Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
Three Fort Leavenworth noncommissioned officers were inducted into the Lamp Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club Jan. 27 in Eisenhower Auditorium at the Lewis and Clark Center.
Sgt. 1st Class David Peppard, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Joint Regional Correctional Facility; Staff Sgt. Gloria Gutierrez, Operations Group X-ray, Mission Command Training Program; and Sgt. Dakota Bowen, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment, 15th Military Police Brigade, were welcomed into club in a ceremony.
Mission Command Center of Excellence Sgt. Maj. Thomas Reitmeier, ceremony guest speaker, said being soldiers of character, remaining active in the club and grooming junior NCOs for membership were elements of the ongoing mandate for each inductee. Reitmeier said inductees should continually set goals to improve themselves.
“Congratulations on your selection for induction. You are members of a very active Sergeant Audie Murphy Club chapter. Lots of hard work has led you to this point,” Reitmeier said. “You studied, sacrificed personal time with your loved ones, you performed your assigned duties with the Army and you volunteered in our community. Well done.”
Peppard, Gutierrez and Bowen recited the NCO Creed from memory after Reitmeier placed the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club medallion on each of them.
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.
“I was encouraged to get involved by my first sergeant and went from there,” said Peppard, who has served in leadership positions ranging from squad leader to platoon sergeant. “The preparation for the board was a rigorous process, but worth the effort. I would definitely recommend others get involved. Everything we do is worthwhile and service oriented.”
Gutierrez, who has been a contracting NCO since 2010, said being inducted into the SAMC was a good way to actively support the community and continually improve as an NCO and leader.
“This organization provides ways to get involved doing service and it’s a great way to set a good example for soldiers to follow,” Gutierrez said. “Especially since our primary job as leaders concerns the needs, training, and welfare of soldiers — including concern for families of soldiers.”
Bowen, who this past August was awarded first place in the NCO category of the 75th Military Police Anniversary Competitive Challenge, said he was honored by his SAMC induction.
“Induction into the Lamp Chapter is very much an honor,” Bowen said. “This is a working organization that encourages growth through service. I consider myself fortunate to be among such committed leaders.”
Lamp Chapter President Sgt. 1st Class John Garcia, who coordinated the ceremony, said the organization continues to grow its membership.
Page 2 of 2 - “The Lamp Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club is continuing to induct the best noncommissioned officers as members. We are growing positively,” 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. We invite the best NCOs to undertake the challenge.”