FORT JACKSON, S.C. - Staff Sgt. John Heslin, assigned to Fort Benning, Ga., was selected as the active duty Army 2011 Drill Sergeant of the Year.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Palmer, assigned to the 98th Training Division, was selected as the Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year.

Winners were announced in a military ceremony here today hosted by Command Sgt. Maj. John R. Calpena and reviewed by Major Gen. Richard Longo, Deputy Commanding General for Initial Military Training, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. Both Drill Sergeants of the Year were awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

The winners were among six of the Army's top drill sergeants competing for the prestigious award. This year's competition featured five active duty and three Army Reserve drill sergeants. Each competitor was recognized as the Drill Sergeant of the Year for their respective installation or division.

The active duty Army Drill Sergeant of the Year will receive the Stephen Ailes Award, initiated in 1969. Ailes was Secretary of the Army from 1964 to 1965 and was instrumental in originating the first Drill Sergeant School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

The Reserve Component winner will receive the Ralph Haines Jr. Award. Haines was commander of the Continental Army Command (forerunner of TRADOC) from 1970 to 1972. Both awards will be presented in the Pentagon at a later date.

Page last updated Fri June 17th, 2011 at 13:35