great leaders they have,” said Sgt. Maj. Seung Yong Cheon, Eighth United States Army Republic of Korea Army Support Group Civil Relations and Safety NCO. “Especially the NCO’s, the backbone of the U.S. Army.”

KATUSAs are a part of a branch of the ROK Army which consists of Korean drafted personnel who are augmented to Eighth Army. Although these KATUSAs are soldiers in South Korea’s Army, they serve side-by-side with U.S. Army soldiers and offer language and cultural support in addition to their regular duties.

“KATUSAs serve for a short time so participating in ceremonies like this is an important part of developing a greater understanding of leadership and building on those skills,” said Cheon. “It’s very meaningful to the KATUSAs as well, to be included.”

“We promote automatically as KATUSAs so we don’t have ceremonies like this, but we are expected to lead and so leadership skills are important,” said Cpl. Jung Hyo Chang, KATUSA inductee. “It has been a good learning experience and has really made us feel like part of the team.”

The U.S. and ROK alliance is built on people-to-people ties and the KATUSA program is both a representation of the cooperation between these two proud nations and a symbol of our ongoing friendship and mutual support.

“We go together says it all,” said Scott. “Everything we do, our KATUSAs are there, we stand side-by-side and shoulder to shoulder.”