(FORT SILL, Okla. June 13, 2023) -- Staff Sgt. Joseph Rodriguez, a drill sergeant with A Battery, 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery, was named the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill Drill Sergeant of the Year in a ceremony June 9, 2023, in Kerwin Auditorium.
Rodriguez was one of the top five drill sergeants from across post. The other top contenders were Staff Sgt. James Gibellin, A Battery, 1st Battalion, 22nd Field Artillery, 434th Brigade; Staff Sgt. Sierra Evans, Ordinance Detachment, 428th Field Artillery Brigade; Staff Sgt. Evan Clark, D Battery, 1st Battalion, 78th Field Artillery, 428th Brigade; and Staff Sgt. Anthony Beatty, A Battery, 3rd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery, 30th ADA Brigade.
Every year the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill holds a Drill Sergeant of the Year competition to select our best drill sergeant to represent the Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill at the U.S. Training and Doctrine Command.
Each drill sergeant was tested on their physical abilities, knowledge of leadership, duties and responsibilities, Soldier issues, Warrior tasks and battle drills, ability to instruct, and the Basic Combat Training program of instruction.
“These drill sergeants were pushed to their physical and mental limits, enduring minimal sleep, braving the Oklahoma heat and covering over 20 miles of dismounted movement,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Neil Sartain, command sergeant major, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill.
Rodriguez was presented with an Army Commendation Medal, a Kabar knife on an engraved stand and a coveted plaque.
“The Drill Sergeant of the Year competition means a lot to me specifically to see where my true potential is at, actually building more confidence in myself and just making my family proud,” said Rodriguez.