The newest inductees of the Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club wait to receive their Sergeant Audie Murphy medallion during a ceremony on Nov. 25, 2012 at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin)
Some of you Army NCOs might remember the Audie Murphy Club from your time at various stations. The folks at the 3rd Sustainment Command in Kandahar, Afghanistan write to tell us that they’re still doing that thing in a combat zone;
The Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club inducted 19 noncommissioned officers during a ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan on Nov. 25, 2012.
The 19 inductees, 3 of which are members of the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), endured a rigorous process which included multiple boards, study hall sessions and hands-on training. With their induction, the Soldiers become members of an organization in which a little more than 1 percent of all U.S. Army NCO’s are members.
Speaking at the ceremony was Command Sgt. Maj. Stephan Frennier, the Third Army/U.S. Army Central Command senior enlisted leader, who welcomed the newest group of NCO’s to the organization.
“Congratulations to you the 19 newest members of the S.A.M.C.,” said Frennier. “You 19 great leaders have proven yourself to be the best of the best by your past performance and your unlimited leadership potential for the future.”
During his speech, Frennier shared a story of how he believes the Army has E’s (as in pay grades E-5 – E-9), and then it has sergeants. He urged the newest members of the S.A.M.C. to be sergeants and lead from the front.
“E-5’s through E-9’s draw a paycheck and do what is necessary to satisfy their higher to keep their job,” said Frennier. “Sergeants through sergeant majors put the welfare of their Soldiers above their own and lead from the front.”
The 19 inductees went through a very rigorous process to become members of the prestigious organization. The NCO’s often endured rapid-fire study sessions, long days and nights of studying and were required to attend S.A.M.C. meetings and official functions.
For those inducted, the process was long and tedious, but well worth the effort.
“I’ve always wanted to become a member of the S.A.M.C., so when this opportunity came around, I jumped at it,” said Sgt. 1st Class Freddie Bates of the 3d ESC. “The process was tough, but I feel that I’m better now because of it. Now that I’m a member, I feel as if there’s a lot I can bring to the table.”
Bates joined Sgt. 1st Class John Arnold and Sgt. Candice Funchess as members of the 3d ESC who were inducted into the S.A.M.C. The other NCO’s inducted were: Staff Sgt. Corey Hickson, 45th Sustainment Brigade; Staff Sgt. Kianna McFayden, 45th Sustainment Brigade; Staff Sgt. Marie Wright, 45th Sustainment Brigade; Sgt. 1st Class Wilhelmina Jarvis, 8th Military Police Brigade; Sgt. 1st Class Justin Glover, 8th Military Police Brigade; Staff Sgt. Marcus Mitchell, 8th Military Police Brigade; Sgt. 1st Class Latissa Edmond, 2-2 Infantry Division; Staff Sgt. Danielle Stansell, 7th Special Forces Group; Sgt. 1st Class Kirby Cannon, 18th Combat Service Support Battalion; Staff Sgt. Kim Bell, 18th Combat Service Support Battalion; Staff Sgt. Aldo Guzman, 18th Combat Service Support Battalion; Staff Sgt. Rosemery Tejada-Ramirez, 62nd Engineer Battalion; Sgt. Keith Howse, 515th Transportation Company; Sgt. Robert Shortsleeves, 515th Transportation Company; Sgt. Christopher Slone, 515th Transportation Company; and Sgt. 1st Class Wilna Rappel, 514th Support Maintenance Company.
The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club is a private U.S. Army organization for enlisted non-commissioned officers (NCO) only. Those NCO’s whose leadership achievements and performance merit special recognition may possibly earn the reward of membership. Members must… “…exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of Soldiers and concern for families of Soldiers (FORSCOM Reg. 600-8, paragraph 1).”
The original club was started at Fort Hood, Texas early in 1986. There were several key people at Fort Hood who were instrumental in getting this club up and running, including officer, enlisted, civil service, and a Killeen, Texas civilian.
Sgt. Candice L. Funchess, a public affairs noncommissioned officer with the 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), receives the Sergeant Audie Murphy medallion from Command Sgt. Maj. Stephan Frennier, the Third Army/U.S. Army Central Command senior enlisted leader, during the Joint Sustainment Command – Afghanistan’s Sergeant Audie Murphy Club induction ceremony on Nov. 25, 2012. Funchess was one of three 3d ESC NCO’s to be inducted into the prestigious organization. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Behlin)