News: Outstanding non-commissioned officer joins exclusive organization
Story by Sgt. Kissta DiGregorio
FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Sgt. Audie Murphy is easily one of the most notable soldiers in U.S. Army history. Underweight and barely old enough to enlist, Murphy quickly proved himself as a soldier in battle during World War II. He earned a battlefield promotion to lieutenant and is still the most decorated soldier in American history. The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club was created in his name to test and distinguish non-commissioned officers who go above and beyond the performance of their peers, and who possess the values of loyalty, discipline, caring and professionalism.
Staff Sgt. Trevor Ohnstad joined this society of outstanding non-commissioned officers at the SAMC induction ceremony, April 20, 2012. He was one of only two non-commissioned officers stationed at Fort Bragg, N.C., to earn the honor this quarter.
An aviation operations non-commissioned officer, Ohnstad is assigned to Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division. Like Murphy, he enlisted in the Army shortly after his 18th birthday. By setting himself apart from his peers, the Colorado Springs, Colo., native earned the rank of staff sergeant in only four years. Ohnstad said a big reason he was able to fast-track through the ranks is because he accepted every opportunity to succeed. “[Physical fitness] tests, schools, boards, my job: I never turned down anything,” he said.
His leaders also positively affected his desire to excel. “A lot of NCOs in my first company were Audie Murphy members and everyone looked up to them,” he said. “I’ve always compared myself to my peers and seniors. If they have something I don’t, I’m going to get it, too.”
Ohnstad started preparing for the SAMC board while stationed at Fort Rucker, Ala., three years ago, but he finally got the opportunity to appear in front of the Fort Bragg SAMC board members, March 7, 2012. Ohnstad was required to memorize numerous Army regulations, Murphy’s biography, and details about his own Soldiers. However, many of the board questions were not straightforward. Instead, the questions were scenario-based, requiring his answers to follow the regulations as well as use his own judgment. “There’s no right or wrong answer,” he said, “but you have to know what you’re talking about. You have to be confident and give a solid, legitimate answer to the problem.”
Ohnstad’s professionalism and dedication has not gone unnoticed by his soldiers. “He’s an outstanding NCO,” said Spc. Tyler Moen, a native of Spokane, Wash., and one of Ohnstad’s paratroopers. “He lives by the paragraphs in the NCO Creed and puts the needs of his Soldiers above his own. He’s what I think an NCO should be.”