Soldier receives 'true blue' honor
April 14, 2011
Sgt. 1st Class Scott Wilkie
Company E, 3rd Battalion, 34th Infantry Regiment
Military occupational specialty
When 97 Fort Jackson Soldiers set out recently to test for the coveted Expert Infantryman Badge, 42 ended up meeting the requirements, but only one, Sgt. 1st Class Scott Wilkie, did so without making any mistakes, which earned him the designation "true blue."
"I'm proud of it. The tasks were easy for me. The hardest thing probably was the physical portion of it," Wilkie said. "I know I'm deserving of it because I put a lot of effort into preparing for it."
He said he credits his military education and the support of his battalion leadership with helping him succeed.
Wilkie said he plans to stay in the Army until retirement.
"Since I was little, that's all I ever wanted to do," he said.
By enlisting 11 years ago, the native of Terre Haute, Ind., followed in the footsteps of his four older brothers, all of whom joined the Army. Throughout his career, the 31-year-old Wilkie has deployed to Iraq twice, both times with the 1st Cavalry Division based at Fort Hood, Texas.
He has been on the trail as a drill sergeant at Fort Jackson for two years and recently extended for a third year to allow his wife to finish her nursing degree at the University of South Carolina. He said as a drill sergeant, he most enjoys introducing new Soldiers to the military and teaching them to be disciplined.
He said he hopes to set an example for young Soldiers with his sense of duty, which he cited as the Army value that means the most to him.
"(I want to teach them) to give everything they have to complete the mission, whatever it is, regardless if they like it or not," he said.