Sgt. Morales Club inducts new members

First Sgt. Lori A. Soto (from left), Master Sgt. Tony T. Williams, Sgt. 1st Class Phillip A. Lovato, Staff Sgt. Kamran L. Saunders and Angela Abernethy stand with their medallions after a Sergeant Morales Club induction and award ceremony. Soto, Williams and Lovato received honorary inductions, Saunders received an induction and Abernethy received the Dr. Mary E. Walker Award.

The Sergeant Morales Club at U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden inducted one new member, three honorary members and recognized one civilian with the Dr. Mary E. Walker Award Aug. 26 at Clay Kaserne.

Membership in the Sergeant Morales Club is exclusive and gained through a rigorous and competitive selection process, according to club leaders. Membership recognizes and rewards distinguished non-commissioned officers whose leadership achievements merit special recognition and who have contributed significantly to developing a professional NCO Corps and a combat-effective Army.

“Selection into the Sergeant Morales Club and the Dr. Mary E. Walker Award recipient is an honor for those chosen, but it doesn’t end once they receive the medallion,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth E. Farley, 522nd Military Intelligence Battalion, guest speaker for the event. “One of the club’s fundamental missions is giving back to the local communities. Each of these recipients has volunteered innumerable hours within their local community. These inductees have demonstrated what it truly means to be a leader not only in your organization but in your communities as well.”

Staff Sgt. Kamran L. Saunders serves as the communications security account manager for the 66th Military Intelligence Brigade. He participated in three different battalion, brigade, and nominative-level command sergeant major boards. He was then recommend to the U.S. Army Europe command sergeant major for induction into the Sergeant Morales Club.

Sgt. 1st Class Phillip A. Lovato, detachment sergeant with 2nd Military Intelligence Battalion, 66th MI Bde.; Master Sgt. Tony T. Williams, S-6 NCOIC, 66th MI Bde.; and 1st Sgt. Lori A. Soto, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, USAG Wiesbaden, were inducted as honorary members.

Honorary membership is restricted to individuals whose contributions and support to units or military communities can be distinctively measured in terms of their accomplishments. Nominees in this category are stewards of the armed forces creeds and firm supporters of the profession of arms. Honorary members received a medallion, certificate of honorary membership and the Army Commendation Medal.

Angela Abernethy was presented with the Dr. Mary E. Walker Award for providing outstanding and exemplary volunteerism that greatly improved the quality of life for the Soldiers and their families. Abernethy received a medallion, label pin and certificate. She has volunteered with Army special operations, traveling to each of its operational units as a guest speaker, mentor and senior enlisted advisor in order to encourage community involvement through volunteering, mentorship, and building relationships among Army spouses.

The award is named after Walker, who became one of the first female physicians in the U.S. in 1855. She was denied a commission as an Army surgeon because of her gender, but continued to serve unpaid in various military camps and in a hospital. She was eventually appointed as an assistant surgeon with the 52nd Ohio Regiment and later captured and held as a prisoner of war before being freed. Through her actions, Walker set the standards for helping to improve Soldiers’ quality of life for generations.