Army Core Values In Action

February 18, 2009

From the first day they enlist in the Army, a Soldier is taught the 7 Core Values of the Army. The Army Core Values are everyday guidelines for living. They are guidelines that not only should be taught in the Army, but should be taught in every public school in the United States. Those 7 Core Values are:

Loyalty: The faithful adherence to a person, unit or Army. It is the thread that binds our actions together and causes us to support each other, our superiors, our family and our country.

Duty: The legal or moral obligation to accomplish all assigned or implied tasks to the fullest of your ability.

Respect: Treating others with consideration and honor. It is the ability to accept and value other individuals.

Selfless Service: Placing your duty before your personal desires. It is the ability to endure hardships and insurmountable odds because of love of fellow Soldiers and our country.

Honor: Living up to the Army Values. It starts with being honest with oneself and being truthful and sincere in all our actions.

Integrity: To firmly adhere to a code of moral and ethical principles. Every Soldier must possess high personal moral standards and be honest in word and deed.

Personal Courage: Physical courage is overcoming fears of bodily harm while performing your duty. Moral courage is overcoming fears of other than bodily hard while doing what is right, even if unpopular.

Honestly, these 7 Core Values, should be something that each of us adheres to every day, regardless of whether we’re Soldiers or not. These values should be something that we should strive to live up to in our personal lives every day and something that should be taught to our children in every school in America. For me, those values are guidelines to what it means to be a good, honest and decent human being.

During an errand at a bank in Fort Worth, Texas, retired Master Sgt. Donald Murrah helped thwart a bank robbery. The retired sergeant is now a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor at Haltom High School in Haltom City, Texas.

During an errand at a bank in Fort Worth, Texas, retired Master Sgt. Donald Murrah helped thwart a bank robbery. The retired sergeant is now a Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps instructor at Haltom High School in Haltom City, Texas.

In June 2008, one former Soldier displayed publically how he lives the Army Core Values in his daily life. Even though he’s no longer in the Army, this former NCO courageously displayed these values when he took actions that more than likely saved the lives of several people. That day in June, started out as a normal summer day in Fort Worth, Texas for former MSG Donald Murrah, who was running a routine errand when he day suddenly went from routine to extraordinary.

Retired MSG Donald Murrah, who is now serving as the JRTC instructor at Haltom High School in Haltom City, Texas had made arrangements with a friend to meet at the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Bank in Fort Worth to exchange items that his friend was borrowing from him. After exchanging the items, the two sat and visited for awhile, when they noticed something strange.

“I had seen him get out of a taxi cab and walk up to the bank – this guy,” said Murrah. “And he was wearing a jacket, long pants and a hat. But in Texas in June, it’s real hot outside.”1

It’s not often in the summer in Texas, with the sometimes sweltering heat, that you’ll see someone walking around with a jacket on. Something just wasn’t right about this man and Murrah was instantly on alert.

“We have to keep an eye on this guy, something is not right here,” Murrah said to his friend. “As we stood outside and were talking, we saw a lady walk out real quick. Then I was telling the first sergeant that I think the guy robbed the bank. I said we’d watch and see what he does when he came out.”2

Just as he suspected, the man, 57 year old Larry Don Enos, had robbed the bank, using a .32 caliber semi-automatic pistol. According to later police reports, Enos had been wearing a disguise, that consisted of sunglasses, a wig, false beard and mustache. When he entered the bank, he pointed the gun at the manager of the bank, demanding money. After that demand was complied with, he then demanded that the bank manager drive him away from the bank. The manager instead gave the robber the keys to his vehicle and provided him with instructions as to where the car was parked.

“So he came out and he was trying to open a car,” Murrah said. “I was on the south side of the building and he walked out on the north side and I could see him after he passed the building, he was trying to get into the car.”3

He watched as the man appeared to be struggling to get into the car. Later he found out that the bank manager had directed the robber to the wrong car – more than likely to provide enough time that the police could arrive. After struggling for a few minutes, the robber gave up and sought a different means of escape from the bank parking lot. He headed towards the line of occupied cars waiting for the drive through window and ATM machine. As the robber approached a woman at the ATM, in an attempt to car jack her, Murrah headed towards him.

“He tried to carjack her, but she drove off,” Murrah said. “At that time I was just about up to him. After that, he went to the next lane of vehicles.”4

The robber saw Murrah approaching as he attempted to car jack the first lady and pointed his gun at him. Murrah ducked behind a concrete pillar. The robber then went on to another vehicle, this one being driven by a woman who had children in the car with her. The robber pointed the gun at the lady driving, holding it about 12 inches from her face and told her to get out. The woman tried to stall him, telling him that she had children in the car. He told her he didn’t care. Murrah knew that he had to act, before someone got hurt.

“He got to the van and was about to carjack a lady and her two kids,” Murrah said. “He kind of had his body halfway in the van and I grabbged him by the collar. You know in Judo how you do a hip toss? I knew I had to get him off his feet and that’s the only way I’d have any leverage, because he had a gun. I grabbed him by the collar, one hand on each side of his collar and tossed him over my left side. He landed on the ground, the money fell out of the bag, and I held him down and held his right hand down that had the gun in it and I pried his fingers loose. We just waited for the Fort Worth police to get here then –it seemed like a matter of seconds.” 5

Murrah credits his Army training and his martial arts training that he took while stationed in Korea, for his quick actions that day. Actions that likely saved the life of the driver of the van and her two children. While he reacted as he’d been trained to react, Murrah is still in disbelief about the events that occurred that day, and his actions.

“After it happened, I couldn’t believe what I did,” he said. “I thought that was kind of stupid – a guy had a gun and I chased after him and I didn’t have a gun. My adrenaline was going so bad – it took a couple of hours to calm down before I could write my police statement.”6

The robber pled guilty to bank robber, two counts of using or carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and one count of carjacking. Enos faced a maximum sentence of life in prison and a fine of $1 million dollars. While he was awaiting sentencing for his crimes, he died on October 14th. MSG Murrah received recognition from the Fort Worth Police Department and received the Soldier’s Medal during a ceremony today at Haltom High School.

Retired MSG Murrah is someone who exemplifies the Army Core Values. He willingly put himself in danger from an armed gunman, to do what was right and to ensure the safety of others. He did so without hesitation. Even after retiring from the Army, he continues to live the Army Core Values. We should all look at him as a fine example of the men and women who put their lives on the line daily to protect and serve our country and we should all attempt to live our lives in his example.

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2 Responses to “Army Core Values In Action”

  1. Ben Cummings (CrazyDocCummings) on March 12th, 2009 3:25 pm

    After World War II this country was built into one economic engine never known the history of the world. Most of the people who built that engine or veterans or families of veterans. The values and leadership attributes which they learned in the military with a bedrock for that economy.

    In this era of a volunteer army those values and leadership attributes are less widely distributed than they were after World War II. It is my belief that these veterans like retired Master Sgt. Donald Murrah once again save this country from economic international peril.

    God bless them all.
    God bless their loved ones.
    God bless America

  2. Sgt, C.H. Brown on March 13th, 2009 9:24 pm

    Hey thats why they call us NCOs’ we do the unthinkable with out question.

    That is how they trained us.

    We are an elete corps of people that very few can follow.

    Thank you MSgt. D. Murrah for you attn to Detale.

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