Drill Sergeants observing Soldiers during their Phyical Fitness Test.

Drill Sergeant:  What it takes

                                                                    

          Piling fear in a Soldier through roaring commands, Drill instructors have a reputation as unforgiving taskmasters. From demanding what seems like thousands of push-ups in seconds, the Drill Sergeant will quickly appear to be a “DREAD SERGEANT”. But as your time in training progresses, and you see the reward of your efforts and abilities, you find that the dread and fear of your Drill Sergeants is transformed into the utmost respect for them.

          Drill Sergeants implant a lifelong sense of what it takes to be a true Soldier of the United States Army. With Drill Sergeants are the most motivational individuals in the Army, they push Soldiers to pull from deep within themselves the will to overcome many physical obstacles when the Soldier feels like they have given what seemed to have been “their all”.

“I will assist each individual in their efforts to become a highly motivated, well disciplined, physically and mentally fit soldier, capable of defeating any enemy on today’s modern battlefield.”

(Exert from the U S. Army Drill Sergeant Creed)

Drill Sergeant: The Hat

The most profound thing that sticks in your mind about a Drill Sergeant is “the hat”. Known as a Campaign Hat, any Drill will tell you that it is a symbol of honor, integrity, excellence and leadership. Male Drill Sergeants wear the World War I campaign hat (nicknamed the “Brown Round”) and female Drill Sergeants wear the olive drab Australian bush cap informally known as “cowgirl” hats.

The most profound thing that sticks in your mind about a Drill Sergeant is “the hat”. Known as a Campaign Hat, any Drill will tell you that it is a symbol of honor, integrity, excellence and leadership. Male Drill Sergeants wear the World War I campaign hat (nicknamed the “Brown Round”) and female Drill Sergeants wear the olive drab Australian bush cap informally known as “cowgirl” hats.

Drill Sergeants: Up and Beyond the Call of Duty

Army Reserve Drill Sergeants set the standards for Soldiers competing in the Secretary of the Army, Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year competition.

Army Reserve Drill Sergeants set the standards for Soldiers competing in the Secretary of the Army, Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year competition.

By Pfc. Chalon Hutson
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Every Soldier in the Army remembers their basic training experience. Most of all, one of the highlights of that experience which they remember is their drill sergeants. With a commanding stature, loud booming voice and flat brimmed hat that make even the toughest Soldiers tremble; drill sergeants have been there to turn civilian’s into Soldiers.

None represents drill sergeants better than the reservists from the 485th Regiment, 98th Division Training Unit, who assisted in the 2011 Secretary of the Army, Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year Award competition which took place at Fort Benning, GA between Sept. 19 through 23.

Their mission was to assist in all ways which a drill sergeant could, whether it be conducting warrior task or a physical fitness test.

“We are our own entity; our own special branch,” said Drill Sergeant Alexander Mosley about the independence of the Drill Sergeant Corps.

The drill sergeant hat is often considered the most important piece of the uniform, creating an intimidating image that no Soldier will forget.

“The campaign hat is the signature piece of a drill sergeant’s [uniform]. Throughout anyone’s Army career, they will always remember the drill sergeant,” Mosley said. “You know if you see the hat; you are going to hear the loud thunder’s roar coming right behind you.”

Becoming a drill sergeant is a challenge all on its own. Candidates go through rigorous training, which some consider more difficult than initial basic training itself.

“Some of the training we go through; you have to keep in mind that you are going to be training basic training Soldiers. So it is like going through basic training all over again,” he said.

Drill Sergeant Ralph Allen, an 18 year Army veteran, spoke on what he learned while becoming a drill sergeant and what he hopes to impose upon Soldiers he trains.

“I learned to withstand different situations, how to manage life, in general and how to take care of Soldiers,” Allen said. “Don’t take life for granted. Try to be all they can be.”

“You have to get them in the mindset of ‘Now I am in the Army,’” Mosley described about his experience will basic trainees. “So, you have to break down the civilian and rebuild them back up into the Soldier.”

Overall, these drill instructors help keep the Army values instilled upon Soldiers now and in the future. Only the best can have the honor to wear the drill sergeant hat, in order to maintain the strong Army we have today.

“You have to be physically fit… You have to have good leadership qualities. You have to live all the Army values and you have to be one to go up and beyond the call of duty,” Mosley said.

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Drill Sergeants

Reserve Drill Sergeants at Fort Benning, Ga, assisted in the 2011 Secretary of the Army, Army Reserve Career Counselor of the Year Award

Written by Spc. CaTria Williamson
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Whether you know them as Military Training Instructors (Air Force), Recruit Division Commanders (Navy), or Drill Instructors (Marines); the United States Army recognizes them as DRILL SERGEANTS.

The beginning of your military career starts with the lasting impression of a Drill sergeant.

The Drill sergeant is one of the most knowledgeable, yet the toughest, most physically demanding, discipline instilling members of the military services. It is one of the most important duty positions in the military and only the best non-commissioned officers are selected for such duty.

Active component and Reserve Drill Sergeants, once trained, have the same missions, duties, and responsibilities.

Drill Sergeants for the Reserve component work just as hard, and train just as tough. They put time and effort into Soldiers because they too are responsible for training Soldiers and making them into true “warriors”.

High Altitude Reenlistment

Drill Sgt Caterina Shipman reenlists halfway down a 45 foot tower with Col. Ligon, Commander, Army Reserve Career Division (ARCD), swearing her in and Sgt. Major Guhl, Sgt. Major, 13th Battalion, ARCD holding the US Flag in the background.

I do solemnly swore...

One remembers many moments throughout their military career such as their Recruiter, their Drill Sergeant, or their Promotion ceremonies. But for Drill Sergeant Caterina Shipman her reenlistment will be something she will never forget.

Half way down a 45 feet repelling tower, with an American flag in the background, Drill Sergeant Shipman stated her name and solemnly swore,” …I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies…”

Col. John Ligon congratulates Drill Sgt, Caterina Shipman after her reenlistment

Col. John Ligon congratulates Drill Sgt Caterina Shipman after her reenlistment

Despite the high winds, which made the repelling with a flag a little trickier for Sergeant Major Guhl, Colonel Ligon, Commander, ARCD, Sergeant Major Guhl, Sergeant Major, 13th Battalion, ARCD and Drill Sergeant Shipment repelled down the tower to conduct the reenlistment.

“This was a dream true! I enjoy military life and have had the experience of my life as well as meeting some extraordinary people,” said Drill Sergeant Shipman.

Drill Sergeant Shipman and her fellow Drill Sergeants from the 95th Division Drill Sergeant Unit from Oklahoma assisted the 13th Battalion, Army Reserve Careers Division (ARCD) with their yearly Warrior Task Training at Kirkland Air Force Base in New Mexico. One of the events the battalion set up was the repel tower, when the idea for the reenlistment came.

Drill Sgt Caterina Shipman is all smiles after her reenlistment.

A Dream Come True

Drill Sergeant Shipman who has been in the Army Reserve since 2005 has always dreamed of being a Career Soldier. She was the alternate to represent the state of Oklahoma for the National Capitol Reenlistment Ceremony this past April, so it was fortunate that she was able to reenlist from the tower instead.

She looks forward to continuing her military career and hopes to deploy for a tour in Afghanistan in November. Drill Sergeant Shipman also plans to re-class to Psychological Operations and retire from the Army Reserve.
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What unusual way or place would you like to reenlist? Leave a comment and let us know.

Basic Lessons

Drill Sergeants our some of the most respected Soldiers in the Army.  They are the ones charged with teaching, guiding and mentoring our Soldiers during initial training.

The Soldiers and their families have arrived to Washington, D.C., for the National Capitol Reenlistment Ceremony and Family Readiness Conference. 60 outstanding Soldiers were selected to participate in this year’s Ceremony. All of the Soldiers have proven themselves to be at the top of what the Army Reserve can offer.

During the arrival of the Soldiers and families to D.C., I had the fortune to interview many of them. The vast majority has been mobilized and deployed in support of the different operations in the last few years. During their mobilizations and deployments they have learned many lessons; and as leaders they have returned to share them with us.

During my interviews; I spoke to an exceptional Soldier. His name is Sgt. Kyle Turner, a very humble and reserved Soldier who is currently serving as Drill Sergeant in Fresno, California. During our conversation he mentioned something that brought back some things into perspective as an NCO.

Sgt. Turner mentioned that he found himself deployed to Iraq two weeks after completing Basic Training. During his deployment in Iraq, he found himself in combat situations that would put any experienced warrior to the test. After completing his tour in Iraq, he returned to the United States with his unit. One of the first things that he did upon his return was to take a trip to Fort Drum, New York.

He took this trip in order to meet one of his former Drill Sergeants, “Drill Sergeant Gilbert.” He thanked him for the discipline and for ingraining in his head the importance of basic combat skills. Sgt. Turner told Drill Sergeant Gilbert “I am alive because of you, thank you.”

Sgt. Turner finds himself in the same position now as a Drill Sergeant. He says that he sticks to the basics and gives his Soldiers no slack. He wants to instill in his Soldiers, the importance of knowing the basics.

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