Story by SPC Noelle Wiehe on 09/16/2019FORT STEWART, Ga. A Marne Soldier earned the Sergeant Audie Murphy Award July 31 at Fort Stewart, Georgia, following a two-day series of evaluative events to compete for the distinction.
Staff Sgt. Davion Taylor, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Aviation Regiment, 3rd Combat Aviation Brigade, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia, was among six noncommissioned officers of the 3rd Infantry Division to compete for the award and induction into the Marne Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Association.
"I've always wanted to go out for the Sergeant Audie Murphy Award," Taylor said. "It is a really big accomplishment for me."
Taylor said one of his peers at his previous unit in Fort Drum, New York, sparked his interest in seeking the award.
Master Sgt. Bret Anderson, president of the Marne Chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, said award recipients are considered to be among the top 10-percent of the NCO Corps in the Army and held to such standard for as long as they continue to hold the award.
Taylor said now it is his responsibility to keep the award through upholding the values and leadership a recipient is expected to exemplify as an inductee of the SAMA.
Awardees are required to achieve expert in marksmanship; score a 270 or above on the Army Physical Fitness Test, hold excellent NCO Evaluation Reports throughout their career and have outstanding experience in relation to their peers. They are awarded following a four-level determination consisting of nomination, performance testing, an initial brigade-level selection board and a division-level selection board.
"You can't get the award over a single event, you have to get it over a career of being a good NCO," Anderson said. "Everyone tends to look at the Sergeant Audie Murphy society as those you can go to for the hard answers."
The SAMA was named after the most decorated World War II combat Soldier, Medal of Honor recipient Audie L. Murphy. The Sergeant Audie Murphy Club was established in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas, and became Army wide in 1994.
"We might never have a Soldier that highly decorated again," Anderson said. "In his memory, we are trying to find the NCOs out there who truly are among the best."
According to Anderson, "the best," is defined in each rank and each career field.
"Every NCO has a character and a personality they can put forth to help improve their units," Anderson said.
According to Anderson, the association is a private organization comprised of NCOs who have established themselves as the most competent, skilled and knowledgeable leaders the Army has to offer. Members must exemplify empathy and genuine concern for the Soldiers and Family Members within their ranks. Additionally, the club is comprised of awardees and non-awardees looking to better themselves, help their communities and learn more about Sergeant Audie Murphy.
Anderson said Murphy's namesake is especially noteworthy considering he began his Army career in none other than the 3rd ID.
"If you're going to induct into the prestigious club, it might as well be in 3rd ID where Sgt. Audie Murphy was assigned," Anderson said.
Taylor is the first recipient of the award under the 3rd ID Command Sgt. Maj. Michael Coffey's command at Fort Stewart.
Coffey explained to Taylor that competing for the award showed true character.
"Your very presence here speaks volumes to you as a person, to you as an NCO and to your unit," Coffey said. "Regardless of the results, it speaks volumes about your willingness to be here and the preparation that goes into coming here."
Find out more about the Sergeant Audie Murphy Award and the Marne chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Association and Sergeant Audie Murphy club by visiting the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FSGAHAAFSAMC.