By Spc. Monte Swift (USARCENT)November 18, 2009
Members of the 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery, gathered to witness the induction of three of their own into the prestigious Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, October 15, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
Inducted into the club was Sgt. 1st Class Jayme Anderson, D Battery, 1/43 Air Defense Artillery, Staff Sgt. Claudia Snowden, E Battery 1/43 Air Defense Artillery and Sgt. Ayinde Waverly, D Battery 1/43 Air Defense Artillery.
The elite, but not secret organization was created at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1986 by Command Sgt. Maj. George L. Horvath and pays tribute to one of the finest combat Soldiers in the history of the United States. The club recognizes those who have contributed significantly to the development of a professional non-commissioned officer corps in a combat-ready Army. Members exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern of the needs, training, development and welfare of Soldiers.
Sgt. Audie Leon Murphy was one of the most celebrated combat Soldiers in the 200 year plus history of the United States. On January 26, 1945, Audie Murphy climbed aboard a burning tank, fought off six enemy tanks and two reinforced rifle companies while coordinating airstrikes which saved the lives of his Company and prevented German troops from gaining a critical foothold.
He served in the Army's 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division, during World War II and received a battlefields commission for his courage and leadership ability as well as citations and decorations including every medal for valor the United States gives. He was also awarded three French medals and one Belgian medal becoming the highest decorated Soldier in American history.
"Membership into the SAMC should not be considered just another ladder climbed or another obstacle surmounted. It should not be considered the climax of our preparation, studying, board appearances or as a reward for being a great leader. Instead it should be viewed as the beginning of the commitment to the high standards of professionalism," said guest speaker Command Sgt. Maj. Jerome Wiggins, Command Sgt. Maj. For 1st Battalion, 43rd Air Defense Artillery. "This is a highlight for 1/43 that I will never forget and always cherish," he said.
Upon induction into the club, each of the three inductees received a Sgt. Audie Murphy Certificate, a Sgt. Audie Murphy Medalion and an Army Central Command coin of excellence. The Soldiers inducted into the club carry on the leadership values and standards of great NCOs before them and will continue to set the standard for leadership in the future.
"You are in the club now," said Wiggins. "How will you spend that time'"