Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
In a formal ceremony Oct. 20, two 15th Military Police Brigade noncommissioned officers, Sgt. 1st Class Devon A. Martellotti of the 705th Military Police Battalion (Detention) and Staff Sgt. Carrie Lee of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, were inducted into the Lamp Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club.
Mission Command Training Program Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel S. Hidalgo, senior adviser to the local chapter, was guest speaker for the event. In his keynote remarks, Hidalgo congratulated the inductees and spoke about what it means to be an effective leader, both on and off duty. He charged the inductees to never stop pursuing excellence and to never waiver in setting the example for soldiers. He emphasized that the reputation of the SAMC lies with the individual reputations of each member.
“We need NCOs who are deeply involved in soldier professional development,” Hidalgo said. “We need NCOs who understand how to help soldiers through difficult times. We need NCOs who encourage the pursuit of continuing education in our soldiers. Getting to this point for these two NCOs was no small task.”
Martellotti, NCO in charge of the 705th MP Battalion S2, is a native of Elmira, N.Y., and entered the Army in 2002. According to her biography, Martellotti was the 2012 Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Advanced Individual Training Platoon Sergeant of the Year for Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. She is secretary for the Lamp Chapter SAMC.
“It was lots of work and definitely something that has to be earned,” Martellotti said. “In preparation for this, I would recommend to do everything as a leader that you would want to instill into the character of your soldiers as you groom them for leadership positions.”
Lee, a platoon sergeant in the 40th MP Battalion, is from Baltimore, Md., and joined the Army in 2009. Her biography states that she was recently named the 40th MP Battalion’s 2016 NCO of the Year. She now holds the office of vice president of the Lamp Chapter SAMC.
“Being inducted is a tangible way of showing my soldiers that there is always another level of professionalism you can attain,” Lee said. “And, even though I have already done many positive things in my career, this shows that there is always more you can do. There is always opportunity to set a great example for your soldiers.”
SAMC was started at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1986. Forces Command Regulation 600-8 states that in order to be considered for the award, NCOs “must exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development, and welfare of soldiers and concern for families of soldiers.”
SAMC was founded in honor of Audie Leon Murphy, the most decorated American combat soldier of World War II. Murphy received every military combat award for valor that was available in that era, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism.
Page 2 of 2 - When an NCO is inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, a formal medallion is presented. Martellotti and Lee were also presented certificates of achievement and each also received a life membership card.
Edward Jones of First Command Financial Services presented Martellotti and Lee each with a tomahawk. The tomahawk was the Native American emblem of warfare, and its two sides symbolize war and peace.
Tom Dials of Armed Forces Insurance presented Martellotti with a Marlow White gift certificate for a full mess dress uniform. Concurrently, Calvin Johnson, president of the Henry Leavenworth Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army, presented Lee a Marlow White gift certificate for a full mess dress uniform.
The induction ceremony was planned and executed under the leadership of Lamp Chapter President Sgt. 1st Class John P. Garcia. Combined Arms Center Command Sgt. Maj. David O. Turnbull participated in the official ceremonial reviewing party.
“They did a great job with this induction ceremony. This is just a small part of the hard work that the Lamp Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club does,” Turnbull said. “Giving back to the community, giving back to our younger soldiers by setting a great example for them to follow, is their mission. The organization has several specific community activities, charitable events and a busy season coming up with the holidays drawing near as well.”
“Among the many significant aspects that make the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club important is the mission to encourage development of NCO role models for our younger soldiers,” said 15th MP Brigade Command Sgt. Maj Jeffrey Cereghino. “We continually promote among the NCO Corps to strive for life for excellence and to always work toward being the best you can possibly be as a leader.”
In his introductory remarks, Garcia reinforced this core ethos when he stated that members of the Fort Leavenworth Lamp Chapter lead from the front.
“The Lamp Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club upholds the tradition of excellence and inducts the best noncommissioned officers as members,” Garcia said. “Membership is a very prestigious form of professional recognition. The process is rigorous and membership is well earned by all of those who are ultimately inducted. Our next board is in November and we want the best NCOs to undertake the challenge.”