Posted on Jun 21, 2024
SPC July Macias
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MAJ Montgomery Granger
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Wow! What a great question! I am not a former DS, but I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about them! I am prior enlisted, and had the honor and privilege of going through basic training in the fall of 1987 at Ft. Bliss, TX. I had already earned a BS Ed. and MA, and was a licensed teacher, but had loans to repay, so I joined the National Guard to become a Combat Medic. I'll never forget the DS asking how many semesters of college anyone had. He started with "One, raise your hand." My Hand stayed up when he got to seven. The DS team talked with me privately and asked if I could help with guiding the younger, less educated privates. I told them I would. I never got special treatment or consideration, but I was selected for leadership positions within the platoon. In my eyes, my Drill Sergeants were perfect human beings. Flawless men who gave everything they had to make sure we were competent, tough, effective soldiers. To this day I am in awe of them. Was I lucky, or is this indicative of all or most DS? They instilled a sense of pride in personal and team achievement, goal setting, effort, correctness, and so much more. They lived, ate and slept the Army Values: Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal Courage: LDRSHIP. Hooah!
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SPC July Macias
SPC July Macias
1 mo
In my own experience, Basic training Drill Sergeants are incredibly selfless and extremely proficient at their job. I'm extremely thankful the many people volunteer for such a position. Lord knows I'm not good enough for that obligation.
BUT... On the other hand... In 2006, I re-classed to be a medic, and went to AIT. And it was a terrible experience. Drill Sergeants were there to make our lives miserable. I was in the prior service platoon, which included experienced NCO's and Iraq veterans (like myself). We found the DS to be incompetent, and incapable of consistently enforcing their own rules. Every week, they were making up new rules out of the blue just to make us hate being there. The NCO's in my platoon really hated them. We'd get in trouble for breaking rules we didn't know existed.
The Drill Sergeants at Fort Sam Houston broke regulations all the time, and we paid the price for it. Our 1SG was obese, but was adamant about telling male soldiers how we should look, and that we need to do PT. Meanwhile, we'd see him drinking Pepsi for breakfast.
I was an E4, and I knew my regulations and field manuals better than they did. Which I still find perplexing. My BCT Drill Sergeants were rock stars compared to these turds.
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MAJ Montgomery Granger
MAJ Montgomery Granger
1 mo
That's a shame. When I was in 91A10 school at Fort Sam, we had TAC officers (NCOs), not DS. They were tough as far as dress-right-dress, D&C, cleanliness of the barracks, etc., but also showed respect towards us, as we had just graduated from Basic. I came in PFC, but wasn't allowed to wear the rank in Basic, but those of us who had some college or whatever, pinned on in AIT and got a room together (four PFCs, the Big Dogs! LOL!). We ran the troops in the barracks and as long as we ran a tight ship the TACs let us have free time and respected our autonomy. They also let us police ourselves, regarding things like drunken troops, rule breakers, etc. If we could control it, they left us alone. Your experience shows there was little command and control over the rogue NCO/DS. I always knew if things went sideways, one could address the chain of command, or go to the Chaplain or IG or even one's Congressperson back home. Hooah!
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SGM Mikel Dawson
SGM Mikel Dawson
1 mo
As a former DS, what you said is fact. We looked for help to get those through Basic who were not as advanced. You have no idea (or maybe you do) how much that helped us get these civilians educated into soldiers. There was a lot you guys did which really made a difference.
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SFC Domingo M.
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All the Drills, I knew during my stint, knew when to turn it on and when to turn it off. You don't take it home with you, accept the part where you prepare for the next day spit-shined boots and uniforms and the hat press. I found there was no need to dehumanize trainees. We trained them and got them qualified in all their basic soldiering skills by graduation day each and every cycle. I got to shake the parent's hands while being thanked for the job we did because they all wrote home and talked about their training. I always had my qualities which came with me. Job was number one and still is. I had a problem with those in authority telling me what and how to do things and found it better to become my own boss which worked out well after I bought my own truck and leased on to companies and called my own shots.
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MSG Lonnie Averkamp
MSG Lonnie Averkamp
4 d
My last assignment was as a Senior Drill Sergeant. I helped three candidates to the U.S. Military Academies obtain marksmanship qualifications and letters of commendation to go with their submission packets (they were all accepted). Before they left me, I advised them to utilize the skills of their NCO's, and to inform them of the mission and ask them if they can do it. The NCO's will agree, and bust their backs to comply. If you talk down to them and order them around, they will do EXACTLY what you tell them, and if things go badly and the Major asks why, they will Rat you out and tell him how they were exactly following your orders.
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SFC Domingo M.
SFC Domingo M.
4 d
MSG Lonnie Averkamp - Good advice. I had a new 2nd Lt in Germany who had to learn that his NCO's can either make him or break him. We had an annual IG coming up, and the Battalion HQ was having their usual meetings putting out information for the Commanders. Our CO would come back and pass along that information to his PLT LDRS. This meant that our Lt had to call us away from work to pass the information down to us. I assured him twice on different occasions that all was going well. He gave up calling us away from work and only did spot checks. We made him look good on that inspection, and he learned to trust his NCOs. I also informed him that not all situations are the same, and he should inspect what he expects.
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SGM Mikel Dawson
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Edited 1 mo ago
KNIFE HAND!! Plus I retained a very aggressive attitude. I was self employed (farrier). Have had customers tell me at first they were very afraid of me because of my rough voice, attitude, but soon they learned things were good.
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SPC July Macias
SPC July Macias
1 mo
That's surprising for me to read. Every former DS I've met has a very non-aggressive demeanor. It's like they expelled all of their meanness during their DS duty. I was expecting to read about incredible time management skills and ability to read people.
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SGM Mikel Dawson
SGM Mikel Dawson
1 mo
SPC July Macias - Maybe because I was in the Reserve (7th ARCOM, Germany). I was also 11B20 at the time, Infantry guys tend to be a little more aggressive. When our unit got activated I became the V Corps Rear CP, G3, SGM. Some of the people always looked at me as "Reserve", but when activated we were part of V Corps STB. I had to fight for everything for my soldiers. Maybe the fact I had to fight for everything effected me and made me more aggressive. VA sent me to a shrink. These are the literal words the shrink said to me, "You are missing a few marbles in your bag". We both laughed about that.
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SSG Freddie B Graddy
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