DS School consolidates; building to begin
May 22, 2008
Fort Jackson is now the only Army installation that trains drill sergeants.
The consolidation of the three drill sergeant schools was completed May 16 with the last class to graduate from Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The first school to close was located at Fort Benning, Ga. That closed in October.
Fort Jackson now trains all drill sergeants based on the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure recommendation, which calls for consolidating the three school locations to this installation.
A groundbreaking ceremony for a new drill sergeant school is slated for 9 a.m. June 3 at Marion Avenue and Kemper Street. The drill sergeant school is currently located on Magruder Avenue.
"We have tripled in size as far as student population and cadre," said Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Newsome, DSS commandant. "We are ironing out the kinks and working it out as we go."
To handle the influx of drill sergeant candidates, classes are being taught in a staggered fashion with four sessions. Each class can accommodate 120 students.
"The commanding general has assured that we will have the things we need and Human Resources Command is working with us to make sure we have the personnel to conduct our mission," Newsome said.
The new drill sergeant school, which inlcudes a headquarters building, classrooms and a dining facility is expected to take more than two years to complete. Work will begin in August and completion is scheduled for the early part of 2011. Barracks will be built at a later date.
Fort Jackson, the Army's largest Initial Entry Training installation, is an ideal place to train drill sergeants, Newsome said.
"Being the Basic Combat Training Center of Excellence, what better place could we have for drill sergeants to go out and do their job'" he asked.
Fort Jackson's Drill Sergeant School has had several locations since coming to the installation in 1963.
It was originally co-located with the NCO Academy on Washington Road. In July 1972, the school was moved to Building 4350 on Magruder Avenue, where the Travel Office is now.
In 1978, the school was moved to Buildings 4235 and 4230 at Magruder Avenue and Hill Street.
The school relocated to Buildings 1889 and 1887 on Washington Road in 1983 where it was co-located with the 120th Adjutant General Battalion (Reception). It was April 2007 before the school moved again to its current location on Magruder Avenue.