By Christina SteinerOctober 4, 2018
FORT SILL, Okla., Oct. 4, 2018 -- About 70 Soldiers, guests, and Fort Sill leaders attended the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club induction ceremony at Snow Hall, Sept. 25.
Drill Sergeant (Staff Sgt.) Bethany Harris, 1st Battalion, 40th Field Artillery, received honors as the lone inductee.
"It's a goal I had planned for a few years," Harris said. "Today it was a humbling experience. It was a year-long prep."
Command Sgt. Maj. Giancarlo Macri, 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, spoke as featured guest.
"Anyone who knows me knows that (leadership) is my favorite topic and I can easily talk about leadership," he said. "Your role as a leader is to create a culture and environment that allows your subordinates to succeed. If you can do that you not only accomplish the mission, you will develop a leader who will influence change and ultimately make your organization, branch, and the Army better after you're gone.
"When I got to my first duty station I met my first team chief in the Army, I was told to do a task that didn't make any sense," Macri said. "I had the audacity to (open) my mouth and say the one word that was forbidden to say. It was the three-letter cussword: Why?
"Just as fast as that word came out of my mouth the chief hit my chest so hard I couldn't even finish the word and air was allowed to escape. That was the last time Private Macri used that word when it came to questioning orders. Don't get me wrong. That first NCO was a beast and helped mold me into the leader I am today. He understood Soldier care and showed me what tough love was. He made me better by making sure I trained and studied until I was the best and even then made me understand that even when you're the best there are still things you can improve on.
"(His NCO) said if you have a problem with how your leadership does things or fails to do things then become the leadership," Macri said.
"(People) complain all day long about things messed up all day long. Few people will listen or feel like more than just complaining. Sergeant Macri had a little more say and pull. Staff Sergeant Macri had a little more. First Sergeant Macri had quite a bit of a pull and ability to change things. Brigade Sergeant Major Macri had a huge ability to influence change, not only in the organization but in the branch in the Army. Take the hard jobs. Ask to be in charge. Be observant. Not ask for stupidity and hardships of being low-level management that comes with any job, whether it's McDonald's or the Army. It doesn't matter. If you want to be a leader whose ideas are heard. You want to be the leader who gets the audience with the decision-makers and influence change, then you have to find the motivation and last long enough to become the leader who can make those things change."
Following Macri's presentation, Command Sgt. Maj. John Foley, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill CSM, highlighted Harris' career that only began in 2010.
"She was assigned to Fort Hood as a Patriot launching station enhanced operator/maintainer, 14 Tango," Foley said. "Staff Sergeant Harris has served in a variety of positions to include launcher crew member, launcher section chief, squad leader, entry control point NCOIC (noncommissioned officer in charge), operations sergeant and security management NCOIC. She has served on two deployments to Kuwait. Staff Sgt. Harris is pursuing a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Austin Community College and has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity as a project member for the past two years.
"Staff Sergeant Harris' short-term goals include being selected for sergeant first class and finishing her degree. Her long term goals include obtaining her bachelor's in physical therapy and agriculture."
Following Foley, Fort Sill 2018 Drill Sergeant of the Year, Staff. Sgt. Michael Hnat, took the podium.
"I first met Drill Sergeant Harris at a dining facility on the east side of post over a year ago," he said. "She was making corrections of Soldiers in the chow line. Being a new drill sergeant I walked over and asked her what week of training she was in. She replied: 'Week five.' Seeing her making those on-the-spot corrections in this stage of training cycle I realized that she was the perfect example of never compromising standards as she continues even to this day.
"Fast forward a few months. I had the opportunity to compete against Drill Sergeant Harris in the brigade NCO and Soldier of the quarter," Hnat said. "She was first to enter and I didn't hear anything coming out of the board room. Then I heard a loud thunderous creed: The Soldiers Creed, NCO Creed and the Drill Sergeant Creed. I could hear them so loud and clear I could've (believe it). I knew if I wanted to win that board I had to go in there and kill it myself. Long story short: She beat me. She went on to continue and win the FCoE Soldier and NCO board."
SAMC president Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Gorman, explained steps inductees must follow before making the club.
"This outstanding noncommissioned officer had to successfully complete two rigorous phases of review as an extensive evaluation," he said.
"Phase one consisted of careful screening of the Soldier's nomination packets by the battalion and brigade sergeant major, an Army physical fitness test, an application of knowledge on small arms equipment, and in-depth instruction on Army leader development, and final reviews conducted by the post command sergeant major.
"In phase two, each Soldier who attempted to earn the distinct privilege of appearing in front of several boards, to include battalion, brigade, and installation," Gorman said. "The Soldiers were asked situational questions in several areas to include, but not limited to, leadership training, physical fitness, and world events to test their knowledge of military subjects."
Following the induction, Gorman explained: "The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club selection process is an individual challenge that enables one to become a part of an organization that represents the top 10 percent of NCOs in the U.S. Army, he said.
"Our mission is to make a positive impact on the Soldiers and community in any way possible. Induction into the club is rewarding for one's career, but more importantly, it enables them to be a part of an organization that strives to be the best and support through volunteer work as much as possible," Gorman said.
Harris' wife Christine, family, friends, and fellow Soldiers attended the induction.
The ceremony ran about 45 minutes and ended with the inductee reciting the Soldiers', NCO and Drill Sergeant creeds, as well as the Army Song, from memory.
The SAMC seeks to emulate and keep alive the memory of the leadership and courage of Audie Murphy, a Soldier who started World War II as a private, but ended the war as a captain and the most highly decorated Soldier in history. Murphy's awards include the Medal of Honor.
Fort Sill Soldiers have been members of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club since it began in 1986. However, at its inception, only members of the III Corps Artillery of Fort Hood, Texas, were considered for membership. Today, all Soldiers at Fort Sill are authorized for membership in this elite group.
For more information on the SAMC visit: www. army.mil/samc/.