CONCORD, N.C. - It started with only a couple of weeks' prep time and it ended with a recitation of the NCO creed while in the front-leaning rest position. However, it is an event that will only happen once in the life of Staff Sgt. Tyler Myers: induction into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club.
Myers is a saxophone player for the 100th Army Reserve Band at Fort Knox, Ky. He's also a Combatives Instructor, and one of the band's Training NCOs. On November 5th he traveled to the 81st Regional Support Command at Fort Jackson to receive his Audie Murphy Medallion at the 81st RSC dining out, which he will be eligible to wear on his dress uniform for the rest of his military career.
"I must've looked like a crazy person pacing around in the airport reciting lines back to myself over and over again," said Myers, recalling the night before he began his competition. Myers and 1st Sgt. Matt LaBarbara, who accompanied Myers to Fort Jackson for the competition, had to endure unexpected obstacles such as delayed flights and very little sleep before the two day competition began. "The 100th Army Reserve Band is proud to have a Soldier selected for such a prestigious honor," said LaBarbara.
The competition includes events such as a physical fitness test, M16 rifle qualification, land navigation, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear knowledge as well as first aid tasks. These events are all squeezed into a single day.
The second day is comprised of evaluation boards in front of senior NCOs, for which Myers was required to memorize the NCO Creed, the official biography of Audie Murphy and topics from the Army study guide ranging from Quality of Life Programs to Battle Focused Training. "While studying the board material, I was also working out nearly every day to ensure that my PT score was high."
At several points during his board evaluation, the board members attempted to throw him off by interrupting him in the middle of recitations by asking random questions and even having Myers assume the front leaning rest position while reciting the NCO creed and again during the recitation of Murphy's biography. "It was pretty crazy," remembers Sgt. 1st Class Ben Rademaker, who acted as Sgt. Myers' sponsor to the event. "He kept his cool the whole time, didn't get thrown off and correctly answered just about everything they asked him."
"I have to say," said Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Wills during the induction ceremony, "I was thoroughly impressed with this young NCO. No matter what we did, he never lost his composure."
Entry into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club is an honor reserved exclusively for United States Army Non-Commissioned Officers. The governing regulation states that members of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club must "...exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of Soldiers and concern for families of Soldiers."
Staff Sgt. Myers was recently promoted to his current rank. He resides in Richmond, Ky. with his wife Rebecca.