By By Pfc. Amy M. LaneMarch 9, 2010
FORT HOOD, Texas - The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club's motto is, "You lead from the front." Staff Sgt. Charles R. Spence, Jr., from the 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) embodies this motto according to his Soldier, Spc. Patrick Tate.
Tate introduced his leader at a SAMC induction ceremony Mar. 4 at the Phantom Warrior Center. Several hundred Soldiers and family members gathered at the Fort Hood event to witness the induction of five new members into the elite club.
Spence was eager to participate when he found out he was being recommended to compete for entrance in the SAMC.
"I love Soldiers," said Spence. "We always encourage Soldiers to go to boards, so when I got recommended for this I absolutely wanted to do it. I always try to lead from the front."
Sgt. Audie Murphy, the highest decorated Soldier in U.S. history, is also known as the country's greatest combat Soldier. He had a reputation for leading from the front and always putting his Soldiers first.
The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, which originated at Fort Hood in 1986, is for those noncommissioned officers who embody the characteristics that Murphy was known for - they demonstrate the best leadership, professionalism, and they care about the welfare of their Soldiers.
The four-phase selection process begins with a nomination by a senior NCO and culminates in a final selection board. From there, the board members make a decision whether to induct the NCO into the club.
Inductees are awarded a silver medallion, which is worn around the neck on a powder blue ribbon. It is worn with the dress uniform to official functions and meetings of the club.
Spence, a former drill sergeant, said that he spent weeks studying for the final board.
"It's a huge honor," he said. "I'm very pleased right now, it was a long process and I spent a lot of time preparing."
Staff Sgt. Ilker Ikmak, from the 1st Medical Brigade, was another 13th ESC Soldier inducted in the SAMC.