First NCO induction ceremony recognizes members

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Williams
  • 934th Airlift Wing
Thirty staff sergeants from the 934th Airlift Wing were inducted to the NCO tier during the inaugural induction ceremony held Feb. 4 at the Navy-Marine Corps Reserve Center. The Chief’s Council-led initiative, with help from the 1st sergeants, also added 26 new master sergeants to the ranks of the senior NCO tier and installed Chief Master Sgt. Lee Traxler-Siehndel as the newest chief master sergeant. 

Airmen from the different enlisted ranks lit candles representing each rank, while Chief Traxler-Siehndel, as the newest Chief, and Chief Master Sgt. Michael Zurn, the longest serving chief, jointly lit the candle representing their rank.
The initiative to have an induction ceremony began with Col. James Muscatell, 934tht Airlift Wing commander, who had seen similar ceremonies held at other bases. He sent Chief Master Sgts. Jeffrey Gustafson and David Angerman to McGuire Air Force Base, N.J. to witness theirs, and adopt a ceremony for the wing. 

“We’ve had induction ceremonies for chief’s for quite a long time,” said Chief Gustafson, the project coordinator. “Since we try to represent the enlisted force, we felt it was time to make it more worthwhile by adding the three major milestones in an enlisted Airman’s career, when they become NCOs, senior NCOs and chiefs.”
He said the ceremony had three components, the honor guard, the oath and the candlelight ceremony. 

“We adapted the candlelight ceremony from McGuire, and it made the ceremony almost seem sacred,” he said.
While the Chief’s Council and 1st sergeants put a lot of work in creating the first ceremony by making the candle stand and writing the first script, Chief Gustafson doesn’t foresee too many changes to the overall format. 

“They won’t change much after this because we got a winner on the first try. In the future, we would like to invite the families of the inductees and add a keynote speaker, but other than that, the format is pretty much set,” he said.
According to Chief Gustafson, the Council is deciding on whether to make this a quarterly or semi-annual event.