Staff Sergeant John Heslin

2011 Drill Sergeant of the Year

Staff Sgt. John Heslin (Fort Benning, Ga.)

Full Biography

Drill Sergeant Heslin was born in Baltimore, Md. He graduated from St. John’s at Prospect Hall High School in Frederick, Md., and entered the United States Army in July 2004. He completed Fire Support Specialist One Station Unit Training at Fort Sill, Okla., in October 2004.

Heslin’s assignments include: Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood. His deployments include: Operation Iraqi Freedom 05-07 Task Force Cobra, Operation Iraqi Freedom 08-10 Task Force Mountain.

Heslin’s military education includes: The Warrior Leader Course, Advanced Leader Course Phase 2, Combatives Level 1, Drill Sergeant School, Combat Life Saver Course, Joint Fires Observer Course, Joint Firepower Course, FBCB2 Leader Course, and the Basic Instructor Course. He has 12 semester hours of college credit towards an Associate’s Degree in General Studies from American Military University.

Heslin’s awards and decorations include: the Army Commendation Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Army Achievement Medal (1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal (four Campaign Stars), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, NCO Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd Award), Combat Action Badge, Basic Rifle Marksmanship Badge (Expert), and the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge. He has distinguished himself by being selected as the Distinguished Honor Graduate for Fire Support Sergeant ALC (Class 712-09) and top 20 per cent during the Warrior Leader Course Drill Sergeant Heslin was recognized as the 192nd Brigade NCO of the Quarter.

Staff Sgt. John Heslin is the 2011 U.S. Army Drill Sergeant of the Year (Active Component) and is currently assigned to Deputy Commanding General, Initial Military Training Center of Excellence, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis, Va. Heslin officially represents the Army's Drill Sergeant community during this one-year assignment.

Staff Sergeant Andrew J. Palmer

2011 Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year

Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Palmer (98th Reserve Division)

Full Biography

Drill Sergeant Andrew Palmer was born in Milwaukee, Wis. He graduated from Kewaskum High School in Kewaskum, Wis. and entered the United States Army in June of 1997. He completed Infantry One Station Unit Training at Ft. Benning, Ga., in November 1997.

Palmer’s assignments include: Delta Company, 2nd Battalion 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Fort Bragg, N.C.; 1454th Transportation Company, Concord, N.C.; Charlie Company, 3rd Battalion 518th Regiment, Hickory, N.C. Palmer has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Support Group Haiti-Port Au Prince, Haiti.

Palmer’s military education includes: Basic Combat Training (OSUT), Airborne School, Combat Life Saver Course, Bus/ Truck Driver Course, Primary Leadership development Course, Basic Non-Commission Office Course Phase I, Basic Non-Commission Officer Course Phase II, Drill Sergeant School.

He has 60 college credit hours towards an Associate’s Degree in Advertising and Graphic Design from Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, N.C.

Drill Sergeant Palmer’s awards and decorations include: Army Commendation Medal (3 Oak Leaf Clusters), Meritorious Unit Commendation, Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal (2 Oak Leaf Clusters), National Defense Medal with Bronze Star, Global War on Terrorism Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Non-Commission Officer Ribbon with two medals, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Ribbon with Mobility Device, Armed Forces Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Expert Infantry Badge, Basic Parachutist Badge, Drives and Mechanics Badge with Vehicle Clasp, Drill Sergeant Badge, Rifleman Badge (Expert).

Staff Sgt. Andrew Palmer is the 2011 U.S. Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year and is currently assigned to Deputy Commanding General, Initial Military Training Center of Excellence, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Eustis, Va. Drill Sergeant Palmer officially represents the Army's drill sergeant community during this one-year assignment.