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An elite member of an elite club

JBLM club honors top NCOs

Sgt. Tori Beaver, 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment, at her induction into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. Photo courtesy of Sgt. Tori Beaver

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Sgt. Tori Beaver believes her family's history of service in the Army predestined her decision to enlist on Sept. 6, 2016.

"The best decision I ever made," the Army brat from Kansas succinctly wrote in an email.

Beaver currently is assigned as a medic to 1st Battalion, 94th Field Artillery Regiment, 17th Field Artillery Brigade.

Since making the decision to join, Beaver has worked hard over the past three-and-a-half years to earn recognition. But the acknowledgment she treasures most is her recent induction into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club (SAMC).

"I love everything that the SAMC does and stands for, striving for excellence, leading and motivating soldiers, helping in the community," continued Beaver.

"I want to stand out amongst my peers. As Audie Murphy said, ‘You Lead from the Front,' and that is what I intend to do."

Established at Ford Hood, Texas, in 1986, the SAMC is comprised of Army Non-Commissioned Officers who set the standards for leadership and excellence. The club represents the best NCOs -- the top two percent -- in the Army.

"The club is a means of recognizing those NCOs who have contributed significantly to the development of a professional NCO Corps and a combat ready Army," wrote SFC Steven Mosley, Joint Base Lewis-McChord SAMC president, "and it is a prestigious honor to be a member of this elite club."

While not the first female NCO to be inducted into the SAMC, Beaver does have the unique distinction of being a corporal when she passed her boards for acceptance and then being a sergeant when inducted into the organization.

"I passed the board when I was a corporal on Nov. 27, 2019, and I was officially inducted as a sergeant on Jan. 29, 2020," she explained, "and I was told that it is very rare and mostly unheard of that a corporal be inducted into the SAMC."

Beaver was promoted to sergeant Jan. 1.

Her presence in the club is the result of preparation.

"I did a lot to prepare; I studied many, many hours for months," she continued, "and remember, just because an NCO is inducted into SAMC doesn't mean that that is the end. SAMC is a life-long commitment."

For Beaver, part of honoring that commitment is to earn an Expert Field Medical Badge (EFMB) and complete her undergraduate work to serve as an Army nurse.

Her sense of commitment to the standards and expectations of the elite SAMC extend to earning both master's and doctoral degrees in nursing with an eye toward volunteering to work with Doctors Without Borders after leaving the Army.

In setting an example for other soldiers, Beaver concluded: "Never let other people define you. And don't limit or set limits yourself. Work hard, be disciplined and set goals. If I want something and I happen to not get it, at least I can say I tried my hardest -- and that in and of itself is a victory."

Spoken like an elite NCO.

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