By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterFebruary 9, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala -- NCOs lead from the front, and three new inductees into one of the Army's most prestigious organizations are taking that creed to heart.
The Fort Rucker Sergeant Audie Murphy Club welcomed three new members: Master Sgt. Eric Kahle, NCO Academy 15Z maintenance branch chief; Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Stewart, NCO Academy 15K aircraft component repair supervisor small group leader; and Staff Sgt. Christopher Beadles, 1st Battalion, 13th Aviation Regiment 15Q air traffic controller instructor, during an induction ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum Feb. 3.
Each Soldier expressed their gratitude for the support they received along the way and said the induction was an honor that made them proud to be a part of the NCO corps.
"This is a proud moment," said Kahle. "I've wanted to do this since I was a young NCO and now (I want to) set the standard for other NCOs under me to have something to strive for."
"I'm proud to be part of a prestigious organization like this one," added Stewart. "I like to challenge myself, and volunteer my time out in the community and outside of the Army, so this seemed like a great opportunity."
Beadles said that being inducted into the organization is a great opportunity for him to be a standard bearer for not only the military, but for civilian organizations, as well.
Sgt. Maj. Francisco Declet, 164th Theater Airfield Operations Group S3 brigade sergeant major, was on hand to welcome the new inductees and congratulate them on their achievement.
"I'd like to say congratulations on a job well done. Audie Murphy was considered by many as a great American hero and a legend in his own right," said the sergeant major. "His very essence of courage set the standard for noncommissioned officers to aspire to go above and beyond the call of duty. These inductees today are the standard bearers for discipline and excellence in their units. They understand what it means to be a noncommissioned officer."
Audie Murphy is widely known as the most decorated Soldier in U.S. history, earning 33 awards and medals in World War II alone, including the Medal of Honor. He was also one of the most popular actors of his time, as well as a composer, poet and songwriter, and Declet said that he's a model for what NCOs should strive for.
In order for each of the Soldiers to be inducted into the club, they must have been nominated and endure two stringent boards, which tested their knowledge of Audie Murphy, as well as their situational awareness.
The club, which was started in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas, exists to help with leader development and the duty of taking care of Soldiers and families.
Club members participate by volunteering their time in numerous community and family support activities, as well as help run the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence-level ceremonies on the installation as narrators, award bearers and personnel to help the ceremonies run smoothly.