Top Army Drill Sergeants Prepare for Competition

The Army's top drill sergeants prepare for the Drill Sergeant of the Year competition

Six of the U.S. Army's best drill sergeants will compete for the title of 2012 Army Drill Sergeant of the Year, June 25-29, at Fort Eustis, Va.

Four competitors from the active component and two competitors from the reserve component will endure physical and mental challenges during the four-day competition, which tests their knowledge of Warrior Tasks and Battle Drills and their ability to teach these tasks to new Soldiers. The selection process concludes with each drill sergeant appearing before a board of command sergeants major to evaluate their knowledge of leadership and drill sergeant training tasks.

Initial Military Training Center of Excellence, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command will host an awards ceremony to announce the winners at 9 a.m., June 29, at Jacobs Theater, 647 Monroe Ave., Fort Eustis.

The active Army Drill Sergeant of the Year receives the Stephen Ailes Award, initiated in 1969 and named for the Secretary of the Army from 1964 to 1965 who was instrumental in originating the first Drill Sergeant School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo. The Army Reserve winner receives the Ralph Haines Jr. Award, named for the commander of the Continental Army Command (forerunner of TRADOC) from 1970 to 1972.

Drill sergeants are the cornerstone of Army readiness, entrusted with the task of preparing new Soldiers to fight and win our nation's wars. The skill of producing quality Soldiers demands that only the Army's best and brightest can serve as drill sergeants. Approximately 2,000 drill sergeants train 160,000 new Soldiers each year.

Drill sergeants are located at four TRADOC installations: Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Fort Jackson, S.C. and Fort Sill, Okla. Reserve component drill sergeants represent training divisions located across the United States.

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