News: Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, lead from the front
Story by Staff Sgt. Antwaun Parrish
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCHORD, Wash. — Audie Murphy is the most decorated soldier in Army history, so it is only proper that the club named in his honor maintains high standards.
“We are an elite group of non-commissioned officers, “said Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Grogman, president of the Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s Sgt. Audie Murphy Club.
The SAMC is known throughout the Army as a prestigious club to join. FORSCOM Regulation 600-8 states that its members must “exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of soldiers and concern for families of soldiers.”
“Our motto is to lead from the front, and set the standard,” said Staff Sgt. Monica Saldivar, a chemical operations specialist assigned to 109th Military Intelligence Battalion, 201st Battle Field Surveillance Brigade.
To earn membership in the local chapter a candidate must first attend an interest meeting, which is held the third Friday of every month, and volunteer their time by showing support to the community and the club. In addition, candidates attend at least two boards before appearing before the post SAMC board and must know Audie Murphy’s bio inside and out.
“I became a part of the club when I was a drill sergeant,” said Grogman, a South Kansas City, Mo., native. “After competing in many DS boards I was sent to SAMC board and I really enjoyed the experience.”
The candidates attend at least two boards that are unlike any other they may have attended in the past. The soldiers are asked scenario based questions and must respond accordingly.
“The board wants you to not only be able to memorize answers, but to apply the answers to possible situations,” said Grogman, a future operations NCO, assigned to the 57th Transportation Battalion, 593rd Sustainment Brigade.
Once NCO’s are inducted the volunteering does not stop. Members are expected to make a difference in their communities, either here in the states or stationed or deployed overseas.
“We want to make a difference,” said Saldivar who has been a member of SAMC for one year. “When I was deployed we did projects with Iraqi kids, to ensure that we help build a positive relationship with their country.”
Club members made built a positive relationship at the American Lake Veteran Affairs Hospital in Lakewood, Wash., Oct. 24 when they assisted with the hospital’s memorial service for veterans who had passed away this year.
“Doing this memorial service for the veterans is important because they helped pave the way for us,” said Grogman, who along with the other members swapped stories of their days in uniform with the veterans after the ceremony.
All in the name of Audie Murphy, Medal of Honor recipient, American hero, movie star, songwriter and poet.