By Deborah P. Williams
108th Training Command (IET) Public Affairs
FORT JACKSON, S.C. – During the Reserve Partnership Counsel (RPC), Master Sgt. Matthew C. Miller, command career counselor, 108th Training Command (IET), kept his audience engaged and asking questions. He focused on the drill sergeant mission by discussing his vision for the recruitment of drill sergeants from the possible 70,000 active component Soldiers reduction in forces.
“My mission is to give them a snapshot of us. What it means to become a drill sergeant or platoon leader,” said Miller. “I want to send out information monthly.”
As a drill sergeant, you can distinguish yourself from your peers while challenging yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Drill sergeants train Soldiers and make a difference in their lives.
Miller needs input from all the command sergeants major by getting them involved in the process and having Sgt. Major Blaine J. Huston, deputy commandant, Drill Sergeant School, Fort Jackson, S.C., talk to EVERY Army Reserve Career Counselor (ARCC)/Reserve Component Career Counselor (RCCC) motivating them to sell drill sergeants.
Discrepancies also need to be advertised so they will not show up on the Request or Retain systems for recruitment.
“Case in point, I was an ARCC at Fort Indiantown Gap, PA for six years. About four years into my assignment I had a high speed female staff sergeant, Staff Sgt. Jessica Akers, come up to me and tell me she wanted to join the Military Police drill sergeant detachment,” said Miller.
Miller told her the closest drill sergeant unit was in Baltimore when in reality there was a detachment drilling in her building every month. Because they were attached to a UIC out of Baltimore, Miller was not aware of it.
“I initiated her 4651-R and she attended drill sergeant school a few months later,” concluded Miller.
“If this information is not put out to the recruiting entities they will NEVER know! The only way they will know that there is a drill sergeant detachment is if we show them and tell them,” said Miller. “So please let me know these things!!”
Miller has good insight into where to head with the drill sergeant initiative.
“A ‘user friendly’ system needs to be developed that will ‘sustain the funnel’ in order to maintain a continuous flow of qualified E-4s thru E-7s that want to be a drill sergeant candidate,” said Miller.
By putting out a user-friendly power point presentation to EVERY ARCC/RCCC telling the 108th Training Command drill sergeant story, being a 108th drill sergeant candidate becomes a viable option.
Producing a “Letter of Acceptance” that can be signed and received by the RCCC, ARCC, ACC, USAR Recruiter and MEPS Guidance in the field within the 15-minute appointment with that potential drill sergeant candidate is essential, concluded Miller.
Miller reached out to the recruiters asking if they have any ideas, to please let him know in order to help improve any prospect or sponsorship aspect of this process.
The Accessions Career Counselors (ACC), which is under Army Reserve Careers Division (ARCD), is going away as of FY 13. MEPS guidance counselors and the local recruiters will be vital to capture the Prior Service (PS) market.
“From experience, there is no better applicant out there than a PS applicant. This is a Soldier that's been sitting at home, went to the mall to talk with a recruiter, and wants nothing more than to be back in uniform,” said Miller. “Typically these would make awesome drill sergeant applicants!”