By Carroll Kim and Jo Adail StephensonSeptember 16, 2009
Joshua Marshall, Blue Grass Army Depot security guard and U.S. Army Reserve staff sergeant, 95th Division, was honored as the Army's top Reserve drill sergeant of the year in a recent ceremony at Continental Park on Fort Monroe, Va.
"You study all of the major Army regulations, all of the FMs (field manuals), everything. The total Soldier concept led to [winning] the drill sergeant of the year competition," said Marshall.
The 2009 Drill Sergeant of the Year competition tested the Army's best drill sergeants on warrior tasks, battle drills and their ability to instruct young Soldiers.
Drill sergeants selected for the competition hail from the five basic combat training centers and two Reserve training divisions. The seven drill sergeants worked their way from battalion and brigade competitions to win the title of drill sergeant of the year from their respective locations.
"It's pretty intense; it's a little more physical than what I thought," said Marshall. "I like the diversity of the events; instead of doing 9 or 10 major events, I think there's over 50 events we're doing, including smaller and larger tasks." They were tested and graded on over 60 events.
Winners of Drill Sergeant of the Year spend a year serving as liaisons between drill sergeants and the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, which oversees all Army training.
"Think about what they do. They take a civilian volunteer and forge that raw material into a Soldier," said TRADOC Command Sgt. Maj. David Bruner. "Each and every one of these Drill Sergeants has proven themselves already, just by being here."
Staff Sgt. Michael Johnston, active duty drill sergeant from Fort Benning, Ga., was selected as the Army's top drill sergeant (active duty) of the year.