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NEWS | Nov. 19, 2020

Army Reserve’s 81st RD announces first SAMA member

By Sgt. 1st Class Jessica Espinosa 81st Readiness Division

The 81st Readiness Division recognized its first member of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Award during an induction ceremony at the Headquarters Building Nov. 15 during battle assembly.

Sgt. 1st Class Alfredo Calvillo, a career counselor with 4th Battalion, Army Reserve Careers Group on Fort Jackson, participated in the initial selection board in November 2019 and made it through the entire process to be named the first in the Wildcat Division.

“It was a good experience – a great learning experience,” he said after the initial board was completed. “The experience helped me develop as a leader.”

The initial selection board was held on Fort Jackson during the first quarter of fiscal year (FY) 2020 to set the stage for the larger, more inclusive selection board which was to take place this fiscal year, but was pushed back due to the coronavirus disease and in-person restrictions.

In order to maintain social distance, the ceremony was shown via Facebook live.

Sgt. Maj. Tracy Spencer-Sandolph, senior enlisted operations advisor for the 81st RD, commented during the live showing that “Sgt. 1st Class Calvillo displayed true commitment and dedication to the SAMA process.”

The upcoming competition remains on hold until further notice due to COVID-19. However, once opened back up, any enlisted Soldier up through E8 is encouraged to vie for a chance to join the elite program, pending unit funds, according to Spencer-Sandolph.

Candidates must have 90 points or higher in each Army Physical Fitness Test event, with the only exception to policy being for those with permanent profiles. Candidates will adhere to their profile while still achieving 90 or more points in non-profile events. Also, candidates must score expert in their assigned weapon to qualify for the Sergeant Audie Murphy selection board.

Selection events outside of APFT and weapons qualification includes a hand written essay, as well as an oral portion before the board.

The initial group of board members consisted of previous Sergeant Audie Murphy Association inductees and leadership from across the Army Reserve Readiness Divisions.
81st RD Command Sgt. Maj. Levi Maynard, the senior enlisted advisor, expressed his pride in Calvillo being named the first inductee into the 81st RD SAMA program and had a message for those who also strive to be in the Audie Murphy Club. “Getting the Sergeant Audie Murphy Award is not easy, but it is achievable if you commit yourself to doing what is necessary. You have to commit yourself.”

The 81st RD will announce when they will begin conducting Army-wide Audie Murphy Club selection boards again for the U.S. Army Forces Command on Fort Bragg, N.C. in the future.

The SAMA is a means of recognizing those noncommissioned officers who have contributed significantly to the development of a professional NCO Corps and combat ready Army. Members exemplify leadership characterized by personal concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of Soldiers and concern for family of Soldiers.
Sgt. Audie Murphy was the most decorated U.S. combat Soldier of World War II.