KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AFGHANISTAN
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - The late nights studying Army regulations and countless hours prepping for assessment boards has finally paid off for six deployed Soldiers as they were inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club in a ceremony in front of Regional Command-South headquarters, Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Aug. 6, 2014.
The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club is a private U.S. Army organization that allows noncommissioned officers to earn the reward of membership if their leadership achievements and performance merit special recognition.
To become a SAMC candidate a Soldier must be a noncommissioned officer and be recommended by their NCO support channel. Participants must also pass a series of brigade- and division-level boards, comprised of senior NCOs, where they are tested on their knowledge of Army regulations and leadership doctrines.
Sgt. Matthew Beaver, an inductee with 2nd Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade, and native of Modesto, California, cited the fact that he is new to the sergeant rank as one of the challenges he had to overcome to be inducted into the SAMC.
“Being a junior noncommissioned officer, there was a bigger learning curve. I’m still greener than some of the inductees, so I had to learn a lot more,” said Beaver. “It’s definitely given me a better working knowledge of the Army regulations and the Army as a whole,” he added.
Beaver said that another large challenge he faced is that he often had to choose studying for the boards over video chatting with his wife and son as much as he wanted to.
Sgt. 1st Class Neil Ruiz, an inductee with 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regt., 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, said that trying to find time for studying while being deployed was his main challenge.
“Balancing work and trying to get study time was kind of hard. There was a lot of late nights studying, but it was all worth it in the end,” said Ruiz, who calls Fort Bragg, North Carolina, his hometown.
Both sergeants echoed that they look forward to the challenges ahead as they work to become leaders for their Soldiers and communities as members of the club.
“It’s a huge responsibility, it’s not just a simple task where you pass a board and move on,” said Beaver. “I have to actually step up to the challenge and maintain myself at all times.”
“I’m finished, but it’s just the beginning. (Being inducted) means that I have set the standard for my subordinates and peers,” said Ruiz. “Our number one focus is taking care of Soldiers and our community. It never stops. You never stop giving back.”
Ruiz said now that he has been inducted, he is working and studying with some of his Soldiers in his off time to help them get inducted into the SAMC also.
During the ceremony, Maj. Gen. Michael Bills, RC-South commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Barteky, RC-South command sergeant major, awarded each inductee a certificate and the SAMC medallion.
In his speech, Barteky congratulated and challenged the inductees to step up to the challenge of being a SAMC member.
“Today we celebrate and acknowledge your accomplishment, but understand: This award is not about what you have done; it is about what we expect you to do,” said Barteky. “You must provide your commanders with Soldiers who are experts in their individual tasks and ready for collective training.”
“Congratulations to you, our newest Sergeant Audie Murphy Club members. I look forward to the opportunity of serving with you and watching you excel as a leader of our nation’s finest, the Soldier,” added Barteky.
In addition to Ruiz and Beaver, the four other soldiers being inducted were:
Sgt. 1st Class Shanita Henderson, 142nd Combat Service Support Bn., 4th Sustainment Bde., Fort Hood, Texas; Sgt. 1st Class John Welcome III, 419th Combat Sustainment Support Bn., Fort Drum, N.Y.; Staff Sgt. David Anderson, 1st Bn., 504th Parachute Inf. Regt., 82nd Airborne Div., Fort Bragg, N.C.; Staff Sgt. Anthony Hoke, 142nd Combat Service Support Bn., 4th Sustainment Bde., Fort Hood, Texas.
||KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, AF
||FAYETTEVILLE, NC, US
||FORT BRAGG, NC, US
||FORT DRUM, NY, US
||FORT HOOD, TX, US
||JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA, US
||MODESTO, CA, US
This work, RC-South inducts 6 Soldiers into SAMC, by SFC John Etheridge, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.