Key leaders from U.S. Army Europe and the 21st Theater Sustainment Command welcomed eight new members to a prestigious noncommissioned officer leadership organization during a jam-packed ceremony Jan. 7 at Armstrong’s Club on Vogelweh.
Command Sgt. Maj. David S. Davenport Sr., USAREUR senior enlisted leader, helped induct the NCOs into the Sergeant Morales Club and served as guest speaker. Maj. Gen. John R. O’Connor, 21st TSC commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rodney Rhoades, 21st TSC senior enlisted leader and event organizer, participated alongside Davenport.
The Sergeant Morales Club, established in 1973 by Lt. Gen. George S. Blanchard, promotes the ideals of integrity, professionalism and leadership for enlisted Soldiers. Its members are role models and enlisted leaders in the Army community.
“January is designated as National Mentoring Month,” said Rhoades. “The motto is ‘Mentoring Works: Be Someone Who Matters to Someone Who Matters.’ I believe there is no better way to honor this month than inducting these outstanding noncommissioned officers into the distinguished Sergeant Morales Club.”
During his keynote speech, Davenport praised the inductees and challenged other Soldiers in the audience to strive to become a member of the prestigious club.
“These NCOs being inducted today are perfect examples of fit, disciplined and well-trained Soldiers that work hard to improve their piece of the Army and take care of Soldiers and their families,” Davenport said. “Thanks for being role models and mentors to other Soldiers that make our team stronger.”
The eight inductees were: Sgt. Morgan Lewis, Sgt. Michael Perry, Staff Sgt. Oved Cardenas, Staff Sgt. Ronald Murphy, Sgt.1st Class Marc Migala, Sgt. 1st Class Raymond Smith, 1st Sgt. Anthony Forker Jr. and 1st Sgt. Ryan Sattelberg.
For Migala, the ceremony held special meaning.
“I am honored to be following in the footsteps of prior phenomenal leaders, to be a mentor and an exceptional leader who others will follow,” he said.
Sgt. 1st Class Justin Puls, senior retention operations NCO and two-year leader of the Sergeant Morales Club, expressed pride for the new inductees.
“This is a testament to fine hard work and to paying it forward,” he said. “I think about how these eight new inductees have the ability to influence 800 noncommissioned officers.”
Puls, who departed for his new duty station at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, 5th Recruiting Brigade immediately after the ceremony, is also a member of the Audie Murphy Club, the equivalent to the Sergeant Morales Club in the United States.
“In both clubs it’s not about us. It’s about what we as leaders and noncommissioned officers can do together,” he said.
Rhoades described the inductees as ideal role models and future leaders.
“The tremendous turnout and the presence of distinguished leaders like Major General John O’Connor and Command Sergeant Major Davenport reflects the stature and relevance of the Sergeant Morales Club throughout the region,” Rhoades said. “This organization makes an enormous contribution to Soldiers, families and communities throughout Rheinland-Pfalz. It is no coincidence that Soldiers, units and leaders from Wiesbaden to Baumholder to Grafenwöhr are participating today.
“The NCOs we inducted into the club today embody everything that is best in the NCO Corps and, for that matter, our Army,” Rhoades continued. “They truly are our finest NCOs and are involved leaders who make a difference in their Soldiers’ lives every day. I hope every young Soldier who sat in the audience today aspires to emulate their example.”