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NEWS | Nov. 30, 2015

Drill Sergeant Academy hosts JROTC cadets

By Story by Sgt. 1st Class Brian Hamilton 108th Training Command- Initial Entry Training

The United States Military coined it. The Army’s Drill Sergeant Academy lives it.

It is a motto that truly embodies the spirit of Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines working hand in hand with one another to accomplish a National Security mission in a global fight.

That motto is “one team, one fight” and one group of High School JROTC students from a small school in rural North Carolina experienced it first-hand.

More than 30 cadets from the South Point High School Navy Junior ROTC program recently took a field trip to the United States Army Drill Sergeant Academy located at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Nov. 24, 2015, to not only receive a lesson in citizenship and patriotism but to get a closer look at the many different options available to them should they choose to serve in the Military.

“We are trying to give them choices,” said retired Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Rodney Robinson who now works for the High School as its senior enlisted instructor.

“We try to give them a picture of everything. We don’t necessarily try and guide them into the Navy. We want to give them a positive message of what options are available to them, whether its college or the military,” Robinson added.

Upon their arrival to the Academy grounds, the students were met by a familiar voice immortalized in television and film, the drill sgt., who calmly but firmly instructed them to “get off my bus!”

After the initial shockwave passed and the students collectively departed the bus at a hastened pace, Sgt. 1st Class Eugene Serrano, USADSA drill sgt. leader, conducted a tour of the Academy and talked to them about how business is conducted day to day at the academy and how noncommissioned officers in the Army are transformed into the service’s elite instructor of choice.

“We do this once every couple of months but this was my first tour with the Navy,” Serrano said. “I had to do a little bit of research first because there are some gestures and customs that are a little different from ours, but overall these students get to see that the services are very similar in how we operate.”

During the tour, students got a quick look at the physical fitness facility, dining facility and classrooms where drill sergeant candidates from the Army and Army Reserve spend nine weeks learning how to instruct America’s newest Soldiers in everything from basic rifle marksmanship to the Army values.

“I think the values taught here carry over to the other services and I tried to stress that point to them. I showed them that across the board, in all the services, we treat everyone with respect and dignity. It doesn’t matter who you are, you have great opportunities and can do great things in the military.”

Serrano also says that these types of things help out with recruiting efforts as well.

“Because these guys are still in high school their still very impressionable. I think some of these kids might come here and see what we do and might want to come into the Army now. It’s a win-win for all of us.”

Regardless of your service, be it Air Force or Army, Navy or Marine Corps, learning how each other operates can only strengthen the military’s mission of National Defense and truly solidify the collective motto of “one team, one fight.”