The original club was started at Fort Hood, Texas early in 1986. There were several key people at Fort Hood - officer, enlisted, civil service, and a Killeen civilian - who were instrumental in getting this club up and running. Leading the effort was Lieutenant General Crosbie Saint, then the III Corps commander; his Command Sergeant Major George L. Horvath; III Corps Awards Clerk Jean Crisp, who is now Test and Experimentation Command (TEXCOM) awards clerk, and Don Moore, a Killeen artist who assisted with designing the logo and club awards.
In 1991, then III Corps Commander Lieutenant General Pete Taylor and Command Sergeant Major Richard B. Cayton expanded the Fort Hood installation club to include all of III Corps. This included Fort Riley, Kansas; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Polk, Louisiana; and Fort Carson, Colorado.
In 1993, CSM Cayton was voted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club by the member- ship and then became the Forces Command Sergeant Major. Soon thereafter, the club became Forces- Command (FORSCOM) wide, including the Reserves and National Guard.
In 1994 at a Sergeant Major of the Army conference, the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club spread Army-wide, to all commands with installations retaining the selection process for their own NCOs. In 1998, it was estimated that the club membership was over 3000 soldiers and was steadily increasing the club to include all of III Corps.
When a soldier is inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, he/she is given the medallion above which is approximately 2 inches in diameter. The medallion is suspended by a broad powder-blue ribbon representing the traditional color of the infantry.
The medallion is worn around the neck on the outside of the Class A or Dress Blue uniform for official functions such as military balls or Sergeant Audie Murphy Club meetings. The image below is a drawing of the front view of the medallion. The medallion is silver in color.
The crest was designed by one of the original organizers of the club, Mr. Don Moore, Illustrator of Killeen, Texas. The crest depicts the symbols of the majestic American Bald Eagle superimposed over the olive branch-wreath, saber, and lighting bolt. In front of the eagle are the U.S. Army staff sergeant stripes. The eagle firmly clutches in both claws a powder-blue banner, the color of the infantry. On the banner are displayed words Loyalty, Caring, Discipline, and Professionalism.
S*A*M*C: Initials separated by three stars which represent the Be, Know, and Do for the NCO.
SSG Rank Insignia: Reflects Audie Murphy's highest enlisted rank.
The Eagle: Our national bird and symbol of freedom, the intent of the club to be nationwide.
The Laurel: Represents the individual achievement of the NCOs in the club.
The Lightning Bolt: Represents swift and decisive action taken by the NCO.
The Sword: A historical reference, a tool for the NCO to cut to the heart of the matter, to lead the charge.
The Streamers: Indicate upon which we base our philosophy-Loyalty, Discipline, Professionalism, and Caring.
TRADOC Audie Murphy Bio
Audie Leon Murphy was a legend in his own time; a war hero, movie actor, writer of country and western songs, and a poet. His biography reads more like fiction than fact. He lived only 46 years, but he made a lasting imprint on American history. Audie was born on a sharecropper’s farm in North Texas on June 20, 1924. As a boy, he chopped cotton for one dollar a day and was noted for his feats of derring-do and his accuracy with a gun. He had only 5 years of schooling and was orphaned at age 16. After being refused enlistment during World War II in both the Marines and Paratroopers for being too small (5’5") and underweight (110 lbs.), he enlisted in the U.S. Army a few days after his 18th birthday. After basic training at Camp Wolters, Texas, and advanced training at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland, Audie was sent overseas. He was assigned to the famous 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division where he fought in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, and Germany. He earned a battlefield commission for his courage and leadership ability as well as citations and decorations including every medal for valor that America gives. He was also awarded three French and one Belgian medal. Lieutenant Audie Murphy was the highest decorated soldier in American history. Discharged from the Army on September 21, 1945, Audie went to Hollywood at the invitation of movie star James Cagney. He remained in California for the rest of his life and was closely associated with the movie industry, both as an actor and a producer. He acted in 44 films, starring in 39 of them. His best known film was "To Hell and Back," adapted from the best selling book of his war experiences by the same name. Most of his movies were westerns. In 1955, Audie Murphy was voted the Most Popular Western Actor in America by the Motion Picture Exhibitors. Audie wrote the lyrics to 16 country and western songs, the most popular of which was "Shutters and Boards," written with Scott Turner in 1962. The song was recorded by over 30 pop singers, including Jerry Wallace, Dean Martin, and Porter Waggoner. He was an accomplished poet; unfortunately, only a few of his poems have survived. In 1950 Audie joined the 36th Infantry Division ("T-Patchers") of the Texas National Guard and served with it until 1966. He was a Mason and Shriner and belonged to several veterans’ organizations. Audie Murphy was killed in a plane crash on a mountaintop near Roanoke, Virginia on May 28, 1971. Fittingly, his body was recovered 2 days later on Memorial Day. Audie could very well be the last American War Hero. He was the greatest combat soldier in the 200 year plus history of the United States.