Young officers learn drill lesson
April 18, 2013
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Some of the Army's newest officers got a refresher course last week in basic drill and ceremony procedures.
Drill sergeants with the 3rd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment spent several hours Friday with Soldiers enrolled in the Adjutant General School's Basic Officer Leader Course at the Soldier Support Institute.
"They're teaching our brand-new second lieutenants, who came here from all commissioning sources," said Capt. Megan Cain, an instructor with the Basic Officer Training Division of the AG School. "The intent is to make sure (our officers) are familiar with drill and ceremony, which is such an important part of being a Soldier and being a leader."
Before taking the informal class outside to practice drills, the officers were first given detailed demonstrations of physical fitness test requirements. This included not only the proper way to do exercises such as situps, but also the criteria drill sergeants use to evaluate new Soldiers, as well as the possible consequences for performing these tests incorrectly.
For new officers, their level of experience with basic drill procedures varies, Cain said.
"Some of the students have prior service and have done drill and ceremony for years," Cain said. "Some ROTC students have had it emphasized to them in their (college) program, but some have had minimal opportunity to perform drill and ceremony. As a result, we hope the drill sergeants can put them all on the same page."
Staff Sgt. Melanie Coronado, a drill sergeant with 3-13th, said the event is a benefit to the post's drill sergeants, as well.
"Interacting with them helps us stay in touch with what we do," she said. "There's not much of a difference between these officers and Soldiers in Basic Combat Training. We teach everybody the same."
She said it's not unusual to encounter new officers who need occasional reminders of Army protocol.
"There are certain things we notice just walking through the PX, such as new lieutenants or junior officers saluting incorrectly," she said. "If we can reinforce it now while they're new to the Army it will make it easier."
This is the second time drill sergeants have offered a refresher course on drill and ceremony to new officers, but Friday's instruction was not the only time the groups interacted.
"It's a relatively new partnership between the drill sergeants and the AG School," Cain said. "This particular group of drill sergeants actually led our first PT session on Tuesday morning for this class, to orient them on the Army's PT program. They spoke about how to do the commands properly and how to do the exercise properly."