FORT BRAGG, NC – In the Army, there are numerous medals and awards that can be presented to outstanding soldiers for exhibiting qualities such as valor, heroism and meritorious service. They earn these accolades by going above and beyond the call of duty; by proving their ability to exceed at their job or assuming a position they were not required to, especially in the heat of battle.
But, no one has received as many of these accolades as World War II veteran, Sgt. Audie Murphy, the most decorated soldier in American history. Murphy distinguished himself during his years of service, earning 33 awards, including several foreign badges and the Medal of Honor. Entering as a private, he was quickly promoted through the ranks, including a battlefield commission to second lieutenant.
In commemoration of his bravery, professionalism and inherent leadership, the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club was created in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas. The club consists of an elite group of noncommissioned officers who portray these same characteristics that are crucial to being a competent leader.
Four NCOs with 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, who proved their worth after weeks of studying, physical training tests, weapons qualifications, and an in-depth board interview, were inducted into the association on April 1.
Sgt. First Class Shane Glowcheski, a field artillery cannon crewmember and Staff Sgt. Carlos Navarro III, a gunnery sergeant, both of B Battery, 2nd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd BCT, Staff Sgt. Nicholas Corbridge, a Fire Direction Chief with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2/319th AFAR, and Staff Sgt. Jason Crawford, an operations specialist for G Co., 407th Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd BCT, all earned their spots in the club in November.
Crawford, a DuBois, Pennsylvania native, said he chose to go to the board to hold a higher standard for himself and set an example for his soldiers. "In order to have your soldiers stay motivated, you have to go through the same things they do," he said.
The inductees agreed that it was hard to find time to study on top of work and family life, and that it was the most difficult board they had ever been to. However, it was also the most rewarding.
The NCOs studied hard to prepare for the board. They learned the history of Sgt. Audie Murphy word-for-word, to include his childhood on a farm in North Texas, his enlistment in the Army, the heroics he showed during his short enlistment, his following career as an actor and songwriter, and the plane crash that ended his life at 46 years.
The paratroopers also had to be knowledgeable about their soldiers. They had to answer questions about their soldiers' jobs, physical training test scores, their family lives, and contact information. Corbridge, originally from Morgan Hill, California, said he sat down with each of his soldiers prior to the interview to learn more about their families and personal lives.
There were also situational questions, asking the NCOs what they would do in certain circumstances. For Corbridge, this was the best part. "There wasn't necessarily a right or wrong answer," Corbridge said. "It had more to do with your leadership than general Army knowledge," he said, making it much different than other boards he's faced, which usually consist of memorizing facts about the military.
Being a member of the Club not only proves that the NCO is dedicated to his career and his soldiers, they are also concerned with the quality of the area in which they live. Club members are active in the community, volunteering at nursing homes and conducting food drives, said Command Sgt. Major Wilburn Myatt, 2/319th AFAR command sergeant major. "They identify the needs of the community and lend a hand," Myatt said, who has been a member since 1988.
Although it was difficult and time consuming, each of the NCOs considered the experience a positive one. No matter where they go, each club member will have proof of their achievements, something that sets them apart from their peers, Crawford said.
"It's the most prestigious club in the Army," Navarro said. "I feel like every group leader should be (a member)."
|Date Posted:||04.23.2010 11:42|
|Location:||FORT BRAGG, US|
This work, Leading from the front: 2nd Brigade Combat Team NCOs inducted into Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, by SSG Kissta DiGregorio, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.