|Story & photo by Rob Schuette, Public Affairs Staff
An instructor at the Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell Noncommissioned Officer
(NCO) Academy has become the first Soldier at the installation to be
selected for membership into the re-instituted Army Reserve Sergeant
Major Audie Murphy Club (SAMC) at Fort McCoy.
The club reformed in 2010 at Fort McCoy after a five-year absence.
Command Sgt. Maj. M. Kevin Dubois
(left), Noncommissioned Officer Academy commandant, presents the
Sergeant Audie Murphy Club medallion to Staff Sgt. Conrad H.
Nazar Jr., an academy instructor.
Staff Sgt. Conrad H. Nazar Jr., an Ohio native, received the honors
in front of his co-workers and Family members during an Oct. 11
ceremony. He is the only SAMC member from the NCO Academy. Other
organizations at Fort McCoy also have SAMC members. The award includes a
medallion, which can be worn with dress uniforms in some instances.
Nazar is no stranger to receiving Army honors and has been recognized
numerous times for his accomplishments, including the 2011 88th Regional
Support Command NCO of the Year and, subsequently, the runner-up in the
Army Reserve Best Warrior competition, held at Fort McCoy in June.
Sgt. Audie Murphy served in World War II as a Soldier and became the
most-decorated veteran to serve during the conflict.
He served in nine major overseas campaigns, and received all the U.S.
military awards for valor, including the Medal of Honor, as well as
military award recognition from France and Belgium.
Command Sgt. Maj. M. Kevin Dubois, NCO Academy commandant, nominated and
presented Nazar for entrance into the SAMC. The SAMC is a measure of
recognizing NCOs 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 Families of
“The NCOs who are selected for induction into the club are the best NCOs
the Army has to offer the force with a total-leader concept,” Dubois
said. “The NCOs who are selected for the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club have
to go through a very tough selection board, where all board members have
to recommend them for inclusion into the club. Staff Sergeant Nazar told
me when he came out of the board room ‘this is the most-intensive thing
I have ever done in my life.’ I am extremely proud of Staff Sergeant
Nazar’s accomplishment.” Board members included command sergeants major
at the command and staff levels.
Nazar keeps up his training for these awards even while meeting the
demands of leading an NCO Academy class, which can run 12 to 16 days and
include long hours, Dubois said. Nazar used his free time to improve his
military and physical skills, while also meeting his Family
“None of this would have been possible without the mentoring and the
counseling I’ve received in the military,” Nazar said. “The support of
my Family played a big role.”
Nazar said he developed and molded his leadership style by compiling all
the good traits of the military leaders he has had since he began his
Army career in 1998.
“We, as Soldiers, need to honor our fallen brothers, remember their
accomplishments, and help their legacy live on,” Nazar said. “All the
Soldiers were ordinary people who just did extraordinary things.”
Nazar’s wife, Dyan, also helped her husband prepare for the competitions
and provides as much support to his career as possible.
She attends as many of the graduation ceremonies involving her husband’s
students as her schedule permits.
She also helped him study and drilled him on the topics he would be
questioned about during the board.
“I learned the meaning of ‘I will always place the mission first,’” Dyan
said. “He realized his weaknesses and became stronger. ‘I will never
Nazar showed this quality after he dislocated his elbow while going
through the qualifying rounds for the 88th RSC Best Warrior competition.
He refused to let it knock him out the competition.