The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club is a prestigious club; only those who meet its strict standards are inducted into its ranks.

Two Fort Hood noncommissioned officers spent a good amount of time in advance to prepare for the club’s board. After completing the rigorous selection process, they were inducted Dec. 3 as new members of the club, at III Corps Headquarters.

“It was a two-year, rigorous process,” said Staff Sgt. Mistie Peña, a Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 89th Military Police Brigade unit supply NCO. “I had to go through various boards to prepare, including the Best Warrior Competition, Brigade NCO of the year and a (club) pre-board.”

Staff Sgt. Shane Payne, the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade battalion schools NCO, spent any spare moment he could afford studying in preparation.

“He’s been studying for the (club) since Afghanistan (2012-2013), so he has been preparing for over a year,” said Spc. Benjamin Rogers, a Bravo Company, 91st Brigade Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, heavy equipment operator. “He was the lead gun truck commander and I was his driver, and I remember hearing him recite Audie Murphy material.”

Rogers said Payne was not only ensuring he was ready for the board, but also went above and beyond to ensure his soldiers were ready for the mission.

“Every mission, he was up front leading everyone else,” Rogers said. “He would go over the route with me and would make sure me and the lieutenant’s driver were 100 percent prepared. He even helped out the other squads if they needed it.”

When it comes to NCOs giving outstanding guidance to soldiers, Peña was no exception, said Spc. Arielle Navarro, a Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 89th Military Police Brigade military police officer. Navarro is not yet an NCO and Peña is helping her study for the club.

“She is a motivator,” Navarro said. “She is constantly behind the soldiers, motivating them to do better at (physical training). Every morning she is very loud; you can hear her from a mile away.”

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