FORT EUSTIS, Va. (June 17, 2009) -- The Third Quarter, Fiscal Year 2009 Soldier and Noncommissioned Officer are Spc. Darwynn McPherson, 688th Rapid Port Opening Element, Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, and Staff Sgt. Luis Duran, Echo Company, 71st Transportation Battalion, 8th Transportation Brigade.

McPherson, an 88N - cargo transportation management specialist - is responsible for ensuring equipment and containers are properly scanned and accounted for during unit movement operations. He has been in the Army for about three years and has been stationed at Fort Eustis for almost two years. McPherson's first duty assignment was Camp Casey, Korea.

He says his short term goals are to make sergeant and become a leader of Soldiers. McPherson says for his long term goals he wants to make command sergeant major before he retires from the Army.

To encourage other Soldiers to achieve their goals in the Army, McPherson suggests making sure you use the resources and materials that leaders give you, do the hands on training, and be involved. He also says no matter what people tell you, don't give up, keep plugging, which is another step of a leader to influence others - show and lead by example.

McPherson hails from Mobile, Ala., and has been married to his wife, Latoria for almost two years. He loves to play basketball and enjoys doing art projects, most especially drawing and constructing things.

Duran, an 88M - motor transport operator - currently works as an advanced individual training platoon sergeant. He has been in the Army for about 14 years and has been stationed at Fort Eustis for a year. Duran's other duty assignments include Germany, Fort Stewart, Ga., Fort Carson, Colo., Camp Casey, Korea, and Fort Riley, Kan. He has also deployed three time; twice to Iraq and once to Bosnia.

Duran said for his short term goal he would like to become a member of the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club. His long term goal is to retire as a command sergeant major.

When asked what advice he would give to encourage other Soldiers to achieve their goals in the Army, Duran says he would tell Soldiers to stay positive and disciplined.

Duran hails from Juarez, Mexico. He and his wife, Pamela, have been married for 14 years and have three children.

Both Soldiers were honored during a ceremony at the Fort Eustis Club June 3.