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Drill Sergeants competing for Drill Sergeant of the Year at Fort Sill

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FORT SILL, OK (KSWO) - Seven Drill Sergeants at Fort Sill are competing for the prestigious title of "Drill Sergeant of the Year." Since Monday they've been taking on numerous physical tasks including marksmanship, drills and marches. On Thursday their skills were put to the test as they completed several obstacles at the hand grenade practice range.  

The Fort Sill Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition is getting fierce. Today 5 men and 2 women competed in various tasks for the grand title.

One of the task they had to complete was inspecting and throwing  a dry M-69 hand grenade while running to a new location. They also had to assemble and re-assemble a riffle in 4 minutes.

"You can tell it's taken a toll on their body, they are moving a lot with their rucksack so definitely a grueling experience for them" Sergeant First Class James Calfa said.

Sergeant First Class James Calfa won the Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition last year and remembers being in the competitors shoes. This year his advice to the drill sergeants is simple.

"Just too keep their heart in it. They've all given it a 110 percent the entire time," Calfa said.

The Drill Sergeants also practiced with an AT-4 tank weapon going through several steps in case there was a miss fire. Drill Sergeant First Class Timothy Barnhouse said the task is very challenging.

"It's been a while since I've seen one of those and just jogging the memory on that and getting that back but I feel like I worked it pretty well," Barnhouse said.

Barnhouse and his competitors have been working hard since Tuesday waking up at 4 in the morning powering through physical training, multiple task and a combat course.

"These were long days your always going to have tough days, but when it gets tough just keep driving forward, that's why we are the best Army in the world we just keep driving forward," Barnhouse said.

The Drill Sergeants had to complete all five task, plus take a written test. Calfa said he couldn't be more proud.

"They've driven on every single task whether they've done good or bad..in different and i just want to thank them for being the Drill Sergeants that they are," Calfa said.

The Drill Sergeants will also compete tomorrow.The winner will be announced next Friday. The Fort Sill Drill Sergeant of the Year will go on to compete against the top drill sergeants from other basic training installations in the Training and Doctrine Command Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition, held at Fort Sill later this year.

Copyright 2018 KSWO. All rights reserved.

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