Stand-to! update Beginning May 2022, STAND-TO! will no longer be published on and/or distributed to its subscribers. Please continue to learn about the U.S. Army on and follow @USArmy on our social media platforms. Thank you for your continued interest in learning about the U.S. Army.

U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School

Tuesday June 17, 2014

What is it?

U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School, as part of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, is one of the most recognizable courses in the Army. This year marks the school’s 50th anniversary.

Non-commissioned officers (NCOs) who graduate from the school are considered consummate professionals and the epitome of Soldiers. The iconic campaign hats, along with the distinctive Drill Sergeant Badge, are recognized by service members and civilians as the symbols of high standards.

Drill sergeants are responsible for coaching, counseling and mentoring thousands of trainees as they transform from civilians to a combat-ready Soldiers.

What has the Army done?

The creation of drill sergeant schools marked the beginning of a new concept to improve the caliber of NCOs assigned to training centers and the quality of instruction provided to new recruits.

The first school was established at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., in September 1964. Regional drill sergeant schools were developed under the headquarters of the Continental Army Command. Women were included into the drill sergeant program in February 1972 when six NCOs from the Women’s Army Corps enrolled in the course at Fort Jackson, S.C. Female drill sergeant graduates proudly wear the distinctive bush hat, developed for women in 1971.

All drill sergeant schools consolidated at Fort Jackson in October 2007, and the new U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School opened in February 2011. Course graduates are assigned duty as a drill sergeant in initial entry training units.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

On May 6, South Carolina, home of the Drill Sergeant School, adopted a resolution to honor and commend drill sergeants for their outstanding service, congratulate the program on its 50th anniversary and declare Sept.10, 2014, as Army Drill Sergeant Recognition Day.

The U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training (USACIMT) is recognizing the vast accomplishments and professionalism of the drill sergeant through a ceremony honoring past, present and future drill sergeants Sept. 12, 2014, at Fort Jackson. The ceremony will be held in conjunction with the Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY) and Advanced Individual Training Platoon Sergeant of the Year (PSOY) competition. USACIMT will continue to host the annual ceremony every September at Fort Jackson in conjunction with the DSOY/PSOY competition to pay tribute to qualified drill sergeants.

Why is this important to the Army?

Drill Sergeant School can have a profound effect on an NCO’s career. Duty as a drill sergeant is personally and professionally rewarding. A drill sergeant is a symbol of excellence in initial entry training, is an expert in all warrior tasks and battle drills, lives the Army Values, exemplifies the Warrior Ethos, and most importantly, is the epitome of the Army Profession.


Subscribe to STAND-TO! to learn about the U.S. Army initiatives.