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‘Durable’ Brigade welcomes 6 new Sgt. Audie Murphy members

By Capt. Kymberly Koenig | 1stSustainmentBDE | May 09, 2013

Audie Murphy became the most decorated Soldier during World War II. He was awarded 33 awards, including the Medal of Honor, the highest military award for bravery.

Officials with the 1st Sustainment Brigade, 1st Infantry Division inducted six "Durable" Soldiers to the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club April 19 during a ceremony at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. The six noncommissioned officers went through a series of selection boards, prior to their acceptance into the SAMC.

"We were asked a lot of situation questions that put us into ethical dilemmas, while at the same time, tested our knowledge and discipline of the study material and to see how we are under pressure," said Staff Sgt. Stephen Harris, platoon sergeant, 1st Support Maintenance Company, 1st Sust. Bde.

The Soldiers took part in the two-day event, where they were evaluated on their abilities to perform warrior tasks and interviewed regarding Murphy's life and their leadership styles, explained Staff Sgt. Raju Dhakal, squad leader, 1st Sust. Bde.

"While studying for the board, I felt like I had a brother I never met before, but (I) knew so much about," he said.

Harris, a native of El Paso, Texas, said he used the assistance of other Soldiers and their specialties within the unit to help him prepare for the board.

"I would go to the supply section asking about the financial liability investigation of property loss process or ask the communications section to instruct me on loading and setting up communication systems," he said.

Soldiers strive to be a member of the SAMC for a variety of reasons.

"I originally thought I didn't fit the characteristics of a SAMC member. My mentors explained to me (that) my leadership style, caring attitude for Soldiers, discipline and loyalty I displayed to my unit demonstrated that I was already a SAMC member, just without a medallion," Harris said. "The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club isn't just a board and wearing a medallion, it's a lifestyle."

Dhakal, a native of Silva, Illinois, said the SAMC board was a great opportunity to display leadership skills he has honed during nine years in the Army.

"In my eyes, everybody is a leader with different leadership skills, and I think that's what this board and award is all about," he said. "It recognizes a NCO according to their ability to lead and train Soldiers and better the Army for future generations."

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