From the 104th Command Sergeant Major


The 104th Training Division is excited and pleased to once again, recruit, develop and train Drill Sergeants for the US Army Reserve!

Every Soldier in the United States Army was trained by a Drill Sergeant.  We will always remember how we started our military career with Drill Sergeants in our faces yelling commands.  At the time, we didn’t realize they were preparing us for purpose and leadership.  As days and years go by, we are still proud to talk about the impact Drill Sergeants had in our lives.  We were not trained to be ordinary, but extraordinary Soldiers.  We were setup to succeed because we are destined for greatness.

Drill Sergeants Creed, “I will lead by example.”  They bring out the best and worst in us, so we may live up to our full potential.  As hard core as Drill Sergeants may seem, they truly have the Soldiers best interest at heart.  They help each of us find the “Soldier” within, they lead and we follow.

Staff Sgt. Leischner instructing Drill Sergeant candidates during the 104th Division’s launch of the Drill Sergeant Candidate Mentorship Program (DSCMP) at the Division headquarters at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.


There are no words to describe all the sacrifices Drill Sergeants make.  They work long hours and spend a great deal of time away from their families to train Soldiers to become future leaders.  They develop Officers that will lead our Soldiers into battle.   

We must assist ARCD and RCCC to find motivated and honorable Soldiers to become Drill Sergeants and fill our ranks.  This will be a challenge for us because this is a new generation.  We must be prepared to win and see this battle through.  I can only think about the history of the 104th and how MG Terry Allen won the battle by attacking at night with bayonet and grenades.  He defeated the Germans by creative thinking and boldness.  We must do the same to recruit new Drill Sergeants for the 104th.  We must recruit with passion, understanding and most of all respect.

Currently the 104th training Division units cover the map of the United States from coast to coast and its missions vary and continue to evolve with the changing needs of the Army. Our most recent change has been the reinstitution of the Drill Sergeant Program.  As the 104th Division prepares to bring Drill Sergeants back into their training program, MSG Kristen Chapa, who is leading the program, interacts with potential candidates from the 104th Training Support Battalion and other units about joining the Drill Sergeant Candidate Mentorship Program (DSCMP). Currently the program is run by Drill Sergeant Dennis Leischner who is responsible for preparing candidates to attend the United States Army Drill Sergeant School in Fort Jackson, SC.  SSG Natalia Laughlin is the first female candidate under the new program and is currently preparing for Drill Sergeant School.  The 104th Drill Sergeant Candidate Mentorship Program launched with its first session on 20 April with 15 interested Service Members in attendance.  SGM James Blackhart, the Division G3 Sergeant Major, has been working diligently researching, guiding, strategizing and developing the foundation of our Drill Sergeant Candidate Mentorship Program.

Command Sgt. Maj. Peter Trotter (104th Division CSM) and Command Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Kraus (USACC CSM) exchange a handshake prior to addressing Drill Sergeants of the 2nd BN 397th REGT in preparation for the Cadet Summer Training.


CSM Kraus (Cadet Command CSM) and myself, in preparation for the upcoming 2017 CST mission, brought Drill Sergeants together to stress the importance of their role for this great mission.  Without Drill Sergeants, this mission could not be accomplished.  The 104th Division (LT) looks forward to working with Cadet Command this year.  We will successfully recruit highly qualified, motivated, elite Drill Sergeants for the 104th.

Sgt. Maj. James Blackhart, 104th Division G3 SGM, talks to potential Drill Sergeant candidates.


BG Guthrie and I, likewise, are using innovative thinking to tackle the current training challenges that the division encounters as we rise to meet the ever-increasing demands and challenges of our Army’s training requirements with the purpose of training the best of the Army’s leaders.  The Drill Sergeant Candidate Mentorship Program has the potential to produce the best of the best drill sergeants while reducing unnecessary waste of efforts and resources by adequate screening and preparation of each candidate for the rigorous task of preparing the best leaders our modern army has ever known.

The 104th Division will always take pride in what we do, This We’ll Defend and most of all, we will train.  HOOOOAH!




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