News: 'Warhorse' Soldiers join SAMC
Story by Staff Sgt. Andrew Porch
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – “This club is a team of elite professionals who stand out in their units,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ronnie Kelley, senior enlisted leader, U.S. Army Central. “These (noncommissioned officers) understand selfless service and commitment. These are NCOs that understand character and being an example means everything. The Audie Murphy members are leaders and mentors in the community. These are NCOs that want to make a difference.”
Kelley, the senior U.S. Army Central Sergeant Audie Murphy Club member, was the guest speaker at the ceremony that inducted two Soldiers assigned to 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, May 24.
Staff Sgt. David Jones, infantryman, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Reg., and Sgt. Tyree Kitchen, generator mechanic, Company B, 204th Brigade Support Battalion, stood out among 16 participants to be the only Soldiers inducted for the quarter.
“I am very proud of myself and I’m very humbled that I was allowed to even be a part of this,” said Kitchen. “To be recognized by my brigade commander, my brigade sergeant major, my battalion leadership, my first sergeant - I couldn’t have done this without them recommending me or seeing the potential inside of me.”
Jones reiterated the joy of gaining acceptance into the club.
“It is an amazing accomplishment for me,” said Jones. “I went to the board about two months ago and to finally be recognized as part of the top two percent is an amazing feeling.”
The inductee’s journey started last winter with weekly study groups and practice boards that encouraged them to answer questions requiring a combination of book knowledge and personal experience.
“Countless hours of studying and it isn’t just sitting down in front of a book and reading the questions and answers,” said Sgt. 1st Class Alfred Leblanc, military policeman, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd ABCT. “To study for this board, it’s proposing a situation and talking through how you would react as a leader,”
Leblanc, a SAMC member, went on to say is expected of NCOs that join the elite group.
“Setting the standard is the job for every NCO,” said Leblanc. “But with the Audie Murphy members, they set the example for all other NCOs. They have committed to doing everything that they can to being perfect.”
For Kitchen, this is for his Soldiers just as much as it is for him.
“It allowed me to put myself to the test and know what my abilities are under pressure and put myself up against my peers,” said Kitchen. “It also shows Soldiers in my section and any Soldier watching, that if you apply yourself you can do whatever you need to.”
And how does he think it makes him a better leader?
“I wouldn’t say that this right here makes me a better leader,” said Kitchen. “I believe that the Audi Murphy Club is just a formal recognition for NCOs for things that they are supposed to do on a daily basis.”
Now that Jones is a member, he plans to take the club to new heights.
“I’m going to be an actual member,” said Jones. “I’m not just going to be a medallion wearer. I’m going to pursue it and live up to the creed of it. I’m going to spotlight this organization. We are all about helping the community and giving back to our Soldiers, and that is what the Army is about.”
The two newest SAMC members will be heading back to Fort Carson, Colorado, soon and both plan to play a role in the day-to-day activities of the Fort Carson Chapter.