JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. - Four soldiers earned induction into the post chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, during a ceremony at the NCO academy auditorium, Jan. 6.
Few non-commissioned officers make the jump into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, an organization inspired by one of the United States Army's most decorated soldier. At Joint Base Lewis-McChord a select few have recently been given that honor of wearing the blue ribbon and medallion.
Four soldiers earned induction into the post chapter of the SAMC, during a ceremony at the NCO academy auditorium, Jan. 6.
Staff Sgt. Masasinge Hadley, Northwest Regional Correctional Facility, Staff Sgt. Allister Hawkins, 42nd Military Police Brigade, Staff Sgt. Melissa Snow, Henry H. Lind NCO Academy, and Staff Sgt. Hector Valadez, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, can all now proudly wear the medallion of the SAMC.
The SAMC was founded in 1986 to "exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of soldiers and concern for families of soldiers," according to the United States Forces Command regulation 600-8, paragraph 1.
To become a member of the SAMC, just reciting rules and regulations from a study guide will not be enough to get you past the board. It takes balancing work, soldier and family responsibilities against studying. An NCO interested in pursuing has to show he knows how to put what he has studied into use.
"We hold boards once a quarter but not every board produces an inductee," said Staff Sgt. Michelle Sarabia, vice president of the JBLM SAMC. "It is an extremely challenging board. When you go up in front of these sergeants major you have to know your stuff. A lot of people think they can just read a bunch of study guides and go in front of the board. You have to have experience and practical knowledge about how to apply all the information. "
For one of these non-commissioned officers, the opportunity to be inducted into such an exclusive club was something that proved to be both a personal goal and career goal.
"As a professional goal, I know this will set me apart from the rest of the NCOs. It is an accomplishment that feels rewarding for all the time put into studying and all I put into training my guys to get to this level," said Valadez. "But also a personal goal because it is something I have wanted. I set my mind to it and achieved it."
The guest speaker, 1st Sgt. Kevin L. Staddie, branch chief Henry H. Lind NCOA, and SAMC member shared what it means to be a member of the club.
"No longer are you just a staff sergeant or a sergeant first class. You are a Sergeant Audie Murphy Club member. Inductees be proud of your accomplishment today. Less than one-percent of NCOs in the Army today will be inducted into this prestigious club," said Staddie. "There is no longer room for mediocrity in your duty performance or your personal life. You have set yourself apart from your peers and will constantly be challenged to live up to the standards set forth by the club."
Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew Barnes, JBLM garrison command sergeant major, concluded the event by sharing his feelings about what it means to be a part of the SAMC.
"I submit to you today these soldiers have the attributes that the sergeant major of the Army [Sgt. Maj. Raymond F. Chandler III] talks about. They have commitment, they have courage and they are of deep character," he said. "Take a look at who has come before you. This is a step towards greatness. It is not the only thing that is going to carry you through, but it's a step to help you."