Natick Soldiers win Leapfest
October 19, 2009
NATICK, Mass. (Oct. 16, 2009) - Staff Sgt. Eric McPherson earned the individual championship and the Natick Soldier Systems Center team of McPherson, Sgt. 1st Class Steve Brittain, CW3 Michael Doe and Sgt. 1st Class Joe Trull earned the team title at 28th Annual Leapfest in Kingston, R.I.
McPherson defeated a Soldier from the 101st Airborne Division (Pathfinder School) by two seconds to earn the championship and the team representing NSSC won the competition by 35 seconds.
The competition was based on the quickest time for three jumps from a CH-47 helicopter and finish on a disc in the lowest time possible.
A veteran of Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom, McPherson has served as a Soldier for nine years and embodies what it is to be a noncommissioned officer.
He currently works testing parachute systems at Natick which includes everything from mask systems to resupply systems.
In 2009, the Army is recognizing the contributions that noncommissioned officers make to their organizations. McPherson has some advice for Soldiers wanting to become a NCO.
"Pay attention to the NCOs around you," said McPherson. "Take the good and also learn from the bad. There may be something that you can use when you are leading Soldiers.
"Also, don't take on more rank than you are ready for," McPherson continued. "There are some people who get promoted quickly, but aren't ready for the responsibility that goes with the rank. Make sure you are ready to fulfill the duties and responsibilities that come with the promotion."
The Year of the NCO is a good way all Army personnel and the American public to learn and understand what a NCO brings to the Army.
"Here at Natick, we provide the subject matter expertise," said McPherson. "We work hand in hand with the civilians here at Natick. We (Soldiers) are out there using what is developed here, and by working together, we can make a product better and more effective for the Soldier."
McPherson has the support of his wife Jenn who has been there through his two deployments.
"It is rough when he is deployed, but you just have to suck it up and deal with it," said Jenn McPherson. "It is part of being an Army Wife. It helps to have a strong Family Readiness Group in the rear and I spent a lot of time watching Fox News."
McPherson hopes to become a Warrant Officer to use his technical abilities.