News: Top-notch NCOs join the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club
Story by Sgt. Edward Garibay
FORT BLISS, Texas – After more than a year of preparation, two of Fort Bliss’ finest noncommissioned officers joined the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, one of the most prestigious groups an NCO can be apart of, July 23.
Staff Sgt. Shanita Bailey, a flight medic from 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, and Sgt. 1st Class Eliodoro Molina, the operations noncommissioned officer-in-charge for the 24th Press Camp Headquarters, each went through many challenges and studied long hours to earn the right to become a member.
“I’ve wanted to become a member since I was a younger soldier,” said Bailey. “I remember looking up at (the pictures on) the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club wall. When you looked at them, you knew they were squared-away soldiers you could go to. It really drove me and now that I’m a member, I can be that inspiration for my Soldiers.”
To get into the club, the candidates had to convince several panels of senior enlisted leaders they were worthy of the title, to include some of the most senior brigade command sergeants major on post. The goal was to not only test the candidates’ knowledge and experience as NCOs, but also to weight the caliber of their character as leaders and an individuals.
“This is one of the most difficult boards an NCO ever has to face,” said Sgt. 1st Class Charity Franco, the SAMC president for the Paseo Del Norte Chapter here. “There is no real way to study for it; everything you’ve done in your career up to this point comes into play.”
Bailey and Molina will now use all of there knowledge and experience to do what the club does best – improve the Fort Bliss and El Paso community and develop soldiers, she added.
The club volunteers with various organizations in the area such as Ambrosio Gullen Veterans Home, American Cancer Society, City of El Paso, Army Emergency Relief and various local schools.
“The easy part is over; now the hard part begins,” said Sgt. 1st Class Willie Henard, the SAMC treasurer, as he addressed the new candidates. “It takes a lot to stay active in the club.”
Although it is a serious commitment, both NCOs said they were honored to accept the charge and plan to represent the club well.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/BlissSAMC.