There a few historical names that we can all say, and generally everyone will know who they are. Chesty Puller, Hal Moore, Joshua Chamberlain, and many others. They all vary by what era they served in, and what they did to make them so legendary, but today I would like to talk about one name in particular: Audie Murphy.
In this article I am going to give an overview about what made Audie Murphy so special, special enough to have a club named after him (the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club – SAMC for short); as well as what the club exactly is, and how to get in.
Who was Audie Murphy? To bring you up to speed, he was more than just a war hero. Women may have considered him the ultimate catch: he wrote poetry, could sing (he was a country music artist), and he acted. He was shorter than the average male at 5’5, so he had problems getting into the military before he turned 18.
The Marine Corps wanted nothing to do with him, because of his height and how little he weighed (110 pounds). Most women will never weigh 110 pounds, which should tell you how small he really was. However, his size did not stop him from achieving amazing things during his career.
He was a part of 3rd ID, and fought all over Europe and North Africa. During his time overseas, he earned a battlefield commission, and every valorous decoration possible for a Soldier to earn. It is said that Audie Murphy is the last true war hero, and the greatest decorated veteran in our nation’s history.
Audie Murphy was killed in a plane crash at the young age of 46 (when most of us will already be enjoying our lives when we retire from the military), ironically on Memorial Day Weekend. His life is proof that we can achieve great things, even when people underestimate us – or perhaps, because they do.
It is no surprise, then, that there is an official Sergeant Audie Murphy Club. The club was started at Fort Hood in 1966. By 1994, it had spread to the entire Army, to include the National Guard and Army Reserves. The club motto is “You Lead From The Front”, which is also something that many of us say as motivation.
The SAMC is a private US Army organization that is for NCOs only. Taken from FORSCOM 600-8, members of SAMC must “…exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of Soldiers and concern for families of Soldiers.”
The NCO must have a recommendation from their chain of command and participate in a board process. If you are selected, you will be given a medallion, similar to other award medallions worn around the neck. You are authorized to wear this to military balls or other formal functions.
The SAMC crest is also an important thing to know, and it is as follows:
The letters SAMC: an abbreviation for the “Sergeant Audie Murphy Club”.
The three stars: separate the letters and represent the “Be”, “Know” and “Do” which is at the core of an Army NCO’s professional spirit.
The majestic American Bald Eagle: the national bird and our country’s symbol for freedom. The eagle also represents the intent of the SAMC to be nationwide.
The laurel: represents the individual achievement of the NCO in the club.
The lightning bolt: represents swift and decisive action taken by the NCO.
The sword is a historical reference and is the symbolic tool of the NCO to cut to the heart of the matter and to lead the charge.
The U.S. Army staff sergeant stripes: represent the highest enlisted rank attained by Audie Murphy.
The powder-blue streamers, the color of the infantry, indicate the words of the NCO philosophy: Loyalty, Caring, Discipline, and Professionalism.
The bottom line is that the SAMC is a club that all NCOs should wish to be inducted into. It isn’t the same thing as signing up online for the National Infantry Association and paying your dues. The SAMC is much more special and selective than that.
Are any of you a part of the SAMC? If so, I would like to hear your stories and advice for the board below! Just leave a comment to share your thoughts.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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