Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The top drill sergeants and advanced individual training platoon sergeants in the U.S. are in the midlands for a competition to see who is best in the country. The winner of the grueling competition will have the 2016 title as Drill Sergeant of the year (DSOY) and Advanced Individual Training Platoon Sergeant of the Year (AIT PSOY).
Top Drill Sergeants in the U.S. Compete for Title
US Drill sergeant of the year competition at Fort Jackson
Lana Harris, wltx 8:05 PM. EST September 08, 2016
"We're looking for the ultimate trainer," Sergeant Jacob Miller, the winner of last year's competition. "There are over 40 events that these competitors are graded on."
The competitors do not find out what the event is until they get to the station.
"Once they get to those stations they get 30 seconds to prepare themselves," Miller said.
Every station tests them physically or mentally.
"They're having to perform this under stress as well," Miller said. "They hear the background noise, and it's loud and it's dark."
"It's a very unique way of seeing how diverse in how someone could react," said Daniel Barsi, a competitor stationed at Fort Jackson.
Barsi is the only drill sergeant competitor stationed at Fort Jackson. He says competitions like these help him be a better leader.
"In basic training, we are their first line of leadership that they understand the army," Barsi said. "It shows them that 'yes, your leader can do this,' versus me just barking orders."
Which is a good thing, because Miller says the stakes are not just about winning here. The stakes are our country.
"They are to fight and win our nation's wars," Miller said, "and if we don't train them correctly we won't be able to do that."
The winners will be named at the end of the competition on Friday.
- Sep 30, 2016, 10:08 p.m.
- Sep 30, 2016, 8:41 p.m.
- Sep 30, 2016, 8:21 p.m.