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403rd Wing holds NCO; Senior NCO induction

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 403rd Wing participated in a Noncommissioned Officer and Senior Noncommissioned Officer Induction Ceremony at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi February 10, 2019.  This induction ceremony recognizes Airmen rising in the ranks and the responsibilities of these new leaders and mentors in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shelton Sherrill)

Reserve Citizen Airmen from the 403rd Wing participated in a Noncommissioned Officer and Senior Noncommissioned Officer Induction Ceremony at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi February 10, 2019. This induction ceremony recognizes Airmen rising in the ranks and the responsibilities of these new leaders and mentors in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shelton Sherrill)

Chief Master Sgt. Marshall Harris, 403rd Maintenance Group quality assurance chief, lights the final ceremonial candle during the Noncommissioned Officer and Senior Noncommissioned Officer Induction Ceremony at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi February 10, 2019.  This induction ceremony recognizes Airmen rising in the ranks and the responsibilities of these new leaders and mentors in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shelton Sherrill)

Chief Master Sgt. Marshall Harris, 403rd Maintenance Group quality assurance chief, lights the final ceremonial candle during the Noncommissioned Officer and Senior Noncommissioned Officer Induction Ceremony at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi February 10, 2019. This induction ceremony recognizes Airmen rising in the ranks and the responsibilities of these new leaders and mentors in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shelton Sherrill)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

The 403rd Wing held a Noncommissioned Officer and Senior Noncommissioned Officer induction ceremony in the Roberts Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Facility Auditorium here Sunday, February 10, 2019.

The ceremony recognized those transitioning from the Airman to the NCO tier, senior airman to staff sergeant, and from NCO to the senior NCO tier, technical sergeant to master sergeant.

Before the NCO and SNCO’s charges were read to the inductees, they heard from Col. Jennie R. Johnson, 403rd Wing commander.

“Every promotion is a milestone,” said Johnson to the roughly 100 staff and master sergeants in attendance, “but becoming an NCO and senior NCO is an important one. You are the backbone of what we do.”

Following Johnson, Tech Sgt. James Piskorz Jr. and Senior Master Sgt. Jeremy Lemieux, both of the 403rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, read the Non-Commissioned Officer and Senior Non-Commissioned Officer Charges, which outline the roles and responsibilities staff and master sergeants are expected to embody with their new ranks, followed by the oaths of induction.

After the oath recitations were completed, a candle-lighting ceremony was performed.  An Airman from all nine enlisted ranks was selected to light the candle of their rank, which symbolizes the light the Air Force expects the inductees to be for their peers and themselves.

To conclude, Chief Master Sgt. Amanda Stift, 403rd Wing command chief, spoke to the 403rd Wing’s newest NCOs and  senior NCOs, highlighting the importance in keeping an “Airman first” mentality.

“NCOs, congratulations, you all are now part of a unique crowd and unique world.  You are coming into our realm, and we are starting to make you into a mentor and a leader,” said Stift. “Senior NCOs, you are the guidon for the NCOs. You are making sure they look to you for advice and leadership development as well, but I don’t want any of you ever to forget that you’re still Airmen first.”