The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club inducted two new members, Feb. 22, at the XVIII Airborne Corps NCO Academy. 1st. Sgt. Thomas Blaine and Sgt. First Class Stephen Hodgson are the newest members of the club.
The SAMC is a private Army organization for noncommissioned officers. The club started in Killeen, Texas in 1986 as a way to help identify and award exemplary NCOs who demonstrated empathy, knowledge of regulations and policies and willingness to give back to the community.
In 1994, the club opened membership Army-wide.
Named for one of the most decorated Soldiers in U.S. Army history, the club recognizes those who follow in the spirit of Sgt. Audie Murphy. Murphy received every military combat award for valor available in the Army.
After his illustrious military career, he became an actor, starring in mostly western films. He played himself in the military movie based on his memoirs, “To Hell and Back.”
Soldiers must go through three boards before they are selected for the club, and “exemplify leadership, characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of Soldiers and concern for Families of Soldiers,” according to FORSCOM Reg. 600-8, paragraph 1.
Soldiers must also have knowledge about Murphy, the club’s crest and information about the organization and its various chapters. The Soldiers inducted into the club this week achieved these attributes.
“The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club is an organization of Soldiers that have a true desire to give back to the Army, community, Soldiers and Family members. They don’t just care about the Army community, but the community as a whole,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Severino, command sergeant major of Task Force Dragon, during the ceremony.
“Being a member of the Sgt. Audie Murphy (Club) is a great achievement, but remember, it’s not about you. It’s about your leadership, your Soldiers, and getting them prepared to one day become noncommissioned officers,” he said.
Blaine enlisted in the Army as a radiology specialist in 2002.
He is nationally registered in radiography and nuclear medicine. He holds a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine technology and a master’s degree in healthcare administration.
He has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal and various other medals throughout his career.
He is currently assigned to Womack Army Medical Center.
Hodgson enlisted in 2007.
He attended Infantry One Station Unit Training and was named the honor graduate for his class. He was awarded a Purple Heart in Afghanistan in 2011 for a gunshot wound to the head.
His other awards include a Valorous Unit Award, the Army Commendation Medal with 3 Oak Clusters and a Senior Parachutist Badge. He has also earned his Ranger tab.
He is currently the platoon sergeant of Company A, 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division.
Blaine and Hodgson now join a prestigious Army club that includes 3,000 members Army-wide.