By Russell Sellers, Army Flier Staff WriterJuly 20, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker named its noncommissioned officer and Soldier for the fourth quarter and inducted three new members of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum July 19.
Sgt. Benjamin Hutto, formerly of the 98th Army Band, and Sgt. Tricia Schindler, Troy Municipal Airport shift leader, were named Soldier and NCO of the quarter respectively. Hutto recently permanently changed duty stations to Germany and was unable to attend the ceremony.
Schindler said being named NCO of the quarter was only the beginning for her and she has some bigger plans for the future.
“I’m attending the Advanced Leadership Course in August and as soon as I graduate from that in September, I’m going to the Sgt. Audie Murphy board in October to try and become a member,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s what I want to do.”
Schindler said she was surprised by the win, despite having worked for a long period of time on accomplishing her goals.
“I was shocked, honestly,” she said. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep up with all the guys, since I was the only female competing.”
She said she knows the award also carries a hefty responsibility and plans to pass on what she’s learned to other Soldiers and NCOs.
“Other NCOs and Soldiers look up to us and I would like to take another Soldier or NCO to the boards next year instead of competing myself,” she said. “They should study and spend time in the books, but they can’t forget about their Soldiers and being a leader. There’s more to being NCO of the quarter than just boards.”
In addition to NCO and Soldier of the quarter awards, the installation also inducted three new members to the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club.
Staff Sgts. Jeremy Johnson and James Borchardt, NCO Academy instructors, and Sgt. Maj. John Hendricks, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence G3/5/7, were introduced to the ceremony attendees by guest speaker and 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment Command Sgt. Maj., Michael Sutterfield.
Sutterfield told the crowd about the history of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club before all the honorees received awards from various organizations including Army Commendation medals, presented by Col. Jessie O. Farrington, USAACE and Fort Rucker deputy commanding general.
Both Johnson and Borchardt said the path to being part of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club isn’t an easy one, but it’s worth the effort and hard work required.
“It’s an honor to be part of this club because it’s not something that just anybody can achieve,” Johnson said. “It’s a process that requires a lot of physical and mental work.”
Borchardt said the number of tasks involved can seem overwhelming, but the end results are easily worth the time and effort.
“You have to know combat movement of your Soldiers, you have to do a board presentation while answering a series of questions and you have to pass an Army Physical Fitness test,” he said. “It takes at least three months to be ready for this, but it could take longer. All of this is in addition to your regular duties. Anyone thinking of doing this should practice by participating in the Soldier and NCO of the quarter boards. It’ll definitely help them prepare for the next step.”