Drill Sergeant of the Year – Best Warrior More than a Competition

‘Iron sharpens iron as does one Soldier sharpen another.’


I could not be prouder of the Soldiers and NCOs of the 108th Training Command (IET) for the unprecedented performance in the 2020 Drill Sergeant of the Year (DSOY) and Best Warrior Competitions (BWC). 

The 2020 108th TC (IET) DSOY, DS Shane Price, won the 1SG Tobias Meister high Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT) Award; and the Soldier and NCO of the year, Spec. Stanley Thompson and Staff Sgt. Benjamin Latham, won the titles of United States Army Reserve Command (USARC) Soldier and NCO of the Year respectively. 

The 108th TC (IET) enjoys an outstanding reputation of winning at various levels, across the force, over the years.

The DSOY/BWC are more than competitions! What does it mean “more than a competition”? I’ve been asked what makes a good DSOY/BWC program. It is simple, from a leadership philosophy perspective. The DSOY/BWC are leader development programs that focus on individual Soldier readiness and excellence. Soldiers compete against themselves and each other. They sharpen each other, they drive, push, motivate and make each other better Soldiers and better leaders.

Elements of a healthy BWC/DSOY Program:

Evaluate Talent

Squad Leaders/First Sergeants identify potential future leaders in our Army. Encourage Soldier engagement, provide Purpose Direction and Motivation (PDM) for Soldier excellence (prevent the last minute “hey you”).

NCO Plan, Lead and Execute

DSOY/BWC competitions are NCO driven events that focus on the individual Soldier readiness and leader development. NCOs utilize the operations process, plan, prepare, execute, and assess all phases of the DSOY/BWC competitions.

Focus on Excellence

Competition is about the “Band of Excellence.” Soldiers thrive to exceed established Army Standards, focus on professional excellence.

Integrated into unit Yearly Training Calendar and Resourced Accordingly

Key training events such as Marksmanship, ACFT, Inspections, Road Marches, Land Navigation, Expert Soldier Badge (ESB), Appearance Boards etc. need to be scheduled ahead of time. Scheduling training events are critical and should be based on the next level completion dates.

Commander Supported

DSOY/BWC are planned, led and executed by NCOs, however, the chances of the program being successful and in the “elite” category is dependent on support of the unit commander at echelon.

As I mentioned at the start, it is my honor and privilege to be the senior NCO of the 108th TC (IET), an organization that is laser focused on the “Band of Excellence”!

First in Training Griffon 7


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