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NEWS | Aug. 29, 2016

Army Reserve drill sergeants – I’ve got your back

By 1st Lt. Troy Preston 211th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

FORT JACKSON, S.C. - Drill sergeants of the 1st Battalion, 518th Regiment,  98th Training Division, are currently in charge of 214 recruits as they conduct a cycle of basic combat training in support of the Foxtrot Company Mission from Aug. 10 – Oct. 27, 2016 as part of the U.S. Army Reserve.  

     The Foxtrot Company Mission is a combined effort by the active duty army and army reserve drill sergeants to enhance capabilities and exchange experience between the two components. The mission is simple, extra recruits are diverted to form another company and dubbed “Foxtrot Company” due to it being the next unit in the naming scheme. Army Reserve drill sergeants work hand in hand with a select few active duty drill sergeants to maintain continuity as the reserve drill sergeants rotate every phase.

      Currently the drill sergeants of the 1/518 are in what is called red phase, which according to Sgt. 1st Class Jermaine Thompson, a Columbia, S.C. native, is the phase when you really see the transition from civilian to Soldier.  Red phase is the first three weeks of basic training, followed by white phase and finally blue phase.

     The Foxtrot Company Mission has many benefits, according to Staff Sgt. Giovanni Rubio, an active duty drill sergeant that works with the reserve during this mission. Reserve Soldiers get the opportunity to do what they love and keep their skills fresh.  The active side gets support and the ability to take a little time off when needed.  Sgt. Larry Davis, a Greenville, S.C., native and reserve drill sergeant, says, “If I can come down on my time and get on orders and help the active duty drill sergeants out, give them some time off to see his kids … that’s what it’s about.”

      During the course of the Foxtrot Company Mission, the Soldiers being trained have no idea if their drill sergeant is a Reserve Soldier, active duty or National Guard, and most don’t care.  The quality of the training is all that matters, and to the drill sergeants themselves, that is all they care about as well.

     Regardless of the person under the iconic hat, the goal is still to train Soldiers and have them ready and proficient in their field.  That is one thing that all the drill sergeants have in common.  They are all here because they want to influence the future of the Army and give back to the organization that they love.

     As long as there are Soldiers to train and part time civilians that step up to wear the uniform, there will be drill sergeants in the U.S. Army Reserve ready and willing to train them.