By Pfc. Crystal M. O'Neal, 2nd HBCT Public AffairsSeptember 10, 2009
FORT STEWART, Ga. - Due to their chivalrous and faithful service to their country, United States Army Soldiers earn and bear many prestigious awards.
As they climb their way up the ranks, Soldiers become more experienced, training not just to win awards, but to also become leaders and mentors for Soldiers under them.
Sergeant Audie Leon Murphy, the well-distinguished and renowned former 3rd Infantry Division Soldier who earned every medal for courage and valor during his time served in the Army, serves as one Soldier who leaves behind a legacy for all upcoming noncommissioned officers, leaders, and Soldiers alike - the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.
Two Marne Soldiers carried on his legacy when they were inducted into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club during a ceremony held in the Patriot Auditorium in Winn Army Community Hospital, Sept. 1.
Sergeant 1st Class Michael Odle, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2/3 Brigade Troops Battalion, 2nd Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID, and Staff Sgt. Cesar Garcia, MEDDAC, 3rd ID, received their honors in front of their friends, Family and comrade.
Achieving this goal, according to Sgt. 1st Class Odle, definitely wasn't easy.
"The whole process of becoming a member of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club was actually a very lengthy one," he said. "It took a great amount of studying, hard work, and support from my unit and my wife."
The sergeant first class said that after all the studying was done, the hard work was not over. He still had to go before a grueling board, deciding whether or not he would be inducted into the club.
"When I went before the board, I was nervous because I knew that three Soldiers who were interviewed prior to me had not been selected for the club." said Sgt. 1st Class Odle. "I just maintained my professionalism and did my very best."
Staff Sergeant Garcia said that when he began his Army career, he had no idea he would accomplish something so great.
"Twelve years ago I had a platoon sergeant, a sergeant first class to be exact, who achieved the same goal I just achieved. At that point in time I didn't know what the club actually was and exactly what it meant; I just knew it was prestigious," he said.
Now that he is a member, Staff Sgt. Garcia said he definitely realizes the significance.
"Now I know that to be inducted into this club, it means that your Soldiers are your number one priority; you're always setting a good example and trying to do the right thing," said the staff sergeant.
Command Sergeant Major Clifton H. Johnson, 3rd Sustainment Brigade command sergeant major, served as the guest speaker of the ceremony.
The inductee Soldiers also spoke, explaining why they felt their sergeants deserved a place in the Audie Murphy Club, and congratulating their mentors on their accomplishment.