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Patriotic Article
Military

By Army Sgt. Allyson Parla

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Audie Murphy Serves As An Example For All Enlisted Soldiers
(July 1, 2011)

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JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq (6/26/2011) – Gazing around the room, in which more than 80 service members are seated, it's impossible to ignore the display of accomplishments that line the surrounding walls. On one side, the cover of Life magazine features a photo of a soldier who appears at first glance to be an ordinary soldier. At closer examination of this soldier's uniform though, reveals awards reserved for the most extraordinary.
Command Sgt. Maj. Nagee Lunde, the command sergeant major for the 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, and a native of Glenville, N.Y., speaks to soldiers May 22, 2011 about structured self-development during a dinner held at the Audie Murphy room on Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
Command Sgt. Maj. Nagee Lunde, the command sergeant major for the 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, and a native of Glenville, N.Y., speaks to soldiers May 22, 2011 about structured self-development during a dinner held at the Audie Murphy room on Joint Base Balad, Iraq.
 Junior-enlisted service members gathered at the Audie Murphy room on Joint Base Balad, Iraq, to have dinner with Command Sgt. Maj. Nagee Lunde, the command sergeant major for the 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, and a native of Glenville, N.Y. The premise of the meeting was to promote career advancement, to discuss relevant issues to junior service members and to have an educational dialogue amongst members from various units.

Set in a room commemorating one of the most decorated service members, junior-enlisted service members were able to enjoy eating dinner with the highest ranking
enlisted soldier in their command, socialize and gauge the issues relevant to their peers.
"There was a lot of good information and motivation participants received and to bring back to our units to share with other soldiers," said Spc. Brant Bobby, a gunner for Golf Company, 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, 77th Sust. Bde., and a native of Idaho Falls, Idaho, who learned about the Army's Structured Self Development Program during the meeting.

“The question section was good,” said Spc. John Oliver, a property book clerk for the 77th Sust. Bde. and a native of Atlantic City, N.J.

“It was real straightforward,” he said about the candid responses he received from Lunde and the flow of questions during the question and answer portion of the meeting.

For some service members, the camaraderie of junior-enlisted peers proved beneficial.

“It's a good feeling to find out that we're not the only ones who experience what we're going through,” said Spc. Kenneth Demott, a gunner for G Co., 3-116th Cav. Regt. and a native of Idaho Falls, Idaho. “It's a good feeling to know that we're not alone.”

For others, being able to hear the story of one soldier was motivation to advance.

“It's amazing to see that in 15 years you can become a CSM,” said Spc. Luis Ruiz, a property book clerk for the 77th Sust. Bde. and a native of Trenton, N.J. “If he did it, I know that I can.”

Similarly to Lunde, Audie Murphy expeditiously advanced in his career. Beginning his service as an Army private, Murphy quickly rose to the enlisted rank of staff sergeant and was given a battlefield commission to the rank of second lieutenant.

He was wounded three times, fought in nine major campaigns across the European Theater and survived the war. During his career, he received the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars and three Purple Hearts.

The key point during the meeting with the soldiers is that they need take ownership over their future to ensure the success of their careers.

“What do you want to do in your Army career?” asked Lunde. “I ask you to go back and reassess what you want to do in your career. Only you can make that decision. No other profession takes pride in training our replacements.”

Viewing the Army as a profession of arms rather than just a daily job is critical in ensuring career success, Lunde said. “It is a profession that is worth investing your time and energy in order to get the outcome you desire,” he said.

With the soldiers and technology, there may never be another Audie Murphy, but there will always be soldiers with an appetite to succeed and progress.

Article and photo by Army Sgt. Allyson Parla
77th Sustainment Brigade
Copyright 2011

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