FORT SILL, Okla. (TNN) - We are back with our series on Fort Sill: A Day in the Life. This week, 7News reporter, Hunter McEachern, learned about what it is like to be a drill sergeant on Post.
Senior Drill Sgt. Tamika Wilcox said when people see a drill sergeant, they often just think of the yeller, but she said their role is so much more than that.
“We’re counselors, we’re therapists, we’re father and mother figures for a lot of these kids,” said Senior Drill Sgt. Wilcox, 1-31st Field Artillery Battalion.
The drill sergeants wear their many hats all day long, from before 5 a.m. to sometimes 9 p.m.
“About 4:45 the drill sergeants have a little sync, just to go over what we’re going to do for PT, the day, and then we go upstairs around 0500. They’re toe to line and we check them pretty much if their bays are clean, latrines, make sure the males shaved, all that good stuff,” said Drill Sgt. Belinda Graham, 1-31st Field Artillery Battalion. “Then they head downstairs for formation. We do PRT.”
After their physical readiness training, they work on other skills to prepare them for combat.
“They just finished CCOs and they did hand grenades yesterday,” said Drill Sgt. Carina Hernandez, 1-31st Field Artillery Battalion. “So now they’re focusing on using barriers to shoot and properly moving.”
Tuesday was an exciting day for the trainees, some receiving their dress blues. The drill sergeants supervised on site, making sure they fit the trainees properly.
As the trainees near the end of their basic training, the drill sergeants are happy to report the transformations occurring within them.
“A lot of them have zero confidence and they doubt themselves so much. But me as a drill sergeant, showing them that they can do something and having the patience when they mess up over and over, and when they finally get it right and they shock themselves, I think just the expression on their faces is the most rewarding part,” said Senior Drill Sgt. Wilcox. “Our job is to show them that they can, through different teaching methods that builds their confidence and helps them get over whatever obstacle they’re facing.”
After another successful cycle, they will begin again with a brand new set of trainees.
Join us next week for another A Day in the Life story, where we will give you an inside look into Optical FAB, where soldiers on Fort Sill create glasses for others all across the Army.