PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Four U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command noncommissioned officers were selected to join the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, March 17.
Sgt. 1st Class Brandon Johnson, Staff Sgt. Adrian Rolan and Staff Sgt. Troy Johnson, all from the 11th Missile Defense Battery, and Staff Sgt. Christopher McClemens from the 13th Missile Defense Battery, appeared before a virtual board of USASMDC command sergeants major for a series of rigorous questions.
Command Sgt. Maj. Kelly Hart, 1st Space Brigade command sergeant major, said Johnson shined brightest at the end of the day.
“Sgt. 1st Class Johnson stood alone from the pack as he not only attended the board, he sponsored four other NCOs, three of whom were also recommended for induction into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club,” Hart said. “Sgt. 1st Class Johnson’s preparation for himself, as well the other NCOs, was absolutely spot on and as a SAMC member myself, I’m proud to have this new blood in the program.”
Johnson, a 32-year-old sensor management cell NCO-in-charge, said he was thrilled to hear such high praise from the board.
“We put in a lot of hard work over the last six months and it feels great,” Johnson said. “Ultimately it was a hard but extremely rewarding experience. I would recommend it to any NCO who values Soldier development and leading by example.”
11th MDB 1st Sgt. Curtis Guitreau sponsored all four of the inductees, three of whom are subordinates in his unit.
“As first sergeant for the 11th Missile Defense Battery, it is truly an honor to have three noncommissioned officers under me receive induction into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club,” Guitreau said. “Noncommissioned officers have always stood as the backbone of the Army and this prestigious accomplishment reflects exactly that.”
USASMDC’s Command Sgt. Maj. Finis Dodson said the board went well and that he was impressed with the candidates.
“The candidates were committed to excellence and stepped outside of their comfort zone and demonstrated their leadership and understanding of the Army and how to effectively ensure the readiness and success of the Soldiers and their families,” Dodson said. “They truly reflect the People First focus of the command to ensure our Soldiers are motivated and supported to maximize their personal and professional excellence.”
Audie L. Murphy was born in Hunt County, Texas, in 1925. He joined the Army in 1942 and was recognized as the most decorated combat Soldier during World War II for his service in the Mediterranean and European theaters of action in nine military campaigns. Murphy earned the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, the French Legion of Honor, French Croix de Guerre and Belgian Croix de Guerre. Not only was he highly decorated, Murphy also rose through the ranks and received a battlefield commission.
The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, established in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas, honors his legacy of service and excellence. It is a private U.S. Army organization for enlisted NCOs who display leadership achievements and performance above the rest of their Soldiers. Members must “… exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of Soldiers and concern for families of Soldiers,” FORSCOM Reg. 600-8, paragraph 1.
Upon being selected for induction into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, Soldiers have the option of joining their local military community’s organization where members often perform community service and participate in projects geared toward helping their fellow Soldiers and military veterans.