12/05/2011 | By Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence Wiggins 108th Training Command (IET) G7
Sgt. Jonathan Roy, 1st Battalion, 304th Regiment, 98th Training Division (IET), was identified as the last Distinguished Honor Graduate at the USAR Drill Sgt. School at Fort Jackson, S.C, after 33 years of operation. Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Lawrence Wiggins, 108th Training Command (IET) G7.
FORT JACKSON, S.C. — After 33 years of operation, the United States Army Reserve Drill Sergeant School, 108th Training Command (IET), graduated its last class of 60 drill sergeants on Sept. 24. Both components will now be consolidated at the US Army Drill Sergeant School located at Ft. Jackson.
The post movie theater was filled with families, leadership and fellow Soldiers eager to see Class 005-11 (Option 5) graduate. Among the 60 graduates, three Soldiers stood out among the rest, graduating with top honors.
Sgt. Jonathan Roy, 1st Battalion, 304th Regiment, 98th Training Division (IET), was identified as the Distinguished Honor Graduate for Class 005-11 (Option 5).
Roy was recognized as displaying the highest standards in academic achievement as well as his outstanding performance on the Army Physical Fitness Test.
Long and demanding hours of training and perfecting modules can be quite a challenge for any Soldier, but the native of Frenchville, Maine said that becoming a drill sergeant was his goal because he wanted to inspire Soldiers.
“I didn’t get much sleep, and the hardest part of drill sergeant school was time management”, he said.
Nine new drill sergeants from 4th Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET) are ready to hit the trail. (L to R) Cpl. Joshua D. Colson, 1st Bn, 301st Regt; Sgt. Kristopher Beralo, 3rd Bn, 385th Regt; Staff Sgt. Christopher Carvalho, 2nd Bn, 417th Regt; Staff Sgt. David Rose, 1st Bn, 390th Regt; Sergeant Vincent Mederos, 2nd Bn, 417th Regt; Sgt. J. Rourke, 2nd Bn, 417th Regt; Sgt. Shawn Garrett, 2nd Bn, 417th Regt; Sgt. Rasmey Enn, 1st Bn, 304th Regt; and Sgt. Fransisco DeJesus, 3rd Bn, 385th Regt. Each Drill Sergeant was presented with a 98th Division, 4th Brigade Command Team Coin.
Photo by 1st Lt. Dan Maher, 4th Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET).
Roy said he is eager to train Soldiers in Basic Combat Training (BCT) and feels the toughest challenge about being an effective drill sergeant is trying to relate to all his Soldiers – finding his method.
He added, “to be effective you have to provide training and repetition.”
Sgt. 1st Class Jeffrey Dayton was named the Honor Graduate for Class 005-11 (Option 5).
Dayton, a drill sergeant with 1st Battalion, 329h Regiment, 95th Training Division (IET), excelled in the academics of the course earning him a plaque and an Army Commendation Medal.
“The hardest part was learning the modules and assisting others”, said the 31-year-old. He promised to carry forward the high standards that the drill sergeant leaders exhibited throughout the course.
He praised his drill sergeant leaders as being the most professional non-commissioned officers, and if he could give one piece of advice to Soldiers entering Basic Combat Training he would say, “mentally prepare yourself for the challenge.”
Staff Sgt. Maribel Martinez 2nd Battalion, 321st Regiment, 98th Training Division (IET), secured the coveted Sgt. 1st Class Randall Embry Award, which is given to the Soldier who displays the highest standards of leadership, discipline, motivation and esprit de corps.
Martinez was excited about finally graduating and said the reason she wanted to become a Drill Sergeant was, “to make a difference in Soldiers lives.”
She knew that time management would be a challenge in school but says her battle buddies helped her with that portion of the course.
Martinez remembered her drill sergeants from basic training and how they always encouraged her to do her best and she promises to do the same thing for Soldiers under her care.
“Soldiers will work hard if they know that you believe in them”, she said.
The cadre was not disappointed with the performance of their final alumni, who achieved a class average of 278 on the Army Physical Fitness Test, with nineteen of the sixty earning the Army Physical Fitness Badge and averaged thirty-four in Basic Rifle Marksmanship.
1st Lt. Dan Maher, 4th Brigade, 98th Training Division (IET), contributed to this story.