Recruiting Their Own

03/04/2019  |  By Chad Guthrie 108th Training Command
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DS Johnson, a member of the Drill Sergeant Recruiting team for the 108th Training Command (IET) speaks to the attendees of the AUSA Warrior Corner on the meaningful opportunities offered to him as a United States Army Reserve Drill Sergeant. Johnson highlighted the need to find and recruit quality NCOs from our existing ranks to meet the challenges of the Drill Sergeant mission and highlighting the need for new avenues of recruitment and retention of quality Soldiers. US Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Lisa M Litchfield)

Army Drill Sergeants train, mentor, and mold the United States’ future warriors, and getting the best qualified, most motivated Drill Sergeants is essential. That is where the 108th Training Command (IET) Army Reserve Drill Sergeant Recruiting Team comes into play.

Based out of the 108th Training Command headquarters, the Recruiting Team is formed of existing Drill Sergeants from across the Divisions, the command career counselor, and several members of the Human Resources section.

There are multiple ways the team ensures they get the best candidate. The team follows leads, shares their stories and contacts Soldiers at transitions points and different events identifying possible interested personnel to share the 108th TC mission with. Then the team works together to conduct phone interviews, background screenings and record reviews ensuring interested Soldiers qualify as candidates.

The requirements to become a Drill Sergeant are straightforward. The Soldier must be an E-4 to E-7, have over three years in service, 90 or above GT score, and not have any physical limitations that would prevent them from performing their duty (PULHES not greater than 111221). They are also screened for any illegal activity in their past.

Staff Sgt. Camille Hoilette has been with the team for three years. “We work hand in hand with career counselors, recruiters and retention personnel all over the world, to find the best candidates,” she said. “One of the biggest issues with our recruiting efforts is making Soldiers aware that becoming a Drill Sergeant is an option in the Army Reserve and not merely an opportunity afforded to Active Duty Soldiers.”

DS Alvarado, a native of Puerto Rico and first female US Army Reserve graduate of the US Army Infantry School, Fort Benning, Georgia, addresses the crowd at the AUSA Warrior Corner on the need for female Drill Sergeants as positive role models in light of gender integration in Combat Arms and the face of today’s changing Army.

US Army Reserve photo by Sgt. 1st Class Lisa M. Litchfield

Getting the word out about US Army Reserve Drill Sergeant opportunities is why the Drill Sergeant Recruiting Team has created new methods to promote the program, such as connecting the team’s social media sites to units around the United States and sending out Drill Sergeant Recruiting Representatives to many different bases.

Sgt. Candice Beebe is one of the Drill Sergeant Reps on this mission. “It’s been an incredible experience, allowing myself to connect to Soldiers all over the world,” she said.

Implementing these programs is already starting to show results. In 2017, the recruiting team approved 165 drill sergeant candidate accessions, and in 2018 that number increased to nearly 250. In the first two months of FY19, the team has already approved 42 accession.

While the Army appreciates quantifiable data and high numbers are often looked at for success, Beebe knows that all of this is more than just numbers. “The greatest thing you can do with Soldiers is to connect with them, leaving them empowered and enabled to their own greatness. When a Soldier becomes a number, we’ve lost them.”

The Recruiting team plans to continue the one-on-one interactions across the force, and will also expand on current programs, adding a few more in the upcoming months. With the increase in Drill Sergeant missions for the 108th Training Command (IET), it is imperative to find qualified and motivated candidates to become the Drill Sergeants ready to train a lethal, capable, and combat ready force.

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