The Military District of Washington Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (SAMC) honored Marine Sgt. Maj. Bryan B. Battaglia, the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and inducted six new members during a ceremony, Dec. 11, 2014, at the U.S. Army Band's Brucker Hall on Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall, Va.
The new inductees were: Staff Sgt. John Allenbrand, Fairmont Recruiting Company, Sgt. 1st Class Aaron M. Cruz, 2nd Battalion, 1st Information Operations Command, Sgt. 1st Class Mandee E. Faulkner, Richmond Recruiting Company, Beckley Battalion, 1st Recruiting Brigade, Staff Sgt. Jenna A. Martin, 4th Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), Sgt. 1st Class David Pathemore, 289th Military Police Company, 3d U.S. Inf. Regt. (The Old Guard), Sgt. 1st Class Anthoni P. Roberti, Mid-Atlantic Recruiting Battalion.
The SAMC is a organization for enlisted NCOs only, named after Audie Murphy, a Medal of Honor recipient who fought in World War II and is the most decorated U.S. Soldier. Those NCO's whose leadership achievements and performance merit special recognition may possibly earn the reward of membership.
Since 1986, only the top 2% of U.S. Army non-commissioned officers have been recognized for "Leading from the front" with induction into the prestigious SAMC.
There are two types of induction; the formal process of selection by company level leadership, then battalion and regimental/brigade then culminating at a Division Level board. The other type is an honorary membership, which is by a vote from all the officers of the club with a unanimous vote.
Battaglia became the first Marine to be inducted into Sergeant Audie Murphy Club as an honorary member. He was recognized by the club for all he's done while serving in a position that affects Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard and Airmen.
"These inductees have demonstrated what it truly means to be an NCO, and that's why they were selected," said Sgt. 1st Class Nicholas Martinez, President of the Military District of Washington Sgt. Audie Murphy Club. "They strive for excellence in everything they do from mentoring and grooming the next generation of leaders to volunteering countless hours in the local community."
He added these NCOs seek out ways to improve and strengthen their companies, units and ultimately the U.S. Army.
The process for being inducted into the club is a long and hard road, tailored for the seasoned noncommissioned. Candidates must and exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of Soldiers and concern for families of Soldiers and exceed at a number of boards.
The boards are comprised of senior leaders. It's primarily focused on leading Soldiers and the practical application of Army policy and regulations.
"The most challenging part was going to several boards," said Pathemore, military policeman. "The path to get selected into the club is a very difficult one, but it is well worth it."
Selection into the SAMC is an honor for those chosen, but it doesn't end once they receive the Audie Murphy Medallion, it's just the beginning. One of the clubs fundamental missions is giving back to the local community.
"It's all about giving back to those less fortunate," said Pathemoore. "I wouldn't be standing here today if it were not for those who encouraged and support me during rough times."
Pathemoore went on to say he hopes his Soldiers will see him wearing the SAMC medallion and strive to do the same thing.
"As leaders, we have the ability to shape future leaders, and ceremonies like this contribute to that," Pathemore said. "I want them to one day strive to be in this organization."
At the end of the ceremony, Martinez said he was encouraged by all the support to the MDW SAMC and hopes that it will continue to grow.
"We have great NCOs, leaders and volunteers that the young Soldiers inspire to be like one day," Martinez added. "We want to continue to recognize individuals like that and add them to our ranks."