Being an Army Reserve Drill Sergeant is a mission that is both challenging and rewarding. It is an opportunity to transform America’s youth into well-disciplined Soldiers, not only for the U.S. Army, but for our society as well.
They must be experts in all aspects of Basic Combat Training, and be able to successfully mentor new Soldiers who lack knowledge of what is expected of them.
On January 5, 2019, both Echo and Alpha Companies of 2nd Battalion, 389th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 98th Training Division (Initial Entry Training), working with the Syracuse, New York Recruiting Company, had the opportunity and privilege to mentor and train future Soldiers on what they can expect from Basic Combat training. The training took place at the Army Reserve center in Mattydale, NY.
The Drill Sergeants were not only able to coach, mentor and train future Soldiers, but also had the chance to continue to mentor Drill Sergeant Candidates by allowing them to take charge of formations and use a real life mission to put into practice what they have been training on in their Drill Sergeant Candidate Program. The Drill Sergeants continued to mentor the candidates on best practices and techniques to mentor and train recruits before they themselves become Drill Sergeants.
Recruiters from the Syracuse Recruiting Company were able to use this opportunity to help better prepare future Soldiers for what their Drill Sergeants at Basic Combat Training will expect of them and what they can expect their day to day will be like. These opportunities help ease the nerves of many recruits as several of them have no understanding of the Army or Basic Combat Training, and only have the often misguided idea of what a Drill Sergeant will be like from Hollywood movies.
The day started with showing the future Soldiers how to properly conduct Physical Readiness Training by explaining, demonstrating, and then executing.
Immediately following the physical training, future Soldiers experienced a full ‘shark attack,’ which essentially is when a batch of Drill Sergeants shout out numerous instructions to them simultaneously from many directions. This intense moment, intentionally creates stress and confusion that is designed to make the trainees pay attention to detail and learn to deal with their emotions and reactions from anxiety.
After the brief but full emersion into the life of a Private, classes were given to future Soldiers on topics such as map reading, basic rifle marksmanship, Army values, and drill and ceremony. Future Soldiers even got the opportunity to try out their first Meals Ready to Eat.
At the end of the training event, Alpha and Echo Company Drill Sergeants conducted an After Action Review with the future Soldiers with the goal of improving future training events. It was also an opportunity for Drill Sergeants to pass down their knowledge on how to be successful not only in the basic training, but as a Soldier in the United States Army.
The feedback from the future Soldiers at the end of the day was very positive. One of the most echoed improves was to begin with the shark attack as soon as they get off the bus at the Reserve Center.
At the end of training, leadership from all three companies deemed this training to be very successful and beneficial. The companies continue to work together to ensure these types of training events continue in the future. The Syracuse Recruiting Company believes these events carry significant value and have decided to make these events mandatory for all recruiters and future Soldiers to attend.