March 14, 2017 at 4:04am
Seven Soldiers have joined the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, a prestigious organization meant to honor the best noncommissioned officers in the Army, at the Evergreen Theater on Joint Base Lewis-McChord March 3.
The newest members are Sgt. 1st Class Cesar Blake and Staff Sgt. Trevor Larson, 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division; Sgt. 1st Class David Garcia, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 229th Aviation Regiment, 16th Combat Aviation Brigade; Sgt. 1st Class Connie Von, 56th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, 62nd Medical Brigade; Staff Sgt. Joseph Alarcon, 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade; Staff Sgt. Brandon Hollon, 23rd Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division; and Sgt. Jordan Lambert with the Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, 7th Infantry Division.
The induction ceremony served a celebration for the all the work the inductees have put in to get to this stage. It comes after months of a grueling application process that has applicants go through a range of board reviews, tests, essays and oral interviews. Before they can even start this gauntlet of an application process, they first need to be nominated by commanding officers.
“Today’s event is the final step and moment of gratification for these Soldiers and all of their hard work,” said Sgt. 1st Class Gracie Best, the club’s president, and equal opportunity adviser with the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command. “For some of them, this isn’t their first time trying to make it to this level, but they had the resiliency to come back and try again. Now they’ve made it after (being) recommended by senior (commanding officers) for what they do every day.”
Best and I Corps Command Sgt. Maj. Michael A. Grinston both provided addresses to the inductees. Both touched on how valuable NCOs are to the military’s missions and how deserving the attendees were to be named to the organization. Grinston and Lt. Gen. Stephen R. Lanza, I Corps commanding general, conducted the pinning ceremony, which formally inducted the seven Soldiers into the club.
The club’s namesake, Audie L. Murphy, is a revered figure in military lore. He is often referred to as the greatest combat Soldier in the more than 200-year history of the United States. While serving in World War II, Murphy earned nearly every decoration of valor the country offered, including the Medal of Honor.
He also collected five decorations from France and Belgium. He went on to have a successful acting career, starring in 44 feature films.
For those being inducted, the celebration and the high turnout served as a moment to finally breathe after all the hard work.
“It’s a really good feeling, and I’m excited to pass on what I’ve learned to the future Soldiers so they can be the future NCOs that we need,” Lambert said. “All of the hard work that I’ve put into it has finally paid off, and it’s been a sigh of relief and an overwhelming feeling of happiness.”
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