Fort Huachuca, Arizona -- Two Soldiers were inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club Feb. 2 at Fitch Auditorium here.
Staff Sgt. Suzanne Kiese, musician, Military Intelligence Corps Band, and Sgt. Nicole Hatcher, operations NCO, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence (USAICoE), both passed the selection board for the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.
Both inductees received an Audie Murphy medallion and a certificate of membership by Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Roberts and Command Sgt. Maj. Thomas Latter, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence (USAICoE).
As the guest speaker, Roberts spoke directly to both Kiese and Hatcher.
"A quote I had on my emails from the time I was selected as a first sergeant until I retired as a command sergeant major is Aristotle's 'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.' And it is absolutely representative of what you two have accomplished."
Roberts talked about his experience when his own first sergeant pushing him to do better, to promote and to join the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.
"He saw something in me," Roberts said. "He saw something that I was doing every day."
He said that his first sergeant's encouragement helped him through every promotion and to understand how important it is to have a standard of excellence on a daily basis.
"We are what we repeatedly do," Roberts said quoting Aristotle. "It matters what you're doing every day, your awards, your NCOERs, all of those things will write themselves if you are doing everything you can to achieve excellence at everything you do every day."
Roberts then congratulated both Kiese and Hatcher on passing the selection board and becoming members of the SAMC.
According to the SAMC website, the group is an elite organization of NCOs whose demonstrated performance and inherent leadership qualities and abilities are characterized by those of Sgt. Audie Murphy. The SAMC is a non-profit private organization comprised of Army NNCOs who set the standard for leadership and excellence.
Hatcher spoke of being honored to be selected and how it was a group effort to become a leader of excellence.
"Different NCOs from different duty stations kept helping me," she said. Hatcher explained that she kept seeing the medallion on NCOs at official functions that she respected and how they were the "silent professionals" that she looked up too and wanted to emulate as an NCO herself. Hatcher said that being a member of the SAMC will help her career.
"I'm held to a higher standard now," Hatcher said with pride. "You are looked at through a fishbowl, so to speak. Everyone is watching everything that you do. If you're not ready for that, then you might not want to do this."
Kiese said her desire to become a SAMC member "started when I was downrange in 2013 and as a member of the band, we were playing at a lot of these kinds of functions. So I asked my performance team leader, 'what is this about?' He said, 'It's a great thing to go for once you have more leadership experience.'"
When Kiese came to Fort Huachuca, a fellow MI Corps Band member helped her study and prepare to become a SAMC member.
"Staff Sgt. Eric Cabildo mentored me, supported me and encouraged me," she said. Kiese said "the hard part starts now. Being that example for your Soldiers. Audie Murphy was such an icon, hoping you are living up to that standard and inspiring your Soldiers."