FORT SILL, Oklahoma (July 23, 2020) -- After a grueling three-day competition, Drill Sergeant (Staff Sgt.) William Crawford was named the 2020 Fort Sill Drill Sergeant of the Year July 16, during a ceremony at Cache Creek Chapel.“It feels great. This was a goal I set for myself about a year ago when I became a drill sergeant,” said Crawford, from D Battery, 1st Battalion, 31st Field Artillery. “Since then, I’ve kept my eye on the prize.”During the ceremony, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill Command Sgt. Maj. Stephen Burnley presented Crawford and the other two competitors drill sergeants (Sgt. 1st Class) Randy Veen and (Staff Sgt.) Stedmon Phillips, both of the 428th Field Artillery Brigade, with the FCoE and Fort Sill commanding general’s coin of excellence. Drill Sergeant (Staff Sgt.) William Tazwell, 434th FA Brigade, had to withdraw from the competition because of an injury.ROLE OF DSOYCol. Dan Blackmon, 434th Field Artillery Brigade commander, said the DSoY sets the standard for drill sergeants here, and is responsible for running the Drill Sergeant Certification Program.“The DSoY is the liaison between the drill sergeants and the command,” Blackmon said. “I lean on the DSoY quite a bit … he’s got a pulse on what’s happening with the training.”The commander said he watched many of the DSoY events, and that he was impressed with the caliber of the drill sergeants.“They were all pretty phenomenal,” Blackmon said. “My sergeant major sat in on the board, and he said folks were amazing, the way they were able to take all the things they’ve learned as a drill sergeant, and put it into action under pressure.”Blackmon said competitions, like the DSoY, breed excellence.“Just putting yourself out there to compete against another person shows that you have a desire to win, and your competitors will push you further,” Blackmon said. “I always tell all my folks that you should seek opportunities to compete because it will make you a better Soldier, or drill sergeant, or a better all-around human being.”GAINSPhillips, a drill sergeant with the Ordnance Training Detachment, said he gained much from the competition.“It helped me identify a lot of my weaknesses because we were required to do so much,” he said. “It made me understand how to be a better drill sergeant and NCO.”Phillips said he found the competition’s land navigation course to be the most challenging event. He believed he did very well on the Army Combat Fitness Test.Crawford’s supervisor, Lt. Col. Marcus Franzen, 1-31st FA battalion commander, described Crawford as a “professional in a profession of arms.”“He lives not only the 'Drill Sergeant’s Creed,' but he lives The Army Values,” Franzen said.Crawford recommended the DSoY competition to all drill sergeants. “Go into it and have fun, see where you can improve, regardless of the outcome,” he said.Toward the end of the ceremony, all current and former drill sergeants in the audience stood, and led by Crawford recited “The Drill Sergeant’s Creed.”Crawford moves on to the Training and Doctrine Command DSoY competition, which will consist of a virtual board conducted at Fort Sill, in late August.