"We will not try to make Afghanistan a perfect place. We will not police its streets or patrol its mountains indefinitely. That is the responsibility of the Afghan government ... What we can do, and will do, is build a partnership with the Afghan people that endures -- one that ensures that we will be able to continue targeting terrorists and supporting a sovereign Afghan government."
- President Barack Obama, during an address to the nation from the White House
Obama announces troop reductions, way forward in Afghanistan
"Honestly, coming from the infantry, I would have loved to stay oblivious to the amount of carnage that war brings. I guess I was kind of ignorant to the fact that Walter Reed even existed, because when I went to Afghanistan and Iraq twice, I always thought you die or you don't get hurt. I never really thought about anything happening in between. I never really thought about losing a leg or an arm, but then I got here and everybody has lost a leg or an arm."
- Staff Sgt. Nicholas B. Suhling, a squad leader with the Warrior Transition Brigade is responsible for the health, welfare, and morale of multiple Warriors in Transition in medical treatment and rehabilitation status.
Walter Reed move should be painless for wounded warriors
Drill Sergeant of the Year 2011
What is it?
The Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY) competition is an Army-level competition that invites the DSOY winners from each of the four active-duty basic combat training installations (Fort Benning, Ga., Fort Jackson, S.C., Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., and Fort Sill, Okla.) and two reserve divisions (95th and 98th). The competition took place at Fort Jackson, S.C., from June 12-17. For five days, these competitors faced numerous mentally and physically demanding challenges to include performing and teaching associated Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills from Basic Combat Training. This year’s winners, Staff Sgt. John Heslin (Active component) from Fort Benning, Ga., and Staff Sgt. Andrew J. Palmer (Reserve component) from the 98th Reserve Division, will serve at TRADOC Headquarters as subject matter experts to the TRADOC leadership and spokespeople for Initial Military Training.
What has the Army done?
The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command conducts the DSOY competition annually. The active Army Drill Sergeant of the Year receives the Stephen Ailes Award, initiated in 1969 and named for the Secretary of the Army from 1964-1965 who was instrumental in originating the first Drill Sergeant School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The Army Reserve winner receives the Ralph Haines Jr. Award, named for the commander of the Continental Army Command (forerunner of TRADOC) from 1970-72.
Why is this important to the Army?
Drill sergeants are top-quality, professional noncommissioned officers (NCOs) from virtually all branches of the Army. Their role is to turn civilians into Soldiers. During every recruit's initial military training period, these NCOs set the tone for a new Soldier’s entire military career, instilling not just required skills but also the Army Values and Warrior Ethos. Currently there are approximately 2,300 Army drill sergeants in the active component and 3,000 in the reserve component. Each year, TRADOC trains more than 400,000 Soldiers. Drill sergeants play a critical role in the success of this training and have a direct impact on the readiness of the entire U.S. Army.
What's planned in the future?
The Drill Sergeants of the Year will serve at TRADOC Headquarters as advisors, spokespersons, and planners for the 2012 Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition. TRADOC will also conduct the TRADOC Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier of the Year competition from August 14-18 and the Advanced Individual Training Platoon Sergeant of the Year competition Aug. 22-26.
The 2010 Drill Sergeant of the Year competition
The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command homepage
The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Facebook page
The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Twitter page
External Links Disclaimer - The appearance of hyperlinks to external sites does not constitute endorsement by the Department of the U.S. Army of the linked web site or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of the U.S. Army does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD web site.