Why The Army Is Changing How Drill Sergeants Are Trained | Boot Camp | Business Insider

do something you decided to join the Army and you can't pick that back up shut your mouth shut your mouth we're gonna win everything the whole cycle you still stay humble all right span of two years the US Army has completely changed its approach to training new recruits your son had soldiers anymore if you got to use that language to get somebody to do something you are not relevant in our army anymore with which means the way drill sergeants are trained has also changed that's frankly something that we adopted during the Vietnam era it was because we had a drafted Force but the reasons for this recent shift may go beyond adapting to a modern volunteer army [Applause] people don't want to stay and with change comes criticism if there is the belief that the Army is woke and that we are getting softer you couldn't be farther from the truth Insider visited the United States Army drill sergeant academy in Fort Jackson South Carolina to see how drill sergeant training has changed to better prepare the army of tomorrow foreign economy day one of the drill sergeant training begins promptly at zero six hundred with the team building event called The Defender pickup the first task is they're going to run a certain amount of distance and they're going to get to their first values boards how many people call themselves good infield they care about their soldiers right now and we go over each Army value this exercise is a new addition to the drill sergeant Academy it shows candidates how soldiers are now welcome to the Army and it also highlights the core values that drill sergeants are meant to embody let's talk Integrity To be honest be honest give me some more how's that time to being a drill sergeant after grabbing all of their value boards drill sergeant candidates are shown a bunker configuration and given 30 seconds to memorize it they're expected to remember exactly the configuration how high it is whether it's two sandbags High three sandbags High yeah then they have to get inspected by the senior drill side of that platoon as far as you have one tiny tiny infraction so go ahead secure your boards make your way back to the IHG hotel figure out come back and make a correction the final step of the event requires splatoons to stack their value boards which have correctly done reveals the drill sergeant badge and motto once they see that it's kind of the oh hey I'm actually in drill star in school it's here this is real you know what man after working with y'all for the last what a couple of freaking minutes hey y'all gonna be good leaders Y'all Gonna Be Good drill sergeant so I'm not even worried about that the defender pickup is modeled after an exercise called the first 100 yards the day one training competition for new infantry soldiers which replaced the more controversial shark attack we're breaking a lot of habits from the civilian world and nothing better than a little shock to the system to establish that that drill sergeant is in charge okay yelling at a trainee yelling at an individual period they get into defense mode they shut down right those barriers go up and once those barriers go up it's pretty hard to really get to the root cause of situations with a new approach to training in mind future drill sergeants learn the three different methods for training recruits on the command ever you must remain standing at silent with the right foot in the place the these methods give drill sergeants the ability to customize their training instead of a one-size-fits-all approach everybody drives different everybody does something different different ways to skin a cat but here the purpose of of what we're doing here at the Academy is to have a standardized way of effectively training trainees to do something though there's flexibility in how drill sergeants can train new recruits there isn't always flexibility in becoming a drill sergeant in the first place of the 2200 drill sergeant candidates who come through the academy each year on average only 35 percent of them volunteer the remaining 65 percent are D.A selected which means they were nominated by their superiors and assigned a tour as a drill sergeant what went through your mind when you got that I got a bit emotional because I was like oh um I have three kids first thing come to your mind is like the hours my kids are young so I felt like I was going to be taken away from them for a while it wasn't my first choice my husband was deployed I was at home with a kid by myself and working full-time so I thought it was not ideal and I didn't want to do it at first yes 100 it was 100 changed being here has given me a whole new perspective on being a drill sergeant and being in tradoc and training trainees while the Army has to choose more than half of its future drill sergeants it can't choose future soldiers and recruitment especially among gen Z has been on a steady decline according to a 2021 survey from the Department of Defense young people ages 16 to 24 are less inclined to join the military reaching the lowest level since 2007.

and perceptions about military culture may also contribute to low recruitment which is things that people say is happening in the Army and you all are the ambassadors to make change in that rhetoric you all over the next two or three years have an opportunity to change the dynamic [Music] one of the hardest parts of the training for future drill sergeants is relearning the basics 100 150 like basic rifle Marksmanship for many students their army jobs don't require daily rifle usage I am a 68 Delta surgical technician I'm a medic ah so mini drill sergeant candidates have to relearn rifle Basics and how to teach those to recruits and the hardest thing about that is you have to get those bad habits out of your mind though hey well this is how I do it because how you do it you might not be able to communicate that effectively to a trainee so coming back here and having to learn those basic fundamentals the way that you're going to teach them it is a little different from what I was accustomed to back home so it's a new qualification that they're teaching on the trail they have to maintain a 23 or higher not only are they shooting to qualify they have to know how to zero their own weapon they have to know how to analyze shot groups from different individuals hey for some come in you come you humble yourself and you get back to the basics because if you go back to the basis you can't go wrong while the rifle Marksmanship test may have been a breeze for some the Army insists that the changing tone of army boot camp hasn't made it any easier for new recruits I expect you to perform at this particular standard full stop and then allow them to execute at that standard without having to do all the other Antics you're going to have a far better product it doesn't mean that we've relaxed any standards it means there's the same amount of structure and discipline we've always had in army training we just do it in a professional way one two three two one two three in in seven candidates complete their physical Readiness training evaluation candidate Arteaga I will be the pi this morning fall in then to left March your main job is the op tempo of the actual PRT session so your Cadence your count uh things of that nature and you're saying whatever the exercise is you're basically the one to understand without warning the drill sergeant leader will tell the students to switch places and after switching roles the other students will have to pick up exactly where the previous student left off quadruplex your hips to the marching surface what that means you may need to unlock your elbows so you do the other counts fine but then you get to that last one you say one two three you need it one two three oh so that gave you a total of 77 points and I gave you a 85.

Any questions all right so unless you'll hear from you with a week left at the drill sergeant Academy the only thing standing between the students and their graduation is a grueling culminating event unlike other training drills the culminating event is the first event entirely run by the students they plan it they resource it and they execute it entirely on them each Squad of drill sergeant students is put in charge of one of the events and this is where we want them to feel you know we want them to go through the hiccups now of the resourcing piece so that when they get on the trail they they understand that hey things will happen and I had to adjust you know on the Fly there are five events in the culminating training event first event is the battle marching shoot it's basically a stress shoot so they March a certain amount of distance and then once they get to their objective uh which is a range they immediately drop their rucks and get down into their fighting positions and they start engaging their targets following the Battle Martian shoot we have the sticks lanes it down let's go so they run through different Lanes reacting to contact breaking contact things of that nature once they go through that they'll move on to their next task which is the third one which is a mass casualty event or mass cow they'll be marching from one point to another and in between those points they'll receive heavy contact let's go let's get the bird in there the drill star leader candidates who are in charge of the particular Mass Cal event they're going to walk around and say Hey you know you've been hit by IDF your right leg is blown off right and now they're trying to assess you know what is everybody going to do when there is a mass casualty event how are we going to remain calm and control the situation yank it like that following the mass casualty event we have the fit to win which is the obstacle course that they go through all right so today each Squad will run through each obstacle and they will basically do it for time they're good [Music] the goal here is to you know build that camaraderie build that competition so at the end somebody can have bragging rights in the very last event of the culminating training event is the Five Mile Road March and this is huge because this is the first time that they are actually called drill sergeants we pinned the badges on them we congratulate them and we also celebrate in a Little Rock ceremony so it's only fitting that we do a Grog ceremony for all of you representing you'll be coming drill sergeant The Grog ceremony is a tradition that combines an odd mix of liquids creating one unique Punch or grog that drill sergeants all toast and drink oh it gave us wings I have Tapatio to add to the Grog and it represents Duty because light duty it is a little spicy sometimes [Applause] [Music] it's cold [Applause] the final week of training begins with the common dance run a ceremonial exercise where the commandant joins the graduating class one last time nine weeks after joining the academy it is graduation day for 83 new drill sergeants drill sergeants receive their campaign cover and officially begin their tour as the United States Army drill sergeant people they they see the uniform they see the Hat they see um their sons and daughters go off and put on that uniform and we have uh this misconception that that human element has been removed when in fact it's actually the complete opposite I am ready to get started it's going to be the next two maybe three years of my life and I want to make the most of it my nephew just recently joined the army and I get to set the example like I am the standard it's an honor for me the Army needs you to be a very good leader drill star please take care of our soldiers [Music] [Music] do my way