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    Newly restored partnership resumes, U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy and the New York City Fire Department collaborate

    Newly restored partnership resumes, U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy and the New York City Fire Department

    Photo By Gary Loten-Beckford | Drill Instructors and members of the FDNY (New York City Fire Department) with drill...... read more read more



    Story by Gary Loten-Beckford 

    U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training

    JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. (September 8, 2022) – Partnerships come in many forms. In a broad sense, a partnership can be any endeavor undertaken jointly by multiple parties. The parties may be governments, nonprofits enterprises, businesses or private individuals. The goals of a partnership vary, depending on the objectives set by the group of individuals.

    This year the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy and the New York City Fire Department renewed their partnership with the shared goal of sharing best practices in training their new personnel.


    The mission of the U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training (USACIMT) is to provide initial military training and human performance enhancement capabilities to the U.S. Army. As an educational institution, USACIMT trains 160,000 new Soldiers, Officers and Warrant Officers every year.

    Similar to the U.S. Army, the FDNY trains its own emergency response personnel. It is the largest fire department in the United States and is universally recognized as one of the world’s busiest, and most highly skilled emergency response agencies.

    The USADSA-FDNY collaborative relationship was initiated in 2015 under the then USACIMT Commanding General, Maj. Gen. Anthony Funkhouser, and FDNY Fire Chief James Leonard. The relationship continued until 2019 due the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Sharing lessons learned, along with associated tactics, techniques and procedures, is mutually beneficial for the FDNY and USACIMT, as both seek to improve the way in which they transform civilian volunteers into Soldiers or firefighters.


    On Aug. 21, 2022, six FDNY Drill Instructors arrived to Army Training Center, Fort Jackson, S.C. and spent a week embedded with the staff from the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy.

    For the first week FDNY Drill Instructors exchanged information and ideas on training methods, planning considerations for risk mitigation, means for planning and creating a training environment conducive to fostering dignity and respect, establishing common standards, sharing educational course management plans, policies and procedures and collaboration on instructor certification and validation programs.

    The following week, a second group from the FDNY arrived for another week-rotation. This group included five drill Instructors and the Fire Battalion’s Captain. The FDNY Drill Instructors were hand-selected by the Battalion Chief based on professionalism and their ability to provide quality instruction to newly assigned probationary firefighters.

    “We’re definitely encouraging the public to learn more about the American Army,” said Maj. Gen. John D. Kline, the USACIMT Commanding General. “Partnering our efforts with the New York City Fire Department is a way of communicating capabilities of the U.S. Army.”

    FDNY Drill Instructors were able to perform rifle marksmanship with the drill sergeant candidates. Fire Fighter Rafael Fortiz from Ladder Company 10 in Lower Manhattan, successfully qualified. Fortiz is a U.S. Army Reserve noncommissioned officer, assigned to the 1179th Transportation Brigade, Fort Hamilton, NY. Fortiz also served as a U.S. Army Drill Sergeant and Drill Sergeant Leader.

    Fire Fighter First Grade Jamie Rodriguez from Ladder Company 56 in the Bronx, also qualified during rifle marksmanship. Rodriguez, who served in the Marine Corps, said “it’s like riding a bike, there are some things you can’t forget.”

    Capt. Roy J. Cotignola, Executive Officer for Probationary Fire Fighters School of FDNY, has been with the NYPD since 1988. Cotignola along with the FDNY Drill Instructors saw value-added exchange in resuming collaboration with the Drill Sergeant Academy.

    “In the short time of being here (U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy), I see a great amount of systems to implement,” Cotignola said. “Safety considerations especially for the summer months gives me new ideas.”


    The restart of the partnership seeks to improve and enhance individual and collective training ranging from basic to complex. Thinking “outside of the box” allows for a broad perspective for enhancing educational course management plans and policies, updating instructor certification and validation programs, re-evaluating and updating common standards and modify and improve common equipment for military and civilian training, equipment, policies and procedures.

    Above all else the collaboration effort focuses on people and how best to meet and exceed their needs. The Drill Sergeant Academy and the FDNY have people and the People’s First Initiative resonates with the FDNY Drill Instructors.

    “Our culture has to change with the times, using vulgar language in this day and age you’re seen as a dinosaur,” Command Sgt. Maj. Rickey G. Jackson, Commandant of the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy, said.

    Jackson discussed with the FDNY Drill Instructors the importance of changing with the times and, most importantly, effectively communicating, something that Jackson holds his drill sergeant leaders to as well as the drill sergeant candidates attending the Drill Sergeant Academy.

    Jackson shared his philosophy with the drill instructors, the philosophy of the Drill Sergeant Academy is T-E-A-M.

    “The philosophy we exhibit and pass on to each drill sergeant candidate through the drill sergeant leader is the acronym T.E.A.M., T- Treat everyone with dignity and respect, E- Engaged leadership, A- Always learning and developing and M- Mindful communicate,” Jackson said.
    Leadership of the Drill Sergeant Academy is tentatively scheduled to send drill sergeant leaders to New York City later this year for further collaboration.



    Date Taken: 09.08.2022
    Date Posted: 09.08.2022 09:15
    Story ID: 428803
    Hometown: NEW YORK, NY, US
    Hometown: PHILADELPHIA, PA, US

    Web Views: 298
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