PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- A 'Space Cowboy' from the 117th Space Battalion (Colorado Army National Guard), 1st Space Brigade was recently inducted into the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command local chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.

Staff Sgt. Eugene A.K. Patton Jr., readiness noncommissioned officer, was inducted by Lt. Gen. Richard P. Formica, commanding general, SMDC/ARSTRAT, at SMDC's operations headquaters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., on Feb. 27.

"Anybody who knows about the exploits of Sergeant Audie Murphy know just how significant it is to earn the right to be inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club," Formica said. "I'm proud of our senior NCOs and our command sergeants major for having a vibrant program that keeps this active and alive in our command and finds opportunities to reach out to those NCOs who set themselves apart and earn the distinction to be awarded Sergeant Audie Murphy."

The audience included senior noncommissioned officers, staff members from the command and Brig. Gen. Dana M. Capozzella, assistant adjutant general for Army, Colorado National Guard.

The Sergeant Audie Murphy award comprises the top 2 percent of the NCOs in the Army. They are selected based on demonstrated leadership professionalism and overall general military knowledge. In recognition of his demonstrated professionalism and excellence, Formica awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Sergeant Audie Murphy Medallion to Patton.

Before the closing of the ceremony with the signing of the Army song, Formica said, "My thanks to all of you for being here and for your service. But most importantly hearty congratulations to those who have earned the right to be inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club."