By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterJuly 29, 2016
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Determination, the ability to face adversity and the will to serve a purpose greater than self -- that's what one Fort Rucker Soldier's induction into one of the installation's most prestigious clubs means to him.
The Fort Rucker Sergeant Audie Murphy Club inducted Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Huff, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence NCO Academy senior small group leader, into its ranks during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum July 25, and for him it's just one more step to becoming a better Soldier and leader.
"It feels great to be part of this organization," said Huff. "It was a hard road, but it's definitely been worth all of the effort, and it's definitely an honor to be a part of this association."
Huff has been involved in the SAMC throughout the years helping with different events, so becoming a full-fledged member of the club was a must for him, he said.
"The reason I wanted to be a part of this club was more so to be able to set an example for future Soldiers and the ones that I'll be leaving behind here and the ones that I'll be leading in the future," said the new inductee. "To be a part of this organization and be active in it says a lot about a person and motivates others to do the same."
Command Sgt. Maj. Jason J. Palfreeman, USAACE NCO Academy commandant, was on hand to welcome Huff to the organization and to remind him and other Soldiers of the standards that those who are inducted into the club are held to.
"We all know Sergeant Audie Murphy's story," said the NCOA commandant, referring to Murphy's many accomplishments as the most decorated Soldier in U.S. history. "Fortunately for us noncommissioned officers, Audie Murphy's accomplishments are not the standards that we have to meet in order to be eligible for this distinguished association.
"Sergeant Audie Murphy consistently demonstrated the highest quality of leadership, professionalism and regard for the welfare of his Soldiers," he continued. "This is a standard of which we can use for the eligibility to be inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Association."
The club is meant for those NCOs who distinguish themselves apart from their peers, and the organization is a means of recognizing those NCOs who have contributed significantly to the development of a professional NCO Corps and combat-ready Army, said Palfreeman.
Members of the SAMC are meant to exemplify leadership that is characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of Soldiers, and concern for families of Soldiers, he added.
"I hope Sergeant First Class Huff does not take this accomplishment lightly, because the medallion that will be worn around his neck will identify him as a member of this association, so know that every Soldier will be watching you -- members and nonmembers alike," said the NCOA commandant. "Today is a wonderful day for you, one that you should be proud of. So pat yourself on the back, but when you wake up tomorrow morning, get back after it. Show everyone that you're worthy of this honor. Your seniors, peers and subordinates will expect you to resolve any and all issues, and complete all tasks."
The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club started in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas, and exists to help with leader development and taking care of Soldiers and families. Club members participate in numerous community and family support activities throughout the year, as well as help run the USAACE-level ceremonies on the installation by providing narrators, award bearers and personnel.