Leadership: June 28, 2003


For the first time women won both active duty and reserve titles as best drill sergeant of the year. The finals included 15 active duty drill sergeants and eight reservists. Drill sergeants specialize in training army troops, from basic up through advanced and continuing training. Only the most capable NCOs are selected for Drill Sergeant training and duty. The finalists in the competition for Drill Sergeant of the Year had to go up against the others in a physical fitness test, a surprise topic essay; an appearance before a board of five sergeants major; and a teaching demonstration of typical skills they would pass on to soldiers during training (anything from marching to using a particular weapon.) This took three days. Being a Drill Sergeant is a high stress job, and soldiers usually only spend a few years doing it. Female drill sergeants and combat instructors are not uncommon around the world. Israel has found that women make better instructors for tasks like operating a tank or small arms training.


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