Fort Huachuca, Arizona -- Staff Sgt. Matthew Martinez, a drill sergeant assigned to Charlie Company, 309th Military Intelligence Battalion, 111th MI Brigade, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, Ariz. competed in the 2019 Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY) Competition at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis, Texas, in August.

Martinez, a 35M Human Intelligence Collector from El Paso, Texas, with two combat deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan under his belt, competed against 11 of the U.S. Army's best trained noncommissioned officers from across the nation.

For four days, drill sergeants who had been selected to represent their training centers, demonstrated their mastery of all associated warrior tasks and drills from Basic Combat Training.
"I did pretty well, but mostly I'm very satisfied with where I ended the entire competition," Martinez said. "The networking I was able to do there talking to all the other drill sergeants is invaluable," he added.

Martinez begins each duty day at 4:30 a.m. to prepare for Advanced Individual Training (AIT) physical training at 5 a.m. followed by overseeing breakfast and then marching Soldiers to their classroom. This is just the beginning to his typical 14-hour day.

Martinez says his motto is, "Train to standard, unwavering relentless standard. We train our Soldiers to fight and win our nations wars, and without that seriousness taken into account every time we train; physical, Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), or basic Soldier skills training, we lose that cutting edge in battle."

While the Soldiers are being trained by MOS-specific instructors, the drill sergeants of Charlie Company huddle to ensure Soldiers make it to appointments and are properly payed, promoted and mentored.

Martinez points to his drill sergeant team and unit command support for his success in becoming one of the Army's noncommissioned officers. "We have created an environment [where] we have open lines of communication from our Company Commander through Supply NCO."
Martinez plans to make a career of the Army and says, "training the Soldiers always comes first. We are facing complex fighting domains, in which we need the strongest, smartest, and most resilient Soldiers the Army can produce."

The annual Drill Sergeant of the Year competition Martinez took part in is hosted by the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training (CIMT) a U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) entity.

To win, and be named the Drill Sergeant of the Year, they must not only be experts in training Soldiers, but also demonstrate that they are the best of the best and rise above the fierce competition.

By design, the competition is one of the most physically demanding and mentally tough challenges a Soldier competing for an Army title will likely face in his or her career. The DSOY meet, according to the CIMT, "represents the professionalism and readiness of the U.S. Army" as well as the skill and fortitude of drill sergeants who are responsible for training the total force.