BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan (10/13/2011) – Staff Sgt. Danny
Estep said he firmly believes that he represents his former
non-commissioned officers that helped mentor and coach him during
his 16-year military career.
Staff Sgt. Danny Estep, Alpha Company,
101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, receives
his Sgt. Audie Murphy Club Medal during an induction ceremony at
Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, from Command Sgt. Maj. Travis
Williams, command sergeant major, Joint Sustainment
Command-Afghanistan on Oct. 13, 2011. Estep was one of four new
inductees into the prestigious organization. Photo by Army Spc.
Those NCOs would be particularly proud of Estep today, who recently
became one of the newest inductee into the prestigious Sgt. Audie
Estep was one of four new members inducted into
the club during a special ceremony conducted at the 101st
Sustainment Brigade headquarters, Oct. 13. The ceremony marks the
first time the Lifeliners brigade and the
101st Special Troops Battalion has sponsored a SAMC induction
ceremony at Bagram Air Field since deploying to Afghanistan in
support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
“This is my first
deployment, and I've definitely gotten a lot out of it. Getting the
SAMC in a combat zone makes it pretty special,” the Doddridge, Ark.,
The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club, named after the late
movie actor and most decorated Soldier in World War II Audie Murphy,
is a private organization for the Army's enlisted non-commissioned
officers. It was formed in 1986 at Fort Hood Texas, and is geared
toward inducting NCOs whose leadership qualities and professional
achievements best exemplify the Army values.
“This is the epitome of the NCO Corps,” Master Sgt.
Michael Negron, brigade operations sergeant major, 101st
Sust. Bde. “It's a big achievement for non-commissioned
officers to get inducted. It means they're set above their
peers and anyone who sees them knows they're the ones who
can make it happen.”
Estep, a communication switch
section sergeant with Alpha Company, 101st Special Troops
Battalion, 101st Sust. Bde., said this was his second
attempt at being inducted. He originally began working on
his goal while he was stationed in Korea back in 2005.
“My first sergeant there was a SAMC member and he
inspired to want to do it,” he said. “He's was a great
non-commissioned officer, and I loved working for him. He
said to me, ‘I think you'll make a good one,' and he got me
prepared to go.”
He got delayed, he said, when Eighth
Army raised the SAMC Army Physical Fitness Score
qualification to 300 points. He eventually left Korea and
took on assignments as instructor and recruiter that left
him no time to study and prepare.
“I got mentally
prepared. He trained me up, but I didn't have the time. I
never lost the desire to be inducted,” Estep said.
said while being inducted into SAMC was a personal goal, his
main intent was to emulate his past mentor.
my first sergeant to know that I wanted to be like him,” he
said. “When my first sergeant in theater said I should go,
that was the only push I needed.”
Sgt. Major, Command Sgt. David Thompson described Estep as
“the epitome of a great non-commissioned officer.”
wish I had 10 more of him in this brigade, but we are
inundated with a lot of great NCOs here,” he said. “For him
to be a junior NCO performing a grade or two above his rank
is phenomenal. Alpha gets the reward of having him in their
ranks every day.”
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Peter Mayes
101st Sustainment Brigade,
101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs
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