Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
Three 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention) soldiers —Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Wilson, 291st Military Police Company; Staff Sgt. Alejandro Amaya, 526th Military Police Company; and Staff Sgt. Paul Michaud, Headquarters and Headquarters Company — were officially inducted as the newest members of the Lamp Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club in a ceremony July 22 in Grant Auditorium.
“It is so important to recognize excellence whenever we can. As we traverse these unprecedented times, we do so successfully because of the very fortitude, skill and determination that we recognize in our honorees today,” said 15th Military Police Brigade Command Sgt. Maj. Justin Shad, who served as the guest speaker. “I am extremely proud to honor leaders who have distinguished themselves within their formations and throughout this installation …and embody the Sergeant Audie Murphy motto: ‘Lead from the Front.’”
Audie Murphy is the most decorated soldier in American history, earning every medal of valor given by the United States, as well as one Belgian medal and three French medals. He was discharged from the Army on Sept. 21, 1945, and moved to Hollywood where he became a well-known author, actor, producer, songwriter and poet. He was killed in a plane crash on May 28, 1971, at the age of 46.
Shad said the inductees stood out among their peers in the studying of Army doctrine, regulations and scenarios and in passing two boards convened by sergeants major across the installation.
“They completely comprehend, internalize and embody the chief of the staff of the Army’s No. 1 priority — people,” Shad said. “They are a true testament to the caliber of non-commissioned officers in the world’s greatest Army, and I look forward to seeing great things from them far into the future.
“I challenge all of you to be active members of the club, not just a medallion wearer when it looks cool,” he said. “I challenge you to continue your high level of volunteerism and community support as well as identifying NCOs who are worthy of induction into this prestigious organization.”
Wilson said it felt good to be inducted after eight years of trying.
“Always go for your dream,” Wilson said. “It’s something I always wanted to do as a young soldier. Just the prestige behind it, I just wanted to set myself apart.”
Amaya said it’s a great achievement for his career, and he has high hopes for what he can bring to the organization.
“The biggest thing is just resilience and having your soldiers look at you, noticing that you’re trying to better yourself, and in turn, they’re trying to better themselves as well,” Amaya said. “It comes back in a full circle.
“I coach for the Leavenworth Youth Soccer Club … and they’re always in need of a coach on Fort Leavenworth and in Leavenworth,” he said. “I’m trying to incorporate (SAMC) to help volunteer and coach.”
Michaud said it was an honor and privilege to be inducted.
“I’m proud to serve with all my peers who made it,” Michaud said. “We all worked hard and I think it showed a little bit today.”
As part of their induction, Wilson, Amaya and Michaud were all presented with a certificate of achievement, framed biography of Audie Murphy, a membership card certifying them as lifelong SAMC members, and the SAMC medallion featuring the club crest, designed by original SAMC organizer and professional illustrator Don Moore.