Despite an initial setback of being denied membership in the Sgt. Audie Murphy Club once before, Sgt. 1st Class La Chad Jefferson was more than determined the second go-round.

The Sgt. Audie Murphy Club was started at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1986 and later spread Army-wide in 1994, to recognize those noncommissioned officers who have demonstrated performance and inherent leadership qualities and abilities characterized by those of the famed World War II Soldier.

A 51C-acquisition, logistics and technology contracting noncommissioned officer currently deployed to Kuwait as a member of the 408th Contracting Support Brigade, Jefferson was among only three selected from a field of 18 into the elite organization.

"He never retreated," said Col. David M. Kaczmarski, commander, 408th CSB. "Instead, he embraced the challenge and demonstrated character, discipline and determination to persevere in his objectives and goal."

The commander added that 86 of the best candidates throughout U.S. Army Central Command/Third Army who attempted to join could not make the cut.

"This truly exemplifies what Lt. Gen. (Vincent K.) Brooks (commanding general, Third Army) means by the term resilience," Kaczmarski said.

Jefferson said he was prompted to join the club because of the challenge and what it represents.

"I wanted to set an example for other Soldiers, to show them that anything is possible as long as they apply themselves," he said. "I developed a keen interest to become part of the club when I was a drill sergeant. The club pushes NCOs to take care of Soldiers as well as the community. It was an easy decision for me to accept the challenge."

It was a challenge, Jefferson admits, he could not have undertaken without the constant support from his wife, Vashana; two daughters, Da'Shay and La Chadrea; three sons, Brendon McClinton, Demetrius Chambers and La Chad Jr.; as well as his sponsors from the 408th, Sgt. Maj. Ricky Orange, Master Sgt. Kimala D. Cox and Master Sgt. Scott J. McBride.