The competition started with candidates being required to achieve at least a 270 on their Army Physical Fitness Test. In the dim light of early morning, candidates pushed, grunted and sweat their way to obtaining a score high enough to keep them in the running for selection.
Once the Army Physical Fitness test was complete, Soldiers did a quick uniform change to the Army Service Uniform for the appearance board, written test and essay. The written test consisted of 100 questions on various subjects including weapons, first aid, leadership and Audie Murphy knowledge. In addition to the written test, candidates were required to write an essay between 500-600 words on their leadership philosophy and how it relates to the club’s leadership philosophy. Candidates did an amazing job of displaying their leadership techniques and shared personal stories on how they became successful leaders.
The appearance board proved to be the most challenging of events and held the most weight for scoring. Candidates were judged not only on their knowledge of Army subjects but also on military bearing, uniform appearance and confidence. Sponsors entered the board room first to brief board members on the candidate. Encouraging words could be heard in the hallways as sponsors supported their candidates prior to entering the board room and instilled confidence in them. Each candidate spent a grueling 45 minutes in front of board members answering questions and reciting the Non-Commissioned Officer creed. Once everyone was boarded, candidates were released to prepare for the next day’s activities.
Land navigation was the first event in the final day of competition. To continue in the competition, candidates were required to find at least one out of three points in three hours. Once all points were plotted, candidates trudged through the woods in search of the bright orange signs displaying points.
From there, candidates were sent to the Engagement Skills Trainer (EST) 2000 to qualify weapons on the simulated range. Tensions were high in the qualification room as sponsors helped mentally prepare their candidates for the qualification. Once their weapons were zeroed, candidates had one chance to qualify after a practice round.
The next event, Drill & Ceremony, moved the candidates outside to test their marching skills. Each candidate marched a squad around, calling commands and cadence. Although drill and ceremony seemed to be a fairly passable event, this was the last item standing between the candidates and their official selection notification.
All 12 competitors did an outstanding job throughout the competition and each brought their own leadership style and skills. While not everyone made it through to the end of the week, they should all be commended on having the strength, discipline and courage to participate in such an intense competition. They are true signs of what it means to lead by example and epitomize the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club motto of “You Lead From the Front.”
The 6 Soldiers (and their sponsors) selected to the Army Reserve Careers Division Sgt. Audie Murphy Club are as follows:
5th BN – Sgt. 1st Class Troy Nuckles (Master Sgt. Kelli Harr)
8th BN – Sgt. 1st Class Christopher Gale (Sgt. 1st Class Sabrina Derhammer)
8th BN – Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Lundtvedt (Sgt. 1st Class Sabrina Derhammer)
11th BN – Sgt. 1st Class Ramirez (Master Sgt. Mario Marquez)
11th BN – Sgt. 1st Class Breslin (Master Sgt. Mario Marquez)
Army Reserve Careers Division HQ- Sgt. 1st Class Kyle Thorne (Master Sgt. Kelli Harr)
The above listed Soldiers were officially inducted into the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club at the Army Reserve Careers Division Annual Training on 6 February 2013.