By Mr. Larry D Mccaskill (Army Contracting Command)March 10, 2014
Not many noncommissioned officers are inducted into both the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club and the Sergeant Morales Club. Master Sgt. Scott J. McBride is one of those NCOs.
McBride, 414th Contracting Support Brigade, Vicenza, Italy, was inducted into the U.S. Army Europe Sergeant Morales Club as an honorary member in a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Army Africa and U.S. Army Europe command sergeants major. McBride was recognized for his prior induction into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club in 2007 and for his current support and activity in the Vicenza Sergeant Morales chapter.
According to the audiemurphy.com website, the SAMC was created in 1986 to develop, inspire and motivate the best leaders possible in the U.S. Army NCO corps and is primarily operated within the continental United States. Audie L. Murphy was America's most decorated combat Soldier of World War II.
McBride said the Sergeant Morales Club was established in 1973 and promotes the highest ideals of integrity, professionalism and leadership for the enlisted force serving in Europe. The organization embraces the same attributes as the SAMC. Sgt. Morales is a fictional NCO. The original SMC was established in 1973 by Lt. Gen. George S. Blanchard to promote the highest ideals of integrity, professionalism and, leadership for the enlisted force serving in Europe
"Honorary inductees must go through a selection process as well," said McBride, the NCO-in-charge in the 414th's S2/3 - security, training and operations - shop. "NCOs recommended for honorary membership must complete the four-phase selection process just as the candidates. Our nomination/recommendation packets are reviewed and voted on just as the formal board candidates, but we do not physically attend a formal board. The six-newly elected officers were given automatic induction by USAREUR command sergeant major because we were SAMC members who took ownership of the Vicenza Morales club and made it what it is today."
McBride said SAMC and SMC members represent the top three percent of NCOs worldwide.
"It is very humbling. I am proud to be a part of these organizations," said the Soldier with more than 20 years in uniform. "I don't take this honor lightly. The NCOs I serve with are so much better than I. Their professionalism and expertise are unmatched. They make me a better NCO and leader and I hope I reciprocate."
Shortly after being assigned to the 414th, McBride said he sought out members of both clubs only to discover that due to a high operation tempo, turn-over, and deployments that the SMC was almost non-existent and was on the brink of being dissolved as a community support club.
McBride, senior community NCOs, and other SAMC and SMC members worked for a year to resurrect the club. They began holding regular meetings, working community volunteer programs, and held new member induction boards. Today, McBride said the Vicenza SMC chapter is one of the most active in Europe.
"As dedicated members of the community, we reorganized and held meetings to discuss goals and elect new members to put a fresh set of ideals and focus on the way ahead for the club and community," said McBride, who is the chapter's historian and webmaster. "Since January 2013 we have given two scholarships to military spouses; $50 commissary food gift cards to 48 of our junior Soldiers; and support to our community Boy and Girl Scouts to name a few things."
McBride said his interest in seeing the chapter thrive is simple.
"I wanted to be part of an elite group of NCOs and give back to our military community who has given me and my family so much over the last 20 years. I am a firm believer in the welfare, training, and development of our young Soldiers," he said. "Chapter members want to exemplify a special kind of leadership characterized by a personal concern for the needs of those Soldiers, their families and the military community as a whole. SMC membership recognizes distinguished NCOs who have contributed significantly to developing a professional NCO corps and a combat-effective Army."