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October 28, 2011


NCO Academy instructor selected for

Sergeant Audie Murphy Club

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.
PHOTO: Command Sgt. Maj. M. Kevin Dubois presents the Sergeant Audie Murphy Club medallion to Staff Sgt. Conrad H. Nazar Jr. Photo by Rob Schuette
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 Soldiers.

“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 responsibilities.

“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 quit.’”

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.

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