NCOs pass boards, inducted into Sgt. Audie Murphy Club

| February 1, 2013 | 0 Comments
Staff Sgt. Benjamin Connell (right), squad leader, Co. C, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, salutes Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commander, 25th ID, after being awarded the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club medallion during a ceremony in the Sgt. Smith Theater, Tuesday.

Staff Sgt. Benjamin Connell (right), squad leader, Co. C, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, salutes Maj. Gen. Kurt Fuller, commander, 25th ID, after being awarded the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club medallion during a ceremony in the Sgt. Smith Theater, Tuesday.

Spc. Ariana Cary
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs
Photos by Sgt. Daniel Johnson
2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

Each candidate entered the room after three deafening knocks on the door.

Standing at attention before a table where five sergeants major were seated, this moment was the candidate’s opportunity to face the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club board and become a member of the prestigious club.

Out of five noncommissioned officer candidates who began the 25th Infantry Division’s SAMC board, Jan. 23-25, only two were chosen for induction on the third day. The NCOs competed against themselves, not each other.

Chosen were Staff Sgt. Benjamin Connell, squad leader, Company C, 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, and Staff Sgt. Matthew Reel, squad leader, Co. B, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd BCT.

“What really led me to want to be a part of the organization was that I had NCOs in the past who were in the club, and my first sergeant, 1st Sgt. Jimmy Ha, was a huge influence on me,” Connell said. “Ever since I got here, I’ve wanted to emulate him. His performance as a leader and how he’s a member of the club made me decide I want to be like him.”

Day one of the board consisted of an Army physical fitness test. Candidates were required to score 90 percent or higher to move on to the next day’s road march. During day two, candidates were required to complete an eight-mile road march in three-and-a- half hours with a 40-pound rucksack while wearing body armor. The road march finished at the range with weapons qualification.

“The road march was definitely a gut check,” Reel said. “By the sixth mile, I had to stop and drop my rucksack because my legs were cramping, but when I finally crossed that finish line, I felt relieved, because I had made it.”

The third day involved a traditional board. Candidates were asked the customary questions about Army regulations and standards. However, other questions were of hypothetical situations, many of which involved sexual harassment, finances, combat first aid and physical fitness.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Reel (left), squad leader, Co. B, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, receives congratulations from Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens, senior enlisted leader, 25th ID, after receiving the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club medallion during an induction ceremony in the Sgt. Smith Theater, Tuesday. The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club is founded on traditional warrior values and upholds the highest traditions of the Army.

Staff Sgt. Matthew Reel (left), squad leader, Co. B, 1st Bn., 27th Inf. Regt., 2nd SBCT, 25th ID, receives congratulations from Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens, senior enlisted leader, 25th ID, after receiving the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club medallion during an induction ceremony in the Sgt. Smith Theater, Tuesday. The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club is founded on traditional warrior values and upholds the highest traditions of the Army.

An induction ceremony was held at the Nehelani Club, Schofield Barracks, Tuesday. Three Soldiers, Connell, Reel and Staff Sgt. Adam Bizich, 3rd BCT, 25th ID, from a previous board, were presented with the Sgt. Audie Murphy medallion and framed award certificates.

“It’s hard to get into this program, and I applaud you,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ray Devens, senior enlisted leader, 25th ID. “You were recognized by senior leaders that you have the skill and continued potential to take the responsibility of the positions they are in. You understand your role, your commitment, and you represent the Army’s Warrior Class.”

What’s the SAMC?

Audie Leon Murphy was born in June of 1925 to Texas sharecroppers. He rose to national fame during World War II after receiving every medal for valor the Army has to offer, including the Medal of Honor. Murphy was credited for killing more than 240 enemy soldiers.

After the war, Murphy went to Hollywood and starred in 44 feature films, including his own biography, “To Hell and Back.” He was also a poet and songwriter.

The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club is a private U.S. Army organization for enlisted noncommissioned officers only. The club began with III Corps in Fort Hood, Texas, in 1986. By 1994, club membership was available Armywide.

To be selected as a candidate for the club’s examination process, an NCO must be recommended by his NCO chain of command, in recognition for his leadership achievements and performance.

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