FORT MCCOY, WI, UNITED STATES
FORT MCCOY, Wis. – Few people have as profound an influence on a soldier’s life as a drill sergeant. As teachers and mentors, drill sergeants introduce soldiers to the Army way of life and teach the basic skills needed to be successful. Soldiers from the 392nd Expeditionary Signal Battalion received a refresher on those skills from drill sergeants with the 3rd Battalion, 334th Regiment from Milwaukee, Wis. during WAREX-86 at Fort McCoy, Wis.
The drill sergeants assisted with several events during the exercise, including basic marksmanship instruction, obstacle and confidence courses and the battalion run. The years of experience and expertise they bring to the training were exactly what the 392nd ESB battalion commander, Lt. Col. Mark J. Maier, from Beallsville, Md., was looking for.
“This was a great example of creative thinking by the sergeant major, “ said Maier. He reached out to this unit, which is comprised of a bunch of squared away drill sergeants, and invited them out to this training to assist us with marksmanship and other basic soldier tasks. Our unit is part of a combined arms team, and we need to be ready and able to perform in a combat environment, so having the drill sergeants here to help with the training helped us ensure our soldiers are learning to do things the right way.”
For Pfc. Andrew Sickora of Mount Carmel, Pa., who just graduated from basic combat training in October 2012, the presence of the drill sergeants was a little unnerving at first.
“This is the first time I’ve been to the range since basic combat training,” said Sickora. “Having drill sergeants standing over you, even though they weren’t yelling at us made me a little nervous at first, but they really helped with my marksmanship. They walked us through everything, which was great since I haven’t touched a rifle in almost a year.”
For the drill sergeants, conducting the training was not only a chance to keep their instructor skills sharp, it provided the opportunity to demonstrate their unit’s flexibility while motivating the troops.
“In a time of dwindling resources, it’s especially important that we demonstrate our full capabilities,” said Sgt. 1st Class Michael Newby, a drill sergeant from Milwaukee, Wis. “By assisting units with outside training, we are showing that we bring real training expertise to units beyond basic combat training. That makes it easy to show the value we add to the Army team.”
“Let me show you how to properly negotiate this obstacle,” said Newby to a group of 392nd Soldiers on the confidence course. Utilizing only his upper body strength, he climbed to the top of a 20-foot rope, eliciting loud shouts of “hooah” from the soldiers. From senior sergeants to the newest private, there were looks of admiration while watching the drill sergeants lead the way through the course.
It’s really motivating having them out here to train us,” said Spc. Luis Vega, of Reading, Pa. “I was a little intimidated at first, but being out here with them and talking to them as we go through the course helps you to realize that they are regular soldiers - just like us.”
||FORT MCCOY, WI, US
||BEALLSVILLE, MD, US
||MILWAUKEE, WI, US
||MOUNT CARMEL, PA, US
||READING, PA, US
This work, Drill sergeants take 392nd ESB soldiers back to basics, by SSG Lisa Rodriguez Presley, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.