By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 29, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 29, 2012) -- Three Soldiers were inducted into Fort Rucker's Sergeant Audie Murphy Club during a ceremony at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum Nov. 20.
Staff Sgt. George Lambert, NCO Academy; Sgt. 1st Class Carlos Murray, NCO Academy; and Staff Sgt. Loshana Alexander, Directorate of Training and Doctrine, were inducted into the club and presented with certificates of membership, the Sergeant Audie Murphy medallion and the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious achievement by Command Sgt. Maj. James H. Thomson Jr., Aviation Branch command sergeant major, and Col. Donald N. Galli, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence chief of staff.
"A noncommissioned officer must exemplify leadership characterized by personal dedication and concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of Soldiers and Families," said Thomson, adding that in order to be recommended, Soldiers must embody these attributes, then go through a process of boards conducted on the division-level of the organization.
"The club recognizes noncommissioned officers who set the standard for leadership and excellence," said Sgt. 1st Class Crystal Figgs, narrator for the ceremony. "[The NCOs'] exemplary duty, performance and unmatched professionalism set them apart from their peers."
The ceremony was unique in that three members were inducted into the club as it was decided that two quarters would be combined to include Alexander, who was deployed to Iraq at the time of her induction earlier in the year.
"It makes me feel privileged and honored to be a part of the club because only about 10 percent of the Army accomplishes the eligibility to be inducted," said Alexander. "It's such an honor to be inducted into a club under such a great Soldier such as Audie Murphy."
"I'm so honored to be a member of a club of somebody that has done so much for his country," said Lambert. "I look forward to giving back to the community as much as I can."
Murray said that being inducted into the club is more than just being a part of an organization, but being a part of something that looks beyond oneself.
"Audie Murphy, to me, means taking care of others before taking care of yourself," he said. "You look out for everyone and make sure they are squared away, and it's about being a leader and setting an example."
"The Army has been changing rapidly as far as how we do things and what our priorities are, but one of the main things that is, and will always be constant is leadership and the need for leadership," she said. "That's what this club basically is. The motto is 'We lead from the front' and I think that is a great foundation for leaders."
Audie Murphy was a war hero, an actor, songwriter, poet and the most decorated Soldier in World War II, earning 33 awards and medals, including the Congressional Medal of Honor.
The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club originally started in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas, and the Fort Rucker club has been active on the installation with leader development and taking care of Soldiers and Families, according to Thomson.
"[Club members] participate in numerous community and Family support activities like Toys for Tots, the Angel Tree Program, local food locker collection and the Army Emergency Relief fund," he said, adding that in the past year, the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club raised over $2,000 for the child advocacy center on Fort Rucker.
The club also has the added responsibility of running the USAACE-level ceremonies on the installation, according to Thomson, and provides the narrators, award bearers and personnel needed for the ceremonies.
"This small group of NCOs is very dedicated to our community, our Soldiers and Families," said Thomson. "They are a great example of professional leaders in our formation and are truly setting a huge example for our young Soldiers to aspire to."