News: R&R soldier is first female drill instructor for Florida Army National Guard
Story by Staff Sgt. Carmen Fleischmann
STARKE, Fla. – Five years after the National Guard was authorized drill instructor specialties, the Florida National Guard added another first, by having the first female drill sergeant in the state’s history.
Army Staff Sgt. Danielle Gorie works full-time for the FLARNG’s Recruitment and Retention as the advertising and marketing NCO, but she recently took on a more challenging role as drill instructor.
“I wanted to set myself apart,” said Gorie who responded quickly to a request for volunteers to attend drill sergeant school. “I love training troops, and now I can in a drill instructor capacity. It’s all about mentoring soldiers and that’s something that I greatly enjoy.”
In order to receive the drill sergeant specialty, Gorie and other candidates from various units across the country endured nine grueling weeks of drill instructor training at Fort Jackson, S.C. Out of 60 class members that made it through only eight were female.
“It was basic training all over again,” said Gorie, crediting the course as the most difficult challenge she has faced in her entire military career. “If you failed a test, you retook it the next morning. If you failed again, you went home.”
In addition to obtaining the drill sergeant specialty, she also gained various certifications, such as combat life saver and combatives instructor during the course.
After completing the training, Gorie now is responsible for training prior service and initial recruits awaiting Officer Candidate School as part of the Officer Recruit Sustainment Program (RSP-O).
“Having a drill sergeant as part of our RSP-O program helps by teaching them basic soldier skills like drill and ceremonies and physical training prior to attending Basic Combat Training (BCT),” said Army Capt. Enrique Martinez Jr., officer strength manager. “It also helps minimize the "shock" factor upon the Warriors’ arrival at their first course.”
Since its creation, soldiers that attended the RSP program prior to basic training have consistently out-shown their peers even beyond boot camp. Since the majority of Gorie’s soldiers are prior service, and all of them hold degrees, she expects no less from them.
“I hold them to a higher standard than I would ordinary privates,” said Gorie. “They’re all adults and capable of having responsibilities even at this new soldier level.”
The Florida Army National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program prepares Army National Guard Warriors for the successful completion of BCT and subsequent specialty qualification.
The RSP indoctrinates Army National Guard warriors with the skills required to successfully return to their units fit, trained and ready to deploy in support of the ARNG mission by ensuring all soldiers are mentally prepared, administratively correct and physically fit.
This work, R&R soldier is first female drill instructor for Florida Army National Guard, by SSG Carmen Fleischmann, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.