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Posted: July 27, 2017 3:39 p.m.
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Stewart Sgt Audie Murphy Club holds first induction in 3 years

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Maj. Gen. Lee A. Quintas, the commanding general of the 3rd ID; Staff Sgt. Trevor Crust, Noncommissioned Officer Academy, 3rd ID; and Sgt. 1st Class Michael Harter, the president of Fort Stewart Sergeant Audie Murphy Club pose for a photo during an induction ceremony at Moon Theater on Stewart, July 17.

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The Fort Stewart Sergeant Audie Murphy Club held an induction ceremony at Moon Theater, July 18.

The induction ceremony was the first the division has conducted in three years – resuscitating a long-held tradition within the elite group of noncommissioned officers across the U.S. Army.

Five dog-faced Soldiers earned the honorary distinction of being inducted into the prestigious club. They are Staff Sgt. Hector Pichardo-Sanchez, 3rd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team; Staff Sgt. Earl Fleming, 3rd Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; Staff Sgt. Trevor Crust, Noncommissioned Officer Academy; Sgt. Kyle Courtway, 6th Squadron, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team; and Sgt. Jacqueline Gross, 9th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team.

The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, or SAMC, is a private organization comprised  only of NCOs that have established themselves as the most competent, skilled and knowledgeable leaders the Army has to offer. Moreover, the members must exemplify empathy and genuine concern for the Soldiers and Family Members within their ranks.

Named after the most decorated World War II combat Soldier, Medal of Honor recipient Audie L. Murphy, the club was established in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas. It quickly gained traction, spreading to installations across the country such as Fort Carson, Colorado and Fort Riley, Kansas until it became Army-wide in 1994.

Murphy’s namesake is especially noteworthy considering he began his Army career in none other than the 3rd Infantry Division.  

Sgt. 1st Class Michael Harter, the president of the Fort Stewart SAMC chapter, said the club promotes pride in the NCO corps and promotes stewardship of the Army profession. He went on to say that the selection process is no easy feat.

“The noncommissioned officers you are about to witness have spent countless hours in preparation, have been through multiple echelons of examinations and let alone have spent their entire career thus far gaining the experience placing them here today,” said Harter. “They have truly earned the day.”

Harter spoked on the importance of holding a ceremony formally inducting members into the club, celebrating the achievements of the inductees and acting as an official welcome.

“You now hold the torch and I look forward to a bright future for the club,” continued Harter.

The inductees were presented with an Army Commendation Medal from Maj. Gen. Lee A. Quintas, the commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division, and Harter. Afterwards, they were donned the coveted SAMC medallion – an accoutrement few have had the honor of wearing throughout the Army’s history.

Newly inducted SAMC member Crust said the process was one of the most arduous yet rewarding experiences in his career.

“It definitely instills a sense of pride for belonging to not only the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, but the NCO corps as a whole,” said Crust.

“I am so proud of the NCOs that came before and the ones I have had the honor of standing next to today.”


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