Soldiers compete in Drill Sergeant of the Year competition

Soldiers compete in Drill Sergeant of the Year competition
(Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO)
(Source: KSWO)

FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) - Some of Fort Sill's best soldiers tested their limits in the 2017 Drill Sergeant of the Year competition.

On Wednesday, they took on a confidence course that features more than 20 obstacles that challenged them mentally and physically.

Fort Sill has more than 300 drill sergeants, and only nine made it to the four-day competition.

They went through the course one at a time, so they couldn't't tell how they were doing compared to the others..

The most time-consuming obstacle the competitors faced was the "over and under," in which they had to use their arms and legs to snake through an inclined set of wooden beams.

Sgt. James Calfa said it's a tough competition.

"I know everybody is giving a 100%," Calfa said. "So, competition is good, which is always a plus. I love it."

Since it was a timed course they were trying to get through the course as quickly as possible, but they had to make sure they didn't get in too much of a hurry and fall off, especially on the balance beams.

If they did an obstacle incorrectly, fell or skipped an obstacle altogether they'd get time added on by the judge that walked alongside them.

Three months ago, 2016's Drill Sergeant of the Year Dustin Randall started planning the events that his successor would have to excel in.

"It's been kinda difficult because I can't really have anybody else's eyes on it to oversee it and kinda double tap to look for flaws and stuff like that," Randall said. "We kinda try to keep it a secret, therefore, I've been going over it multiple times. It's giving me headaches."

One of the obstacles that proved to be a headache for the competitors was a new one.

Soldiers had to balance on a log and then leap to a log that was about five feet tall. After they got their footing, the competitors then had to jump to the next wooden beam that was about five feet away from where they had to pull themselves up and over a bar.

The quickest time was just over 12 minutes and the slowest time was a little more than 22 minutes.

Doing well at all the events gets them one step closer to being named Drill Sergeant of the Year. Sgt. Calfa said he wants to be the voice for his fellow drill sergeants.

"Take in whatever problems they might have and at the level, I'd be working as a drill sergeant of the year hopefully make an impact on whatever problems they might be having," Calfa said.
No word on what they're doing Thursday because they didn't want them to know what to expect.

They'll pick the winner based off how well they did at all the different events.

The winner will be announced on May 2nd.

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