04/18/2017 | By Capt. Samuel C. Holt and 1st Lt. Jedd R. Cayetano
For some of the brigade’s drill sergeants, they returned to train Soldiers with former battle buddies, for others they bonded with new battle buddies as they forged civilians into Soldiers.
The first rotation of the brigade’s drill sergeants arrived at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Jan. 19, 2017, and began immediately to integrate into the companies they would be augmenting. This year, two to four drill sergeants from 2nd Brigade, 95th TD will augment each Basic Combat Training company of 1-48th IN. The additional drill sergeants allow the six companies of 1-48 IN to conduct effective training and provide an opportunity for Active Duty drill sergeants to temporarily leave for career schools and other Army additional duties that are required without degradation of the training experience for the initial entry Soldiers. The ability of these U.S. Army Reserve drill sergeants to plug into a company regardless of where the unit is in the training cycle allows for smooth transitions for the Soldiers and positively impacts the training quality for new recruits.
In order to mentally and physically prepare Soldiers to successfully meet the requirements of BCT, drill sergeants from 2nd BDE, 95th DIV and 1-48th IN teach new recruits how to properly and safely conduct Physical Readiness Training, as well as instilling discipline through drill and ceremony. The focus for 1-48th IN is changing civilians mentally into Soldiers through the use of daily rituals and tasks in order to provide a positive direction for Soldiers to view upcoming training and review past training performance. Trainees are taught to be resilient and push through adversity using tools provided through Master Resiliency Training. Drill sergeants from 2nd Brigade, 95th TD are in-briefed on the areas of focus for 1-48 IN and are integrated into the units with this perspective on focus to best aid their partner units with accomplishment of the Battalion Commander’s intent.
Leaders Reaction Course. Soldiers of F CO, 1-48th IN conduct training to enhance problems solving skills and demonstrate the importance of teamwork. U.S. Army Reserve photo by SSG Alvinpaul Mendiola
Drill Sergeant Rodney Baxter (E CO, 2-413th, 2nd BDE, 95th DIV) conducted his first cycle as a drill sergeant with this year’s first group of Echo Mission Soldiers. Having completed Drill Sergeant School the end of last summer, Baxter has been eager to get on the trail.
“This is my first time on the trail,” Baxter says. “I was surprised that there were so many companies and so few drill sergeants. When we got assigned to our own company we were welcomed by everyone.”
Baxter said that he loved the opportunity to train and he can’t wait to be back for another rotation.
Discipline and Precision. Drill Sergeants conduct Day 1 PRT and Drill and Ceremony Instruction at F CO, 1-48th, 3rd CHEM BDE on January 24, 2017. U.S. Army Reserve photo by SSG Albinpaul Mendiola
Drill Sergeant Vasiti Muamoholeva, C CO, 2-413th, 2nd BDE, 95th ING Division, is a newer Drill Sergeant and is very excited to be a part of the Echo Mission. Muamoholeva said the integration process was very smooth and the team is very cohesive.
She loves being a drill sergeant and being a part of the Echo Mission. She is one of a few drill sergeants who has volunteered to stay the duration of the Echo Mission rather than just go home after the typical two week rotation.
Muamoholeva is eager to perform the duties of a drill sergeant and always looks forward to being involved with new Soldiers. She loves mentoring and training them and being able to ensure the next generation of Army Soldiers are trained to the highest standard.
Drill Sergeant Ehret, C CO, 3-415th, 2nd BDE, 95th DIV, has been a Drill Sergeant since 2008. This year he is working with Echo Company 1-48th IN.
Attention to detail. U.S. Army Reserve Drill Sergeant, Sgt. Vasiti Muamoholeva (C CO, 2-413 Regt., 2/95th DIV) provides direction, motivation and purpose to the Soldiers of F CO, 1-48th IN, 3rd CHEM BDE on January 24, 2017 as they arrive the first day to their company. U.S. Army Reserve photo by SSG Alvinpaul Mendiola
“Echo, 1-48th IN has been one of the most receptive group of individuals I have ever worked with,” said Ehret. “They are eager to put me to work and open to new ideas and ways of trying things.”
Ehret has also elected to stay more than the normal two week rotation.
Across the Echo Mission the resounding reasons our drill sergeants give for their continuing passion for their duty is the opportunity to rapidly integrate into a new team while establishing positive relationships across the Army and to perform on that new team shaping citizens into Soldiers that will eventually have a profound impact within our Army. Already, Soldiers of this mission are looking forward to next year’s mission.