FORT EUSTIS, Va. (September, 10, 2009) -- Sept. 19, 2008, will go down as a monumental day for many as the Advanced Individual Training drill sergeants at Fort Eustis retired the drill sergeant hats and transformed to a new era as AIT Soldiers were introduced to the AIT platoon sergeant. The AIT platoon sergeant represents a symbol of change as the Army transitions from the World War II era into a new generation. Of course, with change comes uncertainty. So, what would change and what could Soldiers now expect as drill sergeants retired their prestigious hats and badges'

The fact is, not much changed at all. AIT platoon sergeants are expected to do exactly the same job as the AIT drill sergeants, which is ensuring the Soldier is trained and proficient in his Military Occupation Specialty. The only difference is they must accomplish the same task without the power of the "hat and badge." AIT platoon sergeants still have the same mission of training Soldiers to be mentally and physically fit, as well as technically and tactically proficient, and able to sustain on today's battlefield.

Platoon sergeants spend an average of 16 hours per day at work. They are here when the Soldiers wake up and, a lot of times, here when they go to sleep at night. They conduct physical training with the Soldiers, ensure they conduct personal hygiene, eat chow, get to class, take care of personal issues, conduct study hall and more.

The AIT platoon sergeant makes the ultimate sacrifice of self and family to ensure his Soldiers are trained to be the best warriors they can be. Platoon sergeants do not receive the training of a drill sergeant nor do they receive the glory, but they carry the same torch. The life of an AIT platoon sergeant is one that you must live to completely understand. They give unselfishly of themselves day in and day out and ask for nothing in return. Their reward is knowing they are sending quality Soldiers into the field. Knowing and experiencing the satisfaction of seeing a Soldier achieve success and overcome obstacles they never dreamed possible; this is the reward of an AIT platoon sergeant.

When you ask an AIT platoon sergeant what has changed since the drill sergeants went away, they will say "nothing at all." The only change is you will no longer see the drill sergeant hat and drill sergeant badge. The duties, responsibilities and sacrifices are still the same.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16