RICHMOND, Va. - Sgt. 1st Class Samuel Gilpin, senior instructor 7th Battalion, 95th Regiment, was inducted into the United States Army Reserve Command chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club during a ceremony hosted by the 80th Training Command in Richmond, Va., Feb. 1, 2013.
The Sierra Leone native, who recently became a United States citizen, referred to his induction into the SAMC as a life-changing experience.
"It really makes me look back at those things that I didn't think I could do," said Gilpin, who credits the soldiers he leads for his induction.
"Although it feels great for me, my number one priority is going back and making sure I can train my soldiers," Gilpin said. "This isn't about me but my soldiers."
Command Sgt. Major Kelly Largent, Gilpin's senior enlisted leader, nominated him for induction and helped him prepare.
"We worked through a series of mock boards," said Gilpin. "It wasn't an individual effort."
Largent said Gilpin's induction into the SAMC culminated from years of hard work and determination.
"It feels really good to see him inducted and knowing I coached the right person," Largent said. "He showed the qualities of greatness, the hard part was helping him to recognize it."
A panel of senior NCOs selected Gilpin during board proceedings at Fort Knox, Ky., Oct. 11, 2012. The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, named after the United States military's most decorated veteran, is a private U.S. Army organization for enlisted noncommissioned officers which began at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1986.
Candidates are formally recommended to compete for membership based on their leadership abilities, and for showing genuine concern for soldiers and the soldiers' families. The competitors then appear before a panel of senior NCOs for a painstaking verbal examination.
Gilpin says he plans to continue training, leading and developing other soldiers to compete for the SAMC.
"I can go back and motivate those that don't think they can do certain things," said Gilpin. "Like Audie Murphy said, 'You've got to lead from the front.'"