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Deployed soldiers earn place in Murphy Club
murphy member
Staff Sgt. Victor Illescas
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Soldiers in southern Baghdad joined the upper echelon of non-commissioned officers as 14 troops currently deployed to Forward Operating Base Falcon withstood the rigors of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Board and passed, July 7.
Staff Sgt. Victor Illescas, a battle NCO for the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division, from Cartwright, N.J., said joining the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club was the realization of a long-time ambition.
“It’s something I’ve looked forward to since I was a private,” he said. “Since I heard about it, it’s something I wanted to do. It feels good. I accomplished something big in my career.”
Command Sgt. Maj. Jim Champagne, the senior NCO for the 4th “Dragon” Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division and president of the board from Chicopee, Mass., said getting accepted into the prestigious club is no small feat.
“The Audie Murphy Board tells how well they are in tune with the everyday duties of the non-commissioned officer,” he said. “The Audie Murphy Board represents top one percent of the non-commissioned officers in the Army.
“This puts them in that one percent.”
Other soldiers from 2-12 Inf., currently attached to the 4th BCT, admitted to the SAMC include Staff Sgt. Jeffery Lamoreau, Sgt. John Rose, Jr., Staff Sgt. Nicholas Gibson, and Staff Sgt. Kevin Nettnin.
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, also attached to the 4th BCT, admitted to the SAMC included Staff Sgt. Anthony Britt, Jr., Staff Sgt. Robby Burns, Staff Sgt. Jason Korlaske, Staff Sgt. Juamada Page, and Staff Sgt. Calvin Shingle.
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion, 40th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division admitted to the SAMC include Sgt. 1st Class Donald Cartwright, Sgt. 1st Class Scott Suiter, and Staff Sgt. Brian Embry.
One Soldier from the 2nd Battalion, 377th Parachute Field Artillery Regiment, Staff Sgt. John Bailey, was also admitted entry to the SAMC.
Murphy became the highest decorated enlisted soldier while assigned to the 3rd Infantry Division during World War II. After he was discharged from the Army, Murphy became a movie actor.

Smith is a reporter for the 4th Brigade Comabat Team, 1st Infantry Division Public Affairs.
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