Fort Jackson, S.C. — Five drill sergeants from Delta Company, 4th Battalion, 323rd Infantry, 1st Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), arrived at Fort Jackson, S.C. to conduct a week long, predeployment site survey with Active Duty Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment. The purpose of the survey was to familiarize the Army Reserve drill sergeants with the requirements to execute their upcoming Echo Mission, which includes Reserve drill sergeants assisting in the basic training of recruits during the summer surge. This PDSS incorporated various topics such as an installation orientation, proper uniform wear, and a meet and greet between the Army Reserve drill sergeants of the 4-323rd and the Active Duty drill sergeants of the 2-13th.
On day one, the Reserve drill sergeants received hearty welcomes from the 2-13th Commander and Command Sergeant Major, Lt. Col. Christopher Altavilla and Command Sgt. Maj. Norman L. Fisher. Following last year’s success, the Altavilla shared his excitement to again be hosting this summer’s Army Reserve mission.
Day two began with morning physical fitness training for the new Soldiers and the Reserve drill sergeants from the 4-323rd actively integrated into the training curriculum.
The second half of the day was dedicated to a gas chamber training event. Limited training posed a challenge the drill sergeants from the 2-13th. Their Reserve counterparts were eager to lend a hand though. From the onset of the training, Army Reserve Drill Sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Tammy Mayo of Milton, Florida, immediately stepped-up and assisted in the gas chamber, enabling the 2-13th to qualify the entire company and avoid a training delay.
Based on Mayo’s professionalism, the 2-13th was requested to assist with the next day’s “Victory Tower” event. While the 2-13th was answering the call by assisting Soldiers maneuvering the practice wall, 4-323rd Drill Sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Russell Lewis of Milton, Florida, stated, “events like this allow us Reserve drill sergeants to hone our skills and align with our Active Duty counterparts in preparation for “Red Phase.”
For the remainder of the training, drill sergeants from the 4-323rd fully integrated with their Active Duty counterparts to lead events such as the confidence course and a team development course. In addition, the Reserve drill sergeants completed the Range Safety Officer Course for Fort Jackson to ensure they were current with all post-specific concerns.
“Partnering with our Reserve counterparts allowed us to qualify our entire company through several obstacles and events while emphasizing areas of the “Red Phase” of “Basic Training,” said 1st Sgt. Adam McMurray, first sergeant, Charlie Company, 2-13th.
Bottom line, the PDSS was a beneficial collaboration for both units. The Active Duty units maintained their schedule while the Army Reserve drill sergeants sharpened the required gas chamber skills. They also familiarized themselves with the rappel tower procedures and the layout of Fort Jackson. The entire PDSS was valuable and will serve as a proponent for a successful Echo Company, 4-323rd mission this upcoming summer cycle.