Five accomplished, enlisted Soldiers displaying character, commitment and leadership were inducted into the Rheinland-Pfalz Sergeant Morales Club, March 5, at Armstrong’s Club, Vogelweh.
SMC admits the ranks of corporal through sergeant first class demonstrating excellence among enlisted leaders in Europe. This year’s inductees included Sgt. Kadarius M. English, 212th Combat Support Hospital; Staff Sgt. Ryan A. Theobald, USAG RP Directorate of Emergency Services; and Sgt. 1st Class Wesley T. De Souza, 18th Military Police Brigade. Honorary inductees included Command Sgt. Maj. Matthew P. Baller, 30th Medical Brigade; and Command Sgt. Maj. Ulysses D. Rayford, Installation Management Command Directorate-Europe.
Candidates went through a rigorous process to include appearing before several selection boards, consisting of sergeants major and club members. To achieve member status, nominees had to be approved by all selection board members. Honorary membership is limited to individuals whose contributions and significant support to units and military communities can be measured in terms of their accomplishments.
“The Sergeant Morales Club is something I’ve always dreamed about becoming a part of,” said Theobald, USAG RP physical security inspector. “It meant the world to me to be recognized formally in this ceremony.”
So who is Sergeant Morales? He’s a fictitious Soldier representing the ideal Army NCO. As the story goes – Morales was a young Army Soldier with a limited command of English and no high school diploma, but he never let any obstacle curb his commitment to his fellow Soldiers, unit or the Army. Every day, he led by example by being the first to volunteer for tough tasks. He fostered camaraderie by being a concerned, helpful friend exhibiting steadfast leadership to inspire and rally his flagging unit. Morales went on to complete his high-school equivalency and two years of college, while serving as inspiration to his fellow Soldiers to follow.
Although he’s served in the Army for 25 years, IMCOM-Europe’s command sergeant major said he’s honored to finally be a member of this elite group.
“It’s a proud moment to join the Sergeant Morales Club,” Rayford said. “I’m also proud to see so many young Soldiers become members, because it’s like watching them grow up. I’ve known Sergeant English since he was a private, so seeing him and others inducted today was great.”
Rayford also said it was good to see the Army recognizing excellence and taking care of its people.
“To see our young Soldiers doing remarkable things in our community is a good feeling,” he said. “The greatest way to take care of our people is through recognition, so I’m glad to see them receive recognition for efforts.”
The unwavering perseverance and fighting spirit of Morales is in the hearts of all Soldiers, and exhibiting that spirit, integrity and faithfulness toward fellow warriors should be strived for every day, said Theobald.
“Everyone has that Morales medallion inside of them. It’s just a matter of finding, developing and bringing it to life,” he said. “I just want to thank those who supported me – my family, Soldiers and leadership for recommending me to become a Sergeant Morales member.”
Lt. Gen. George S. Blanchard, U.S. Army Europe commander, established the organization in 1973 to promote and recognize enlisted Soldiers serving in Europe who demonstrate the highest ideals of integrity, professionalism and leadership. Nominations for SMC membership are limited to those NCOs displaying individual concern for the needs, training, development and welfare of Soldiers, while improving the NCO Corps abilities as a combat-effective Army.