FORT EUSTIS, Va. (June 28, 2012) -- Movement and more movement defined day three of the 2012 Drill Sergeant of the Year competition at Fort Eustis, Va.

Contenders continued to assert themselves, first on the obstacle course, then another set of round robin battle drills that included instruction on how to break contact, react to near ambush, and entering and clearing a room.

The drill sergeants are never aware of what lies ahead of them. Every task and movement is a surprise and the last mission of the day achieved the proverbial element of surprise. A simple mission of road marching to a location where troops needed to be relieved of their security duties turned into chaos.

As soon as the drill sergeants rounded the corner of the path they were on, smoke was in the air, role-playing injured Soldiers were laying on the ground, groaning in pain. As grenades punctuated the air, the drill sergeants quickly executed a nine-line medical evacuation. And if that wasn't enough, role-playing opposing forces opened fire on the military operations on urban terrain, or MOUT, site. The competitors moved the Soldiers to cover and then returned fire.

"It was meant to be confusing and we wanted to see how they would react," said Staff Sgt. John Heslin, 2011 Drill Sergeant of the Year. "And it gives them an opportunity to have some fun."

This is the first DSOY competition that included a culminating event of this kind. After the event, the competing drill sergeants were asked for feedback. Besides a few kinks that need to be worked out, they all agreed that it was fun and undoubtedly "hooah!"

One more day of competition is on tap for the drill sergeants, and the two winners representing the active and reserve components will be announced at 9 a.m., June 29, at Jacobs Theater on Fort Eustis.

For updated stories and photos of the competition, visit