25th ID candidates vie to enter SAMC

| March 18, 2011 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Latayna Orama, career counselor, HHB, 25th ID, charges toward the finish line during an APFT, Feb. 26, at Camp Liberty, Iraq. The competition evaluated NCOs for induction into the elite SAMC.

Staff Sgt. Latayna Orama, career counselor, HHB, 25th ID, charges toward the finish line during an APFT, Feb. 26, at Camp Liberty, Iraq. The competition evaluated NCOs for induction into the elite SAMC.

Story and Photo by
Sgt. Jennifer Sardam
29th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment, U.S. Division Center

BAGHDAD — Ten noncommissioned officers kicked off a day of challenges with the Army physical fitness test, or APFT, pushing to achieve a required standard of 90 percent in each fitness event and become members of the elite Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, in a competition held at Camp Liberty, Iraq, recently.

“(SAMC) is a select club,” said Sgt. Maj. Matthew McCoy, operations sergeant major, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, and SAMC president.

Even before the inductees were announced, it was evident that being chosen to participate held great meaning for many of the NCOs.

“It would be an honor to follow in the footsteps of some of the most elite NCOs in the NCO Corps,” said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Judd, HHB, 25th ID. “Sgt. Audie Murphy was a very caring leader. That’s what it means for me.”

Many competitors found the physical part of the day’s testing to be the most grueling.

“We had to do a (physical training) test in full Army combat uniforms, or ACUs, and then we rucked eight miles in full gear, with an assault pack, and that was brutal,” Judd said.

Candidates were then called upon to display their tactical skills, as they took to the range to qualify on individual weapons and test in map reading, first aid and other Army “Warrior” tasks. Although many of the Warrior tasks were familiar, potential SAMC inductees were expected to demonstrate an above-average degree of proficiency.

Following these tasks, candidates appeared before a final selection board, comprised of sergeants major and SAMC members from throughout U.S. Division Center.

“What we’re looking for when we’re evaluating is not only do they know the tasks, but do they know them to the level that they can train (others),” McCoy said, who has been a SAMC member since 1998. “We can tell that by the way they perform the tasks.”

Candidates received a number of tasks to study, but didn’t know which ones they would encounter in the testing. Judd said he had three weeks to prepare for the competition alongside fellow NCOs.

“We quizzed each other on the history of (SAMC), as well as NCO duties and subject matter that would be asked during the board,” Judd said, adding thatcompetitors continue to refresh their skills on basic Army warrior tasks.

“For SAMC candidates, either they have it or they don’t,” McCoy said. “I would say they spend an Army lifetime training for the SAMC selection. It starts the day they come into Basic Combat Training‚ so not only the day (they) come in the Army, but the day (they) put on those stripes.”

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Category: Deployed Forces, News

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