FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — The Ozark Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club inducted four new members April 19 during a ceremony in Lincoln Hall Auditorium.
The inductees included Sgts. 1st Class Markia Crumpler, from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Maneuver Support Center of Excellence, and Michael Kotz, from the MSCoE NCO Academy; and Staff Sgts. Antonio Gattison, from the 58th Transportation Battalion, and Nicholas Potter, from the 795th Military Police Battalion.
According to U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Regulation 600-14, the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club is intended to be an elite organization of NCOs, who have demonstrated the performance and inherent leadership qualities and abilities characterized by Sgt. Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated American combat Soldiers of World War II. Soldiers in the ranks of corporal through sergeant first class are eligible to apply.
The guest speaker at the ceremony was Sgt. Maj. David Henderson, MSCoE NCO Academy assistant commandant, who noted the inductees’ “hard work and devotion to the NCO Corps, our Soldiers and our Army.”
“The sacrifices that you four have made to get to this point are remarkable and should be remembered,” he said. “You accepted the challenge and pushed through until you attained your goal. I like to use the phrase, ‘Good enough isn’t good enough when you could be great, and great isn’t good enough when you need to be better.’ You all have taken on the challenge to better yourselves, your organizations and the Army, and I’m proud to have you become a member of this organization.”
The four inductees are now among a rare group, said Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Newbury, a Sapper Leader Course instructor here and SAMC Ozark Chapter president.
“It’s very rare that you meet Audie Murphy members,” he said. “It is a growing organization, but it is very low in numbers, just because of the strenuous tasks it takes to get this honor. Those who wear the medallion don’t do it for the recognition. They wear it to show they are individuals who do outreach work in the community, who take care of their Soldiers, to better our Army.”
Newbury, who was inducted in January, said he wanted to become a member for years.
“It’s an incredible honor and it means a great deal to me,” he said. “We are a direct representation of leaders who put Soldiers and our community first. A lot of my mentors, and people I look up to, they are Audie Murphy members. The things I saw them do, not only for me, but for others, that’s what I wanted to be a part of.”
By regulation, inductees are chosen through a three-phase process that includes a commander's nomination, an initial selection board conducted at the unit level and a final selection board comprised of command sergeants major.
Gattison, a native of Darlington, South Carolina, instructs the Army’s newest Motor Transport Operators, or 88 Mikes, as they are commonly called, attending Advanced Individual Training here. He said he enjoys his TRADOC mission very much.
“It’s great to be able to teach Soldiers and help bridge the gap from generation to generation,” he said.
When he arrived here, Gattison said only one Soldier in the unit was a SAMC member, so he decided to take on the challenge.
“It was a little overwhelming,” he said. “I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I knew I wanted to stand on this stage.”
Now that he’s in the club, Gattison said “it’s time to give back.”
“My process is over. I’ve met my end state, so now how do I help somebody else get to that end state? How do we give back to the community? How do we empower others to become an Audie Murphy member? That’s my job now, helping other people.”
Visit the SAMC Ozark Chapter Facebook page for more information on the club and its upcoming projects.