The 3rd Infantry Division inducted 11 noncommissioned officers into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club during an induction ceremony held at Fort Stewart, Georgia, May 17, 2022. This is the first SAMC induction the 3rd ID has hosted since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The importance of this club is one recognizing the superior leadership qualities of our noncommissioned officers,” said 1st Sgt. Stephen Whelan, the first sergeant for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID. “The most important part is what this club does after the induction and that is to strengthen the corps of noncommissioned officers and to give back to the community by building those relationships between leaders, Soldiers, and the community itself.”
The SAMC was first introduced in Fort Hood, Texas, in 1986 and expanded Army-wide in 1998. It was designed to recognize NCOs whose leadership achievements and performance merit special recognition.
The club is named after Sgt. Audie Murphy, the most decorated Soldier of World War II. Murphy received 33 different medals, including the Medal of Honor, during his military career.
All Active Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard NCOs in the ranks of corporal through sergeant first class are eligible for SAMC selection. To be considered for the club, Soldiers must qualify as an expert with their assigned weapon, have an Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) with a minimum score of 90 points in each event, and must pass a board process where they are evaluated by current SAMC members. Selection into the SAMC happens in four phases; commander’s nomination, performance test, initial selection board, and the final selection board.
“It feels pretty unreal,” said Staff Sgt. Alexander Burton, a new SAMC inductee assigned to the 703rd Brigade Support Battalion, 2nd ABCT, 3rd ID. “We worked so hard with multiple steps in the process, so it can best be described as a milestone.” Burton said the challenges of joining are designed to test a Soldier’s dedication and commitment while also displaying their character.
“We had a tough time,” said Burton. “We had multiple physical training tests and events that challenged us both physically and mentally.”
Although challenging, Burton said induction into the club is something NCOs should work toward.
“You should strive to be in the Audie Murphy Club because we need to take pride in taking care of Soldiers so they can take care of their family and community,” said Burton.
Induction is a means of recognizing NCOs who have contributed significantly to the development of a professional NCO Corps and a combat-ready Army. Awardees exemplify leadership, characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of Soldiers, and concern for families of Soldiers.
“Some NCOs are witnesses to those displaying the attributes of Sgt. Murphy,” said Whelan. “When their chain of command recognizes that, they realize that their membership into the club would help contribute to the club greatly.”
Those interested in becoming a SAMC member can attend a meeting held the second Monday of every month in the Audie Murphy Conference Room located in the 3rd ID Headquarters building on Fort Stewart.