By Kelly P. Morris, USAACE Public Affairs, and Jim Hughes, Fort Rucker Public AffairsMarch 5, 2019
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The Fort Rucker Sergeant Audie Murphy Association added three new members to its ranks during a ceremony Feb. 22 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.
Command Sgt. Maj. Brian N. Hauke, command sergeant major of the Aviation Branch and guest speaker at the event, said being inducted into the association is a monumental occasion in the NCOs' careers.
The newest inductees were: Sgt. 1st Class Charles T. Kopp, senior small group leader, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence NCO Academy; Staff Sgt. Sade R. Church, initial entry training instructor, 1-13th Aviation Regiment; and Staff Sgt. Justin M. Davis, Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape cadre.
"These noncommissioned officers are some the finest leaders within their career fields, and they consistently strive to better themselves, the installation and the surrounding communities," Hauke said.
"Inductees, I challenge you to remember (that being inducted into the) Sgt. Audie Murphy Association is an outstanding achievement that you have earned, but being a member is really where the hard work begins," he added. "It is what the NCO learns on the path to induction, it's the leadership development he or she attains on the path, it's the opportunities that present themselves along the way. Congratulations and Above the Best!"
Q&A WITH THE NEWEST INDUCTEES
Q: What does it say to you that you were selected, or what does it mean to you to be selected?
CHURCH: Honestly, for me, I like to say it's the mom gene in me, but it could be from me coming from humble beginnings too, but I always like to get my hands in something where I can give back. And it's always good to have a team. A benefit is to be around people I can learn and develop from, and hopefully to be able to give back with a bigger platform and a bigger scale. I'm not just making a small dent on the junior Soldier level, I'm making a bigger dent hopefully in the future on getting outside of just the installation, just the unit, to the community. So I'm excited about that.
DAVIS: I love being an NCO. I've never had the thought process to jump warrant or Green to Gold simply because of the money or whatever. The whole backbone of the Army thing -- as you see like the rotor blades when you walk in this academy, it says it right there. I think this club is going to help keep the NCO alive, and it kind of proves to senior leadership and officers that we work for and with that we're still capable, we're still around and we want to make a good impact. I think this club hopefully will grow and we can continue to make that impact across Fort Rucker.
KOPP: Throughout my career I've kind of been what I felt was a go-getter and wanting to do stuff, but a lot of my peers would kind of chastise me about, "Hey, you're constantly trying to find ways to improve things that (aren't) really your lane." Getting to be around NCOs of this caliber that are members of the association kind of validated that. Maybe not every NCO out there is out there to be a go-getter, to be the literal best they can be, but there's a strong core of people that are, and you seek out those people who you want to be like and you always have that person that's a little bit better than you that you get to chase after. But simultaneously you're providing a target for that person that's right behind you to catch up to you. It's a lot of positive growth, I guess.
Q: What is your charge, or your responsibilities going forward as you understand them being part of SAMA?
KOPP: It's about making the NCO Corps better. It's about helping where help is needed. A good NCO never says "No," they just say, "How can I help? How can I make this better?" Always leave an area better than you found it. I think if we can get the education, the information out there to younger Soldiers we'll do ourselves a big service.
CHURCH: I'm just excited about having a different platform. Being able to do more on a bigger scale.
DAVIS: A leader during my board said, the club's not about wearing the medallion, it's what you do with the membership itself. That keeps me going -- trying to stay involved, volunteer, not taking for granted that somebody saw something in me and now I'm in a good position. It does help with progression, but not taking advantage of that and actually contributing to the cause of the actual association.