29 October 2007

Four East Baghdad Soldiers inducted into Sgt. Audie Murphy Club

Sgt. Daniel Smith, 2-17 FA Regt., Bartlesville, OK

Among them our own SGT Dan Smith, above, son of Mike Smith of the Soldiers' Angels eVoice Team. (Woohoo!)

Three other Soldiers assigned or attached to the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division were selected for induction into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club in September at FOB Loyalty. They are:

Sgt. Adolphus Cline, 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, of Salisbury, N.C.

Staff Sgt. Michael Donnelly, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, of Newnan, GA

Staff Sgt. Brock Eckstein, 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, of Elgin, OR

Since I know a bit about what Dan's doing downrange from his father Mike, I was surprised to discover he actually has time to study when I read this:

“We had battalion study groups,” he said. “It was a lot more difficult that I thought it would be, a lot more in-depth than other boards I had been to. It was definitely a lot more challenging.”

Other boards may quiz Soldiers on what regulation pertains to a certain subject. But here, Smith said, “It’s more about your character and your ability as a leader. How would you handle this, what you have you done to exemplify the character of Audie Murphy?”

Smith came in prepared, but still felt some jitters.

“I had a general idea what it would be like, but I had no idea exactly what they were going to ask,” he said. “I was nervous, I wanted to be in the club. And having sergeants major there doesn’t make it any easier.”

"You lead from the front."
- Audie Murphy

Named after the most decorated U.S. Soldier of World War II, the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club has exacting standards for membership. First, a noncommissioned officer’s performance must be exemplary enough for him or her to be recommended to appear before the board. Then they must demonstrate applied knowledge before a group of sergeants major. They also must recite Murphy’s biography word-for-word.

Congratulations Dan, SGT Cline, SSG Donnelly, and SSG Eckstein! We're so proud of you all. Stay safe and come home soon!

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