JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO - FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – Staff Sgt. Kevin Sims Jr., the training non-commissioned officer in charge of information and intelligence analysis with the 470th Military Intelligence Brigade, was recently inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club for his outstanding leadership and performance here at the U.S. Army South Headquarters.
The SAMC, established in 1986 in Fort Hood, Texas, is a private U.S. Army organization for non-commissioned officers who display exemplary leadership achievements, performance and Army knowledge.
Sims, originally from Augusta, Ga., joined the Army in 2014 to embody the Army values and lifestyle.
“The discipline, comradery, and being a part of something bigger made me want to serve my country,” said Sims. “I just wanted to do my part, be useful and challenge myself. Going through hardships while sharing that experience with others resonated with me.”
The selection process was a significant challenge for Sims, one he welcomed as an opportunity to grow as a leader and learn from senior enlisted leadership.
Sims went through three boards to display his discipline and decision-making, two essays with topics chosen by sergeants major and one written exam to show his knowledge of Army regulations.
“It was pretty challenging but definitively worth it,” said Sims. “The sergeants major hounded and humbled me during these boards, seeing how and why I made the choices that I made for the scenario-based questions they gave. In the end, I got the most in-depth counseling session that I ever received and was gauged on where I stood as an NCO.”
One of the biggest challenges for Sims was balancing time with his Soldier wife and 21-month-old daughter, work obligations and preparing for the boards.
“My wife and I are both in leadership roles at our units, so sometimes we would both get home around five or 6 o’clock,” said Sims. “But she pushed me and put in a lot of effort to make sure that I had time to study and prepare.”
Sim’s wife, who is also studying to join the SAMC, and his sponsor were not the only people supporting Sims in his pursuit to join the club. Retired Army Soldiers from companies and organizations like USAA, First Command and the Non-Commissioned Officers Association assisted Sims.
Sims was most proud that his Soldiers felt he deserved this recognition with all the preparation and assistance he received.
“It means a lot to me that I was recognized for the work that I put into the process, but what solidifies its importance is that my Soldiers felt like I deserved this,” said Sims. “After hearing what they said about me and how they viewed me as their leader, I felt I actually earned it. This award means more than just getting a medal; rather, I proved to myself that I took being a leader seriously and didn't cut corners when taking care of Soldiers, which hopefully encourages them to take on the challenge and do better as well.”
Overall, Sims said the experience and knowledge he gained from joining the SAMC has made him a better Soldier and a better leader.
“It's definitely rejuvenated my drive to keep pushing to better myself and others around me,” said Sims. “I've already linked up with the SAMC chapter over at my gaining installation and look forward to working with some high-speed members.”