News: Audie Murphy Club inducts newest member
Story by Maj. Carol McClelland
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Many soldiers have heard of Sergeant Audie Murphy before. They may not know of his accomplishments, what he stood for, or when and how he died. But the newest inductee in the Audie Murphy Club knows that and much more about him because she’s studied him in depth and been grilled by her peers and seniors during no less than three boards.
Staff Sgt. Edith Canada, the property book non-commissioned officer in charge, assigned to the 22nd Chemical Battalion (Technical Escort), was inducted into the Audie Murphy Club Sept. 23 at Aberdeen Proving Ground. In order to become a part of this organization, which is for enlisted NCO’s only, she studied the club’s namesake, exhibited leadership skills and used soldier’s common sense.
“I studied Audie Murphy, what he did, why he’s considered the greatest combat Soldier,” the unassuming staff sergeant from Los Angeles explained when pressed to talk about her accomplishment.
During a three-step process Canada met pre-requisites that her higher headquarters, Forces Command, cited as, “exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of Soldiers and concern for families of soldiers.” She was then recommended by her NCO to participate in a rigorous board examination process at battalion, brigade and division levels.
The 20th Support Command (CBRNE) top enlisted leader was a member of one of the boards Canada faced.
“The board was geared toward situation scenarios rather than what regulation it’s in,” Command Sgt. Maj. Sean Burke said. As an example he said, rather than ask what regulation haircut standards came from, board members would ask a leadership question about how the NCO would handle a Soldier that continuously did not meet standards.
“That board was the most difficult one,” Canada recalled. “Questions were coming from left and right. I didn’t even have time to answer one question and they fired another one at me.”
But Canada’s first sergeant knew she could handle the pressure and her military bearing wouldn’t be hampered. She spoke on behalf of the candidate to the board regarding her character.
“She’s the best NCO I have in my formation,” said Headquarters and Headquarters Company 1st Sgt. Rebeca Franco of 37-year-old Canada. “She’s extremely competitive in everything she does – physical fitness, winning the NCO Board, volunteering, anything. She sets herself apart from her peers and she’s very hungry for more responsibility. The level is immense. I can’t really say it any other way than she’s hungry,” Franco, from Lancaster, Pa. explained.
The audience at the induction ceremony included Canada’s peers and supervisors, former mentors in her life and fellow Audie Murphy Club members, all distinguished by wearing a silver medallion on a light blue ribbon around their necks.
At age 46 Audie Murphy died in a plane crash in 1971. He’s recognized as the most decorated soldier in U.S. history. In addition to his Army accomplishments fighting on battlefields in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany, he was also a movie actor, country music composer and poet.