Audie Murphy Club alive at Kandahar

| November 29, 2012 | 15 Comments


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)

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  1. RandomNCO says:

    They don’t have anything better to do than study for boards while they are deployed?

  2. Twist says:

    You would think supporting combat operations would have been a higher priority.

  3. Chip@NASA says:

    Yeah, being USAF I don’t see this. They have a club recognizing good sergeants from crappy ones?Hell I made E-8 but you can believe that it wasn’t just from “do what is necessary to satisfy their higher to keep their job”. That just doesn’t rate towards a promotion particularly when you have 30+ of the top three (E7, 8 & 9) in our morning meetings discussing whether we’re going to promote someone and assign them to a manning position based on their performance, leadership potential and then what they have shown in their ability to do what is expected of a good sergeant as well as also going above and beyond their basic job description (have they volunteered for additional duties such as Unit Training Manager, Safety NCO, Chem Warfare/ATSO Unit Trainer etc) that benefits not only themselves, their duty section but the entire unit?
    I guess that was just part of what was expected of you if you wanted to progress.
    Crappy NCOs either made it to E5 just for being in the AF long enough and then stayed there till they got out. The rest of us excelled.
    I just don’t get it. Maybe one of you HooAHHH guys can ‘splain it to me.

  4. RandomNCO says:

    I find it funny that the POGs think answering board questions makes you a good leader…

  5. MCPO NYC USN (Ret.) says:

    I am not Army … so I don’t know. But judging by some of the comments above …

    I think it is a great organization and well … hats off to all the guys and gals who … ah … did great studying on leadership …

    BZ to all!

  6. Elric says:

    The CSM thinks that only he and his 1SGs are doing their jobs out of selflessness? That is utter BS. As was already said, those SGTs need to be focused on the mission, not some dog and pony show. I’ve seen plenty of these boards and many selected are outstanding leaders, nut they are and would have been regardless of the board. These are pretty much drills is self presentation and rote memorization. Furthermore, there is no real selection process to get in the pool of competitors. The CSM pretty much has the sole vote on who gets to compete. The whole process is rife with personal agendas, petty bickering, and extremely high selection rates of soldiers from headquarters companies. I don’t blame the soldiers, but the CSMs. This is another one of their pet rocks that consumes a an inordinate amount of time and energy and is of zero benefit to the unit.

  7. FatCircles says:

    What better way to honor a warrior that fought in battle valiantly than to induct a perfectly selected politically correct group of POG’s based upon military fuck fuck games during a time of war.

    I bet if Murphy were alive today he wouldn’t consider this as anything more than in insult. This is literally the antithesis of what Audy Murphy did and what represents his extraordinary service.

  8. A buddy of mine last deployment was voluntold he had to go to the Audie Murphy board 4 days before it was supposed to happen last deployment because the CSM said every battalion had to send one. Our 1SG promptly said of course our company would do it. So not only did he get yanked out of all patrols and combat ops for 4 days to memorize useless shit, he was obviously set up for failure from the get go having to go up against Green Bean dwelling, fleece wearing POG’s that had been studying for weeks. I was dumbfounded but it’s been what I come to expect from today’s senior leadership. Realize what makes the most sense, then do the exact opposite of that.

  9. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Funny. As I read through the piece I said, “What a load of crap.” I honestly expected you guys would be saying good things. So much for my expectations.

  10. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    And another thing. Audie Murphy took the commission.

  11. streetsweeper says:

    Tell me this isn’t a case of everybody gets a trophy just for showing up and playing. I would think that Audie Murphy would be spinning in his casket about now too….

  12. Elric says:

    There are a disproportionately high number of EO reps ALWAYS chosen by these boards… As well as various other HQ types. Access and diversity are the two main attributes of the members.

  13. George says:

    It’s not Sergeant Majors, it’s Sergeants Major.

  14. Jonn Lilyea says:

    Then is it also Lieutenants Colonel, Majors General, Brigadiers General, Platoons Sergeant?

  15. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    And it’s RBIs not RBI. Dammit. That one slays me every baseball season. For 100 years it was RBIs and ribbies. Then some shirt and tie who wouldn’t recognize a knuckleball if it hit him in both shins decides it’s runs batted in, not runs batted ins. So you would think that the sheep would be saying RsBI, right? Wrong. It’s just RBI, as in 32 RBI. Drives me nuts.

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