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Female Drill Sergeants

Tuesday December 2, 2014

What is it?

U.S. Army’s Female Drill Sergeants have trained Soldiers for over 40 years. The first six female students to complete drill sergeant school began training Soldiers in 1972, after receiving permission to be included in the drill sergeant program by the Army chief of staff. These first females were graduates from the Women’s Army Corps and stationed at Fort McClellan, Alabama.

Drill sergeants, as part of U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, are responsible for coaching, counseling and mentoring thousands of trainees as they transform from civilians to a combat-ready Soldiers. Noncommissioned officers who graduate from the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant School are consummate professionals and the epitome of Soldiers.

What has the Army done?

Female drill sergeants were responsible for training women in gender-segregated units after the elimination of the Women’s Army Corps in 1978. Since 1994, when Basic Combat Training became gender-integrated , female drill sergeants have assisted in the transition and now train male and female Soldiers at Fort Jackson, Fort Leonard Wood and Fort Sill. Both active and reserve component female drill sergeants are actively involved in initial entry training and instilling the Army Values to all new recruits.

Female drill sergeants in the Army Reserve (USAR) are part of the “Echo” Companies, which provide augmentation to each of the gender-integrated training sites or perform their duties in support of the many USAR missions that require drill sergeant capabilities.

What does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army has opened more than 55,000 positions previously closed to female Soldiers since May 2012 in the active Army, Reserve and the National Guard. As more positions are opened for female Soldiers to serve, there will be an increase in demand for female drill sergeants. Currently, there are more than 450 female drill sergeants serving on active duty at each of the four Army training centers and more than150 serving in USAR units in 44 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. Authorizations will increase in fiscal year 2015, providing more opportunities for female NCOs to serve as drill sergeants.

Why is this important to the Army?

Female drill sergeants symbolize the strength and diversity of the Army and the nation. They serve to train the current generation of Soldiers and inspire the next generation of leaders. Duty as a drill sergeant is personally and professionally rewarding. Becoming a drill sergeant exemplifies a commitment to be a mentor and role model for Soldiers as part of the cornerstone of the Army Profession. Both the active Army and USAR have vacancies for female drill sergeants for interested volunteers.


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