NCOs Dine With Tradition
(Special Events, NCOA Dining In, NCO Social) Brig. Gen. Mark A. Bellini, Quartermaster Center and School commanding general, speaks to the students of the Noncommissioned Officer Academy during the Dining In at the Regimental Club June 1. Photo by Jorge Gomez.

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Students from the Noncommissioned Officers Academy celebrated military traditions with a formal Dining-In at the Regimental Club Friday.

About 250 NCOs participated in the social event that was partly formal, partly informal, but wholly quartermaster, said Sgt. 1st Class Gwendolyn Beauford, NCOA small group leader and madam president for the event.

“It’s something we do here at the academy as a way for the Soldiers to intermingle and to follow military traditions,” Beauford said.

A series of toasts, points of order, skits and entertainment filled the evening.

Brig. Gen. Mark A. Bellini, U.S. Army Quartermaster Center and School commanding general, was the honored guest and speaker.

Bellini reminded the NCOs of how good they are as professional Soldiers.

“You should be proud of yourselves,” Bellini said. “You wear the uniform because you love a challenge. You are doing what 99 percent of the world won’t do or couldn’t do.”

He encouraged the academy students to continue their education.

“Something that people cannot take from you is what is in your mind and heart,” Bellini said. “And if you have goodness in your mind and heart, you are going to succeed anywhere you go in the world.”

Sgt. Donald Serate, Basic NCO Course student, said it was the first time he attended a formal Dining-In. He performed in a group musical with the song, “YMCA.”

“It was formal and professional, but we had fun,” Serate said. “There’s pride in being an NCO.”