Newly established Maintenance Group induction ceremony builds warrior ethos

  • Published
  • By Jessica L. Kendziorek
  • 403rd Wing Public Affairs

The 403rd Maintenance Group hosted their second enlisted induction ceremony April 6 at the Isochronal Inspection Dock.

An induction ceremony is a time-honored tradition of welcoming the newly promoted in the ranks of the NCO corps, and the group welcomed Staff Sgt. James Headley, 803rd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron crew chief, into the NCO corps this UTA, and Staff Sgt. Corey Kryessig, 803rd AMXS avionics specialist, had the honor of being the first inductee March 2.

As part of the event, they cited the NCO Creed, the guiding document of NCOs since 1973, signed an NCO book, and wore an NCO and SNCO patch approved for a one-day wear. At the end of the day the inductee returns the patch to their senior enlisted leader who provides a mentoring session.

Headley said that the experience was completely different from other promotion ceremonies.

“Standing in front of everyone, I was nervous, but it was nice to have all of my friends here at that point in time,” said Headley. “The ceremony is important because it shows that I have stepped up in my military duty.”

“This event served as a profound moment of realization for me, highlighting the importance of taking on new responsibilities with a sense of commitment,” said Kreyssig. “As all eyes were on me during that moment: I felt a deep sense of honor in being the first to go through this ceremony. I eagerly anticipate witnessing the future participants in this extraordinary experience.”

In the past the wing has held induction ceremonies; however, the MXG decided it was time for them to establish their own event to build a warrior ethos culture and mentor upcoming enlisted leaders.

When Lt. Gen. John Healy, chief of the Air Force Reserve and commander of the AF Reserve Command, released Task Order 2022, it mentioned developing a mentoring program and building the members’ professional development, or their warrior ethos, said Col. William Magee, 403rd MXG commander.

The U.S. Air Force defines a warrior ethos as “tough-mindedness, tireless motivation, an unceasing vigilance, a willingness to sacrifice one’s life for the country, if necessary, and commitment to be the world’s premier air, space and cyberspace force.

“While the warrior ethos may come naturally to some, it is a mindset and way of life that can be cultivated and refined over time,” said Magee. “So, we came up with the idea that to improve on our warrior ethos, we needed to come up with a way to instill a sense of ownership in our SNCOs and NCOs.”

After brainstorming with multiple chief and senior master sergeants, the unit came up with creating a prominent and permanent location to perform an induction ceremony within the maintenance group, he said.

“We wanted it to be maintenance centric,” Chief Master Sgt. Chrisopher Linthicum, 403rd Maintenance Squadron senior enlisted leader said. “So, we put the ceremony location in the ISO Dock in the area over the coordinator shack to ensure the spot could be easily preserved and out of the way of other maintenance activities.”

Magee explained that members from all three maintenance squadrons provided input into how the induction ceremony would go.

“We took the NCO and SNCO responsibilities from the Air Force’s enlisted force structure book, along with the charges and turned the statements into questions that is asked of the new promotees,” said Magee. “Then we had these questions engraved onto plaques to be read during their induction ceremony along with a book for them to sign.”

The wear of a patch throughout the day and mentoring session also promotes professional development.

“Wearing the patch allows others within the unit to recognize their accomplishment,” said Magee. “Also, by having the promotee turn in the patch to their SEL, it gives the SEL a chance to speak to the member prior to leaving the UTA and allows both to ask questions, promote teamwork and offer encouragement.”

By embodying the principles of courage, honor, and discipline, individuals can overcome obstacles, inspire others, and leave a lasting legacy of strength and resilience.

“Our goal is to provide a sense of ownership and duty to our upcoming Airmen,” said Magee. “And by providing continuous self-improvement and a commitment to leading by example, we can all strive to embrace the warrior ethos in our daily lives, becoming the best versions of ourselves in the process.”