News: Sergeant Audie Murphy Club inductees honored in Iraq
Story by Staff Sgt. Melanie Trollinger
MOSUL, Iraq— Eight Soldiers with the 130th Engineer Brigade, out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, were inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club at Contingency Operating Site Marez, Mosul, Iraq, Oct. 24.
Sergeant Audie Murphy Club inductees were:
Staff Sgt. Zachary Cianciosi, HHC, 130th Eng. Bde.
Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Pimental, HHC, 130th Eng. Bde.
Staff Sgt. Donald S. Collier, II, 523rd Eng. Co., 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.
Sgt. Kerrilee B. Fowler, Forward Support Company, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.
Staff Sgt Roderick J. Hodges, 643rd Eng. Co, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.
Sgt. 1st Class Pete T. Leao, FSC, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.
Staff Sgt. Brad A. Reigel, HHC, 84th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.
Staff Sgt. Jeffrey A. Nicholas, FSC, 65th Eng. Bn., 130th Eng. Bde.
Staff Sereangt Cianciosi, a senior medical non-commissioned officer, said he was honored to be inducted into the highly regarded organization. Like many others, he felt compelled to answer the call of his nation following, Sept.11. Signing up for active duty in 2002, he said he is proud to be part of something bigger than himself and does not regret his decision to join the Army. His induction into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club reinforced his commitment to his country and his community.
The Endicott, N.Y., native, will return to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, when the brigade redeploys home next summer. Staff Sgt. Cianciosi said he will actively participate in the SAMC Hawaii Chapter and volunteer for fundraisers and other events to help the civilian and military communities there.
"This award will make my Soldiers that much more confident in me as a leader," he added. "I look forward to many more years in the Army and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for me."
Like Staff Sgt. Cianciosi, Sgt. 1st Class Pimental, a San Antonio, Texas, native, said he welcomes the chance for volunteer work the SAMC will provide. Mentoring Soldiers and helping the Army community are essential to him as an Army leader.
The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club members' commitment to community service is important to other inductees as well. These individuals recognize that they can make a difference, not only to their Soldiers, but to their country as well.
"I am amazed by what the club represents in the community. One of the greatest assets as a club member is assisting young folks to become future leaders and working around the community to make it better," Sgt. 1st Class Leoa said.
Induction into the Sgt. Audie Murphy club is a competitive process. Sgt. 1st Class Pimental credits his success, not only to past NCOs whose leadership and mentoring helped make him the leader he is today, but also, to his current Soldiers. Without them, he said, he would not have been able to achieve his goals or accomplish what he has in his career.
"Being inducted into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club has been a goal of mine since I was a young NCO," he said. "I was more happy than I was surprised about being selected."
Possible inductees must be recommended by a senior NCO, pass a performance test and go before a selection board. If they make it that far, they appear before a final selection board.
"It's unlike any other board that I have been to" Staff Sgt. Cianciosi said. "Instead of set questions from a study guide, the questions are all situational based. The answers are given based on the knowledge and experience of that particular NCO."
His advice to other NCOs who want to become members of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, is to not only be an expert on Sgt. Audie Murphy and the club's history, but to rely on past leadership experiences during the board process.
The club's newest members all studied extensively to get ready for the board. Some had gone through the process before but were not selected. The personal and professional accomplishment they felt for being selected was worth the countless hours preparing for the board.
Comparing it to studying for college finals, Sgt. 1st Class Leao said, "It took a lot of personal time and group study sessions to prepare extensively for the board. Although I had missions to attend to on a daily basis, I still made a lot of personal sacrifice to study and be mentally prepared no matter what the time was."
WWII hero, Sgt. Audie Murphy, was the most highly decorated Soldier in American history. Joining the Army in 1942, he fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany with the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He received a battlefield commission for his leadership and courage on the battlefield. Like Sgt. Audie Murphy, the newest inductees were recognized for their outstanding leadership skills and service to their country.
Ceremony guest speaker and Sergeant Audie Murphy Club member, Command Sgt. Major Dale A. Moran, 130th Engineer Brigade, described the "Call to Duty" that Soldiers like the eight newest Sgt. Audie Murphy Club members have answered since the Army's conception, June 14, 1775.
"They answer the Call to Duty because they believe in the adage 'freedom isn't free' and that the freedoms that we so often take for granted are worth fighting for.
"Today we recognize eight NCOs who portray those same qualities of Sgt. Audie Murphy with their induction to the Audie Murphy Association. On behalf of the over one million Soldiers of the United States Army, thank you for being that selected few to serve our nation," he said.