‘Dreadnaught’ Soldier receives induction into SAMC
First Inf. Div. Soldiers, NCOs and officers congratulate Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen Sipes, 2nd Bn., 34th Armor Regt., 1st ABCT, right, after she was inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club at a June 27 ceremony at Fort Riley. Photo by: Amanda Kim Stairrett, 1ST INF. DIV.
Story by: Amanda Kim Stairrett
1ST INF. DIV. PUBLIC AFFAIRS
Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen Sipes knew the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club was honorable and elite and she wanted to be a part of it.
Sipes, a noncommissioned officer in the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, was inducted into the club during a June 27 ceremony at Fort Riley.
"It's extremely overwhelming," she said after the ceremony.
Those interested in joining the club must be recommended by their chain of command and then go before a board of sergeants major to answer questions about leadership, training, real-world events and the club's namesake, Audie Murphy.
Murphy, who was rejected for enlistment by the Marines and Air Force in the early 1940s because of his small stature, is regarded as the greatest combat Soldier, receiving the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Legion of Merit for his actions during multiple World War II battles in Europe.
The enlisted Soldier, turned officer, turned movie star was honored with more than 30 military awards from the United States, France and Belgium.
Though Murphy wasn't a big man, he "got after it because he had heart," said Command Sgt. Maj. Charles V. Sasser Jr.
Noncommissioned officers and officers in the Army today have that same heart and, if given the opportunity, would do the same great, heroic acts as Murphy, he said.
"This club is about recognizing great noncommissioned officers within our Army, within this division, within your brigades and our separate battalions on Fort Riley," Sasser said of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.
The NCOs of today are smart, Sasser said.
"They have heart and have done tons of heroic things – not only on the battlefield and in combat, but here on Fort Riley, within the community."
Sipes said Soldiers have to keep going and trying.
"It gives and encourages the Soldiers below me or under me to achieve more and not to stop," Sipes said of her induction into the organization.
"I think it's not just a club you can study for," she added. "It's something that you just … you have it in you."
Also recognized during the ceremony were "Big Red One" spouses, Kimberly Rieckmann, Darla Schembera and Heather Ward, who received Dr. Mary E. Walker Awards for their volunteer work and contributions to the division.
Rieckmann was recognized for her work in the 601st Aviation Support Battalion, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Inf. Div.; Schembera for her work with the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Inf. Div.; and Ward for her work with the 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st ABCT, 1st Inf. Div.
Lisa Calvert, 3rd Assault Helicopter Battalion, 1st Aviation Regiment, CAB; Sue Ollar, Special Troops Battalion, 4th IBCT; and Shanna Stamm, Special Troops Battalion, 1st ABCT, also were named as recipients, but did not attend the ceremony.