Losing your cool

Our Command Sergeant Major frequently talks to us Drill Sergeants to see how we are doing, check on families, and give up professional advice about certain things.  One of his mentoring points was “a private should never make you so mad that you lose your cool.”  This is coming from a man that recently took […]

Where does the time go?

I first became a parent in April 2010, when my daughter was born.  My whole world changed at the moment I held her.  Now she is almost 4 years old.  She will also start her first sport, soccer, next month.  That was also my first sport.  She is full of energy as most toddlers are.  My wife chose soccer because she figured she could exhaust more energy that way.  It is the best thing to experience for me; watching her grow up, going from baby to toddler.  Time goes by fast and you never even know it. You just sit back and enjoy the time you have with your children while you can, because you know one day they will be grown up into an adult and will be leaving home for college, getting married, etc.  I always tell her to not grow up, and she replies, “ok daddy.”  I am not a moron, I know she will grow up, but this point in her life is the best for me because with her getting into sports its more of an excuse for us to go outside and play, teach her sportsmanship and how to make friends.  Time goes by fast; you blink twice and years not days go by.

Everyone gets a trophy generation

I always hear things in news about how young people are given everything.  Teachers in some schools cannot give zeros on assignments.  Some schools have cancelled awards ceremonies because its not fair for some students to get awards, and others do not get an award.  A football coach and school came under scrutiny because they won a football game and beat their opponent with the 3rd string players 90-0.  These stories specifically are because parents complained.  You may be ok with this and if you are a parent that complains against your child getting an award or something they have not worked for, then ok.  But as for me, this is detrimental to their development and learning the value of hard work.

If children and teenagers are given everything while they grow up; what will happen to them in college or when they start a career.  Some career fields are dog eat dog out there.  People stab you in the back, some people work harder and get promoted up faster than others.  But its not fair to everyone.  Young children and teenagers need to be taught the value of hard work.  They need to be taught that failure is not always bad. “Failure leads to success.”  This is a quote that I like to tell young Soldiers in the Army.  Making mistakes, as long as you learn from them, make you better.  Failure can lead to an increase in motivation, knowledge, hard work, and then the pay off is success.

This trophy generation has started because politicians and leaders, both military and civilian, think that this will help eliminate mental illness and suicides.  This process will make every child feel good as they grow up and they will not become active shooters on a rampage in a shopping mall or commit suicide.  They fail to recognize that all these kids have parents.  Parents should teach their children how to be strong mentally and that there is nothing in life worth taking a life or taking their own life.  We are failing our young society of children and teenagers.  Mom and dad will not always be there to stand up for them, so what happens when they have to fight for themselves?  They will not know how to and be looking for a parent to help out.  It aggravates me because as my daughter grow up, my wife and I want to teach her the hard values of work, making mistakes, learning to be a strong girl and lady.  I fear that our own process of raising her will be interfered by government, schools, and the watching how other children are spoiled.  In fact, this has already happened.  My poor daughter likes to play on playgrounds and other kids are running crazy and pushing other kids or playing in ways they shouldn’t or damaging playground property.  Its ok with their parents, but my wife and I get onto our daughter and tell her no.  She does the “monkey see, monkey do”  is wondering why she is getting in trouble, but no these children.  So we leave the playground because she cannot do what we are telling her and teaching her.  She is only 3 yrs old, so she does not understand.  But my mentality is the sooner we teacher her, the sooner she learns.   Children are a reflection of their parents.  That is how I look at it.  I will continue to raise my daughter the way I want, which is to be  respectable, strong, motivated, hard working, young lady.

Back to a slower life in the Army.

Well as most you know that follow my blog; I am no longer a Drill Sergeant, but I am still in the Army.  I thought being back would be kind of boring, and it was for awhile.  I took on a staff job, aka office job.  It was hard and different to change my pace.  Going from being a Drill Sergeant who is fired up and pissed off all the time; to sitting in a chair all day in front of a computer, watching people put on fake smiles for the big wig Officers, hoping and praying that their efforts of sucking up would get them promoted.  I quit blogging for awhile because I did not think I would have anymore interesting stories, but I do have some stories and opinions to blog about.  So I am back, and happy to see everyone who posts on here.  The stories will not be as funny and entertaining, but the stories will mostly be of military life in the 82nd Airborne Division.  Airborne Army is the best and I am happy to be back in a regular unit. 

Airborne All the Way

It has been awhile since I last posted.  Now that I am not a Drill Sergeant I do not have as many stories to publish, or at least interesting stories as I used to.  Now I am back in the real Army, 82nd Airborne Division, where leadership and moral are better, where things are kept simple, not too stupid.  The great part is the lack of politics.  I am now working in my first staff job.  Working at a desk, with many officers.  I have been known to disrespect officers without any remorse.  Yes I have been in trouble for this before, but it doesn’t stop me from saying that things are stupid when they get stupid.  I have only been in the new unit for a couple of days now, and thus far the leadership is great.  My next journey is preparing and going to jumpmaster school.  I have not jumped out of airplane since 2005, so the nerves will be ramped up to the maximum level when I do jump again.  Right now with the government shut down the jumps were canceled, but now that it has reopened things have to be rescheduled.

English: United States Army 82nd Airborne Divi...

English: United States Army 82nd Airborne Division shoulder sleeve insignia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was shown where my desk would be and was told to look through everything and see what I wanted to keep and throw out.  Its crazy how people in the Army are not organized and leave junk and old paper work just laying around.  I am a neat freak, I love to be organized so I went to making stacks to be shredded and a stack of trash.  Of all the people to come over, without being asked, was a private.  I asked “what do you want guy?”  “Sergeant I am the sort of office bitch, just wondering if you need help?”  So I showed him the stacks and gave him guidance and he took care of the stacks I made.  He kinda redeemed my outlook on privates….kinda.

Well, this is not a very interesting blog, I apologize for that.  I will keep up the post to let everyone know I am still alive.  If interesting stories come about I will post immediately, even stories about the horrible drivers on fort bragg.

Retiring the Drill Sergeant Hat

Today was my last day as a Drill Sergeant. To all my fans who have liked my posts and stories, I am sorry that I started my blog so late in the game. This was a great way to let the public know of my experiences as a Drill Sergeant, and to entertain by the fascinating stories I have published. It was also a good way to vent. This final day I received my award and got to shake the hands and hug fellow Drill Sergeants that helped me be successful while being on the Drill Sergeant trail. One thing I vocalized to my fellow NCOs is that being trouble free and successful was not an individual effort, but a team effort. With all the politics that one has to deal with and changes in rules on a daily basis, one must find resilience and help from others. Someone was always there to say.” Hey, that is enough, go cool off.” Or “I got your back, I agree with what you want to do or say, here is how you can do it.” During my 2 year tenure as a Drill Sergeant I couldn’t have asked for a better Drill Sergeant team, both past and present. These are all very professional NCOs and willing to go the distance to train civilians to be Soldiers.
I volunteered to be a Drill Sergeant, which is not common in the Army. As a squad leader I saw many flaws in Soldiers that I felt I may be able to influence and fix before they got “the line” in the regular Army. Little things such as how to pack a ruck sack properly, or that Army Values and Warrior Ethos are not just words on paper, but principle that Soldiers live by, in hopes that they would apply them and become better people and examples for others to see. What I didn’t fully know or was aware of is the politics involved in this process of putting Soldiers in the Army. I did what I could and trained the way I thought was right to prepare these young Warriors for combat and the real Army.
As a squad leader I got to see Soldiers go from Soldiers to NCOs and in some cases Army officers. It is great to see a Soldier transition and be apart of that; even better, a civilian transition to be a Soldier. I had many parents and family members, even Privates themselves come shake my hand and say “thank you”. At the time I blew it off because all I wanted to do was get rid of them so I could get back to my own life, which is my wife and daughter. Now looking back, that is a moment that some do not get to experience. It has been a pleasure to train Soldiers and help them achieve what most cannot….to be a Soldier in the Army. Not all that join make it through Army Basic Training. I always took graduations lightly, not fully aware of the past and experiences that these Privates may have experienced in order to get to this point. For some, being a Soldier was the best thing that ever happened to them. To be apart of that is a great thing. I look back now and feel proud of what I was able to do. It is great to see a private has gone out of their way to look me up and email me about their progress of Airborne School or Ranger School.
To all my fellow Drill Sergeants that may read this, the tour is long, but when you get to the end it is worth it. You can be proud and know you did something that mattered. For the bloggers that read this, the stories will change, but not stop. I plan to continue to blog about the Airborne and soon, Jumpmaster community. Stay tuned.

Offensive Statements

The Army always sends out updates about new developments in the organization. Updates on training, new standards, new uniforms, etc. In the Training and Doctrine command, that being Basic Combat Training; we are always seeing and hearing new developments and new ideas made by “good idea fairies”. In the basic combat training environment, people are very sensitive. They are not used to be being yelled at or talked down to or degraded verbally. It has been said that we are Drill Sergeants are very offensive in the way we talk to people. We are loud, obnoxious, cocky, and really do not care what other people think of us. We always have many meetings with higher ups, Colonel, Lt. Colonel, Sergeant Majors, etc.; which they discuss how we should loosen up and be nicer and not say offensive things. I get it, don’t call someone a momma’s boy because maybe his mom died, or daddy’s girl maybe her dad died especially in combat serving his country.
The other day the chain of command in my unit told us not to say male and female to the privates. You did not read this wrong, I am serious. It was said not to call male soldiers MALES and female soldiers FEMALES. We are to only call them Soldiers, Trainees, or Warriors. Well, me and my inquiring mind had to ask why? Why can we not call a man a male and a girl or woman a female; that is what they are. There was no answer to this question. I asked the person who did tell me to please filter up this question because I do think it is a fair question and deserves an answer. Same goes with Privates, don’t you dare call them privates because it reminds them they are lower stature and lower in rank and that is not condusive to a motivate them. New Army. This was a few days ago, and the only thing that came back to my question was; the way a Drill Sergeant called a female soldier a female and the Soldier became offended because by the tone of voice the Soldier took it as a dergatory term. So in the politica sense, the best way to overcome this serious incident is to change the terms that we use to address Soldiers now days.
So over the next few days I am going to find an excuse to seperate females and males. I will gather them up and say,”I want trainees here and the other trainees over here, you figure it out.” Then I will become mad because they do not understand and inform them of the new rule of not calling them male and female and become more angry. Then maybe they will be encouraged to commplain about how confusing it is when the Drill Sergeants need to seperate males and females, but cannot addressing them as such. The rules are changing constantly and the polictics are getting worse by the week. I’m very glad I only have just a couple more weeks and I can move on in my career.

Spelling Bee Loser

In my 2 years of being a Drill Sergeant, today I witnessed a very sad act where a private displayed a lack of education.  When a Drill Sergeant has CQ or charge of quarters, the CQ Drill Sergeant is responsible for preparing the privates for sick call.  You verify they have the items they need and fill out the sick call slip properly.  So this morning, no shit there I was getting privates ready for sick call.  I collect the sick call slips and sign them out from the company and verify what their illness or injury may be.  So there was one name that I could not find on our roster, I went out to ask the guy what his name was, I saw his name tag and noticed this re re misspelled his own name.  No, I’m not joking, no I’m not making this up.  I told him he misspelled his name, and told him to correct it.  He then looked at his name tag to respell his name.  I thought this was very sad and I didn’t even make fun of him for it because of how sad I thought it was.  Everyone in the Army has at least a GED/high school diploma, so he is not completely stupid, or is he?  Privates do some crazy things, take things literally, do some stupid stuff sometimes, but this by far is the worst I have witnessed.