Kirillov Honored with Sergeant Audie Murphy Award and Club Membership
On June 10, members of the Fort Detrick chapter of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club welcomed Master Sgt. Nikolay Kirillov to their ranks. Kirillov currently serves as Senior Enlisted Leader for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense, a subordinate command of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command.
“I’m really excited to be here, and honored to appear in front of this board,” said Kirillov of his journey towards SAMC membership, which comes after many hours of studying, volunteering and participating in leadership development programs throughout the board process.
Established in 1986 at Fort Hood, Texas, the SAMC is named after Sgt. Audie Leon Murphy, recognized as the most decorated American combat Soldier during World War II for his service throughout the Mediterranean and in Europe. The organization honors the legacy of his military service and excellence, although many may also know Murphy as a Hollywood film star of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Membership in the SAMC is considered a prestigious honor for noncommissioned officers, who are chosen only after a battery of physical and mental assessments, and a display of superior leadership abilities. In order to attend the final selection board, Kirillov received a recommendation by a Sgt. Audie Murphy Award Initial Selection Board, which came after successful completion of the Army Fitness Test and achievement of high marksmanship scores, among other requirements.
“Being inducted into the Sergeant Audie Murphy Association is a great accomplishment for those who are able to achieve this honor. However, the journey to challenging the board is where the true value comes,” said USAMRDC and Fort Detrick Command Sgt. Maj. Victor Laragione, SAMC member and chapter President who was a part of the board on June 10.
“Those who prepare for this, go through a process of development and learn a lot about themselves, while catching up on the latest Army doctrine and programs so they can best serve their Soldiers,” he continued. “Becoming a member of a local Sergeant Audie Murphy Club Chapter gives those NCOs a platform to give back to the community and truly develop others while honoring the legacy of Sgt. Audie Murphy.”
During the final board, Kirillov was assessed with a written essay, written exam and oral board, which included reciting the noncommissioned officer’s creed, answering scenario-based questions testing confidence, leadership and knowledge, and providing facts about Murphy’s life.
“The reason I wanted to join the club was so that I can have a broader scope of influence on the community while surrounding myself with great leaders who I can learn from and better myself and everyone around me,” said Kirillov.
The board is comprised of SAMC members across Fort Detrick, including Laragione; Command Sgt. Maj. Rodmond Churchill II of Walter Reed Army Institute of Research; Sgt. Maj. Monnet Bushner of the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity; Sgt. Maj. Stanley Jackson of the 44th Medical Brigade; and Master Sgt. Joshua Pierce of the 21st Signal Brigade.
Kirillov explained the board process provided a chance for him to consider his traits as both an individual and as a leader — in a way that he would not typically do.
To date, the Fort Detrick chapter has seven members, which includes SAMA recipients that are assigned either to Fort Detrick or to subordinate units of MRDC: three members are stationed at Fort Detrick, two are at Forest Glen Annex, and one is located overseas at the Republic of Georgia. As Kirillov joins the club, Aberdeen Proving Ground will now be added to this list. All members of the chapter are in the Army.
“It is an honor being a part of SAMC and I have realized many things about me and my growth as a leader through the process,” said Kirillov. “I am super excited to see what the future holds for me and what I can do for others as a member of this prestigious club. The organization contributes to the advancement and improvement of the quality of life on and off the installation.”
The objectives of the club are to promote greater recognition to the NCO Corps and perpetuate those Army and unit traditions which contribute to Esprit de Corps and superior performance on and/or off duty, foster public awareness and their support of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club, preserve and foster the spirit of fellowship among former, present, and future members of the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club by an organization through which they may unite in bonds of comradeship and foster respect and confidence between superiors and subordinates by teaching loyalty, discipline, professionalism, and caring.
For more information, request information through your Chain of Command or contact the current Chapter President, Master Sgt. Jonny Gonzales at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.