CAMP RED CLOUD, Korea--Four Soldiers from the 2nd Infantry Division were inducted in to the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club during a luncheon Oct. 10 at the Commanding General's Mess.
The inductees are: Staff Sgt. Lakeisha Hessell from Company B, Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion from Columbia, S.C.; Staff Sgt. Lemisha Green from Company B, HHBN a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native; Staff Sgt. Tiffani Heinreich from Company Foxtrot, 3rd General Support Aviation Battalion, 2nd Aviation Brigade, a Las Vegas Nev., native; and Staff Sgt. Brian Hughes from Company B, 2nd Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, a Mentor, Ohio, native.
Maj. Gen. Thomas S. Vandal, 2nd Inf. Div. commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew J. Spano, 2nd Inf. Div., Division Command Sergeant Major, presented the Audie Murphy medallion to the inductees and accolades for their impressive achievement.
One member expressed her appreciation for being part of such an elite organization.
"I'm thankful to have the opportunity to be a member of such a prestigious club," said Hessell. "I feel very appreciative."
The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club is an elite organization of noncommissioned officers who have demonstrated performance and inherent leadership qualities and abilities characterized by those of Sgt. Audie Murphy. The inductees were recognized by current club members based on their demonstrated competence, commitment, character and experience.
Hessell's previous leader, who's also a member, saw potential in her and encouraged her to research SAMC and continue to strive to be an outstanding leader.
"My first platoon sergeant told me to research the SAMC after winning the NCO of the Year board," said Hessell. "After my research, I knew that I wanted to become a member and that I was going to be a member."
In order to be considered for the SAMC, the inductees had to display exemplary leadership characteristics.
"That same platoon sergeant from my previous unit told me that I needed more time as leader," said Hessell. "Looking back I feel that he was absolutely right. My gained experience in the Army has helped me become a better leader and I've developed a passion for taking care of Soldiers and mentoring them."
But there were other requirements as well.
They also had to show genuine concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of Soldiers as well as for Families of Soldiers. They had to go through a series of boards and evaluations to be inducted into the club. They had to pass the Army Physical Fitness Training and receive an expert on weapons qualification. The inductees also had to receive a letter of recommendation and evaluations from their company, battalion and brigade commanders and first sergeants.
During the SAMC ceremony, three Korean Augmentation to the U.S. Army Soldiers received the Gen. Paik Sun Yup Leadership Award. Sgt. Lee Jae-hwan from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 72nd Armor Regiment, Cpl. Kim, Kyonng-nam from Troop B, 4th Squadron, 7th Cavalry and Cpl. Kim Gang-wook from Troop B 4-7 CAV received accolades from Vandal, Spano, Republic of Korea army Col. Kim, Jong-wook and ROK Sgt. Maj. Jeong Woo-jin during the luncheon. The Gen. Paik Sun-yup Leadership Award and ceremony is similar to being inducted to the SAMC. The KATUSAs had to go through similar evaluations and receive recommendations from the ROK army.
"I feel that it is a privilege to be able to receive this award," said Lee. "I am honored to be here, I'm proud of myself and I take pride in representing for my fellow KATUSAs and representing 2nd Infantry Division."
Gen. Paik Sun Yup is the first Republic of Korea army four-star general. He participated in all ten of the major campaigns of the Korean War.
After overcoming the challenges of the boards, Hessell plans on continuing taking care of Soldiers and developing them to become future leaders. She plans on motivating and inspiring Soldiers and leaders to work beyond their potential and help others along the way.
"I would like to incorporate a mentorship program that can be used by all units," said Hessell. "Modeled after the big brother, big sister program where the SAMC members host a workshop."
With the evolving mission, leaders can continue to influence, train and mentor Soldiers as those are essential tactics to be ready to 'fight tonight.'