'Drill sergeants make Fort Jackson tick'
Maj. Gen. James Milano is the commanding general of the U.S. Army Basic Combat Training Center of Excellence and Fort Jackson.

FORT JACKSON, SC -- At a Basic Combat Training installation, drill sergeants receive a tremendous amount of respect, and rightfully so, because we entrust them with a lot of important responsibilities. On Fort Jackson, we have more than 800 drill sergeants who play a vital role in the successful development of our Soldiers.

For young Soldiers, drill sergeants are the teachers of standards and discipline, the exemplars of Army Values and, of course, role models. The influence drill sergeants have is significant and long-lasting. Many of our young Soldiers may someday decide to leave our Army, but odds are they will never forget their drill sergeants.

If you consider that we remain a nation at war and that many of the young men and women who are in training at Fort Jackson today could tomorrow find themselves in a hostile environment defending our freedoms, you will see that the importance of the drill sergeant role becomes magnified.

To maintain an edge in the fight, our Army must constantly evolve and improve the way we train, all of which presents increased challenges for drill sergeants to stay abreast of Basic Combat Training initiatives so that our Soldiers are armed with the best preparation possible. Whether our drill sergeants are instructing warrior tasks and battle drills, basic rifle marksmanship, or first aid, they are expected to be masters of these tasks and the combat importance of each one of them. The lives and welfare of warriors tomorrow hinge on what they are learning today. Consequently, our ArmyAca,!a,,cs mission success depends on how well our drill sergeants do their job.

Drill sergeants must step-by-step break down the training for their Soldiers, adhering to the premise that the Soldier knows little to nothing and that there is no baseline knowledge from which to begin. This applies to such simple Soldier skills as marching, how to wear the uniform and the correct way to make a bunk.

Interwoven in subjects that the drill sergeants teach are the heavy threads of discipline Aca,!" in particular, self-discipline.

Drill sergeants are required to be flexible, adaptive, and creative as well to ensure that Soldiers are being trained with an Aca,!A"outcome-basedAca,!A? focus, instead of a Aca,!A"process-drivenAca,!A? one.

In todayAca,!a,,cs Army, increased responsibility is given to every leader, regardless of rank. It is the responsibility of the drill sergeant to make sure that the Soldiers he or she trains are ready to accept this increased responsibility.

Make no mistake Aca,!" our drill sergeants have tremendous demands placed on them. We leaders realize that fact and recognize that these highly motivated, physically and mentally fit and well-disciplined noncommissioned officers are ready to tackle their critically important mission.

Drill sergeants make Fort Jackson tick. We know that, recognize it and acknowledge the tremendous personal sacrifices they make. Their hard work never lets up.

Every training day here starts with a drill sergeant sounding a wake-up call and ends with the sounding of Aca,!A"lights out.Aca,!A?

Days are long, weekends are short and almost non-existent, and the requirements are exacting. Only the best noncommissioned officers are selected for the mission, and thereAca,!a,,cs a reason for that. Excellence breeds excellence, which, in turn, strengthens our standards and discipline Aca,!" the pillars of our success.

Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!

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