SAMA partners with community

| November 21, 2014 | 0 Comments
Soldiers from the Sgt. Audie Murphy Association dress in period-piece uniforms.

Soldiers from the Sgt. Audie Murphy Association dress in period-piece uniforms to volunteer at the U.S. Vets 10th Annual Patriotic Glow Run, Nov. 15, in Kapolei.Soldiers from the Sgt. Audie Murphy Association dress in period-piece uniforms to volunteer at the U.S. Vets 10th Annual Patriotic Glow Run, Nov. 15, in Kapolei.

Staff Sgt. Sean Everette
25th Infantry Division Public Affairs

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Sgt. Audie Murphy was a war hero and movie star.

He was the most decorated Soldier in American history when he left the Army in 1945, and he stands as a shining example of what every Soldier should strive to be.

The members of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Association (SAMA) try to embody what Murphy stood for in everything they do, in and out of uniform.

“Anywhere we can get out there and demonstrate our care for Soldiers, families and the community, we get out there and put forth an effort,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Hohenstein, the 25th Infantry Division SAMA president.

Hohenstein recently took office and is looking forward to building on what his predecessors created.

“Every president, when they come in, takes ownership and has their ideas and vision,” he said. “The former president, his was ROTC, and he has created a great program for (our partner high schools) and for us. My thing is the U.S. Veterans Initiative for homeless vets and the Vet House in Honolulu.”

The 25th ID SAMA has an honor society scholarship for ROTC students and assists with getting Congressional recommendation letters for students wanting to go to one of the U.S. military academies. In addition, it helps U.S. vets work to get Oahu’s homeless veterans a place to live.

“Just taking one vet off of the street and getting them into the Vet House, just getting one kid off to West Point, something that wouldn’t have happened if we weren’t here, that’s really what makes it worth it for us,” Hohenstein said.

Membership in the prestigious club is not as easy as just volunteering, however.

“Membership in the club is not open to everyone,” Hohenstein said. “It has to be earned.”

The club only accepts noncommissioned officers between the ranks of corporal and sergeant first class who must be recommended by their unit’s command sergeant major. The 25th ID SAMA has a three-month process that includes a research paper, biography and fitness tests and boards at the battalion, brigade and division levels. If a Soldier can make it through, he will have earned the SAMA medallion and membership into the club.

However, just because a Soldier may not be an NCO, yet, doesn’t mean he can’t start helping out.

“If you’re a junior enlisted Soldier and you’re not an NCO, yet, I would definitely encourage you to start volunteering with the association, especially if you’re going to be here for a while and are about to become an NCO,” Hohenstein said.

Any Soldiers interested in joining should start by talking to their supervisor.

“The first place you should start talking is your first line leader,” said Hohenstein. “Let them know you are interested and let it start going up the chain. If you already know an Audie Murphy awardee in your battalion, they are the best place to get more information. They’re all available and ready to get a person set on the right path.”

More on Murphy

For background, history and how to join, visit www.25idl.army.mil/SAMC.html.

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