By Staff Sgt. Warren WrightFebruary 28, 2014
KAISERLAUTERN, Germany - The 21st Theater Sustainment Command welcomed six new members into the Sergeant Morales Club during a ceremony at the Kaiserslautern Community Activity Center on Daenner Kaserne Feb. 26.
The inductees were Sgt. 1st Class Andray D. Gibson, 18th Engineer Brigade; Staff Sgt. Sean D. Graham, 18th Engineer Brigade; Staff Sgt. Fitho Simplice, 16th Sustainment Brigade; Staff Sgt. Jordan B. Stipp, 18th Military Police Brigade; Staff Sgt. Amber J. DeArmond, 21st TSC; and Sgt. Jasmen E. Williams, 16th Sust. Bde.
The Sergeant Morales Club, which was established in 1973 by Lt. Gen. George S. Blanchard, consists of members who exemplify a special kind of leadership characterized by a personal concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of their soldiers.
Maj. Gen. John R. O'Connor and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney Rhoades, the commanding general and the command sergeant major of the 21st TSC presided over the ceremony and presented the awardees with a Sergeant Morales Club certificate of membership along with the Army Commendation Medal.
"It feels great to be inducted," said Gibson, a sexual assault response coordinator with the 18th Eng. Bde., and a native of Flint, Mich. "I've been working on getting inducted into this club for the past year. It's something that I've wanted to do and I wanted to set the example for my soldiers."
Some of the newly inducted noncommissioned officers credit their leadership for giving them the tools necessary to become successful NCOs.
"I have had some great leaders in my career," said Gibson. "This is the kind of thing that they've pushed me to do and for me to be a part of this has been a great accomplishment."
"My leadership and my soldiers have motivated me to go above and beyond and to push myself," said Stipp, a military policeman with the 18th MP Bde. "Hopefully one day I can mentor somebody and they can come up here and do the same thing."
Becoming a member of the Sergeant Morales Club is no easy task. NCOs have to commit countless hours of their free time in order to prepare for the long road to becoming a member.
"The sergeants being inducted have gone through a rigorous process of studying long hours, countless uniforms inspections, multiple review boards and physical fitness tests all in pursuit to join this prestigious organization," said Command Sgt. Maj. Sean J. Rice, the command sergeant major of Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, U.S. Army Europe and the ceremony's guest speaker. "The club promotes the highest ideas of integrity, professionalism and leadership for the enlisted force here in Europe. These individuals here today have done that and then some."
"They decided to step up to the challenge to begin another call of duty," he added.
Inductees believe that hard work and a passion for helping soldiers are the key traits of any potential future member.
"Take care of your Soldiers, do your job, place your soldiers first and live by the Army Values," Gibson said of NCOs wishing to become members. "If you live and follow the NCO Creed, you can't go wrong because it gives us everything we need. If you do that and you take care of your soldiers, you can accomplish anything."