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A drill instructor is a
non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a commission Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration), a form of payment to an agent for services rendered ** Commi ...
in the
armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments, Society, societies, or pa ...
,
fire department A fire department (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United Sta ...

fire department
, or
police forces The police are a Law enforcement organization, constituted body of Law enforcement officer, persons empowered by a State (polity), state, with the aim to law enforcement, enforce the law, to ensure the safety, health and possessions of citize ...
with specific duties that vary by country.
Foot drill Foot drill is a part of the training Training is teaching, or developing in oneself or others, any s and or that relate to specific . Training has specific goals of improving one's , capacity, and . It forms the core of s and provides t ...
,
military step Military step or march is a regular, ordered and synchronized walking of military formations. History The steady, regular marching step was a marked feature of Roman legions. Vegetius, the author of the only surviving treatise on the Roman Empi ...
, and
marching Marching refers to the organized, uniformed, steady walking Walking (also known as ambulation) is one of the main gait Gait is the pattern of Motion (physics), movement of the limb (anatomy), limbs of animals, including Gait (human), humans ...

marching
are typically taught by drill instructors.


Australia


Australian Army

In the
Australian Army The Australian Army is the military land force of Australia. Formed in 1901, as the Commonwealth Military Forces, through the amalgamation of the Colonial forces of Australia, Australian colonial forces following Federation of Australia, federat ...
, the staff responsible for training recruits are known as Recruit Instructors. They teach recruits discipline, fieldcraft, marksmanship, service knowledge and drill. Each recruit platoon is commanded by Recruit Instructors usually consisting of a
Lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, i ...

Lieutenant
, a
Sergeant Sergeant ( ; abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; ...

Sergeant
and up to four instructors of the
Corporal Corporal is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense armed conflict between State (polity), states, governments ...

Corporal
or
Bombardier Bombardier may refer to: Armed forces * Bombardier (rank), rank equivalent to corporal used in some artillery corps * Bombardier (aircrew), crew member on a bomber aircraft * Artillery crewman, archaically Businesses * Bombardier Inc., a company ...
rank. A Recruit Instructor can be identified by a 1st Recruit Training Battalion colour patch on his or her
slouch hat A slouch hat is a wide-brimmed felt Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool Wool is the textile fiber obtained from sheep and oth ...
and a small Recruit Instructor badge worn on the right breast pocket, if the position has been held long enough. Members from all Corps in the Army are eligible to become Recruit Instructors, including females. Experience as a Recruit Instructor is often a prerequisite to senior non-commissioned appointments in the military.


Royal Australian Navy

In the
Royal Australian Navy The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) is the principal naval force A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riveri ...
, there are Instructors at HMAS Cerberus, where the Recruit School course is held, and
HMAS Creswell The Royal Australian Naval College (RANC), commonly known as HMAS Creswell, is the naval academy of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) that consists of the RAN School of Survivability and Ship's Safety, Kalkara Flight, the Beecroft Weapons Range and ...
, where the NEOC (New Entry Officer Course) is held, as well as at
ADFA The Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) is a tri-service military Academy that provides military and tertiary education in Australia , academic education for junior officers of the Australian Defence Force in the Royal Australian Navy (RA ...
. Each division is made up of one of the following: * Divisional Officer (a
Lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, i ...

Lieutenant
) * Divisional
Chief Petty Officer A chief petty officer is a senior non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a Commission (document), commission. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by p ...
* Divisional
Petty Officer A Petty Officer (PO) is a non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a Commission (document), commission. Non-commissioned officers usually earn their position of authority by promotion ...

Petty Officer
* Divisional Junior Sailor (a
Leading Seaman #REDIRECT Leading seaman#REDIRECT Leading seaman Leading seaman is a junior non-commissioned member, non-commissioned rank or rate in navy, navies, particularly those of the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth. When it is used by NATO nations, ...
, who is the class instructor) * Divisional Able Seaman (some large divisions may have a few Able Seaman serving as Assistant Instructors)


Australian Federal Police

In the
Australian Federal Police The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is the national and principal Federal police, federal law enforcement agency of the Australian Government with the unique role of investigating Crime in Australia, crime and protecting the national security ...
, Drill Instructors are trained and accredited by the Recognition and Ceremonial team. Each accredited Drill Instructor wears an AFP pin with the wording "DI" positioned 5mm above their name plate or citations. Drill Instructors are also issued with a black coloured Hellweg brand leather basket weave
Sam Browne belt The Sam Browne belt is a wide belt, usually leather, supported by a narrower strap passing diagonally over the right shoulder (although Royal Canadian Mounted Police non-commissioned members wear theirs over the left shoulder). It is most often a p ...
and strap. The AFP is the only police agency to formally train and accredit police drill instructors in Australia, with a number of
New South Wales Police Force The New South Wales Police Force (NSW Police Force; previously the New South Wales Police Service and New South Wales Police) is the primary law enforcement agency A law enforcement agency (LEA), in , is any responsible for the of the s. Ou ...
members attached to the NSW Police College holding that qualification. The Australian Federal Police College at Barton has a non-commissioned officer of sergeant rank holding the position of College Sergeant. The College Sergeant carries a black
pace stick A pace stick is a long stick usually carried by warrant officer Warrant officer (WO) is a rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking, such as: L ...
as a badge of office at ceremonial functions and a swagger stick during normal duties.


New South Wales Police Force

The
New South Wales Police Force The New South Wales Police Force (NSW Police Force; previously the New South Wales Police Service and New South Wales Police) is the primary law enforcement agency A law enforcement agency (LEA), in , is any responsible for the of the s. Ou ...
has a Drill Sergeant and a Drill Constable attached to the NSW Police College at Goulburn. Drill staff are responsible for training recruits in drill. These personnel wear a blue
cord Cord or CORD may refer to: * Cord (unit), a unit of measurement for firewood and pulpwood used in North America * Electrical cable, in electronics ** Extension cord ** Power cord * String (structure) made of multiple strands twisted together or ** t ...

cord
to signify being a protocol officer. The Senior Protocol Officer (formally known as Protocol and Discipline Officer) which carries the rank of Senior Sergeant is responsible for the coordination of the final week of drill, known as Attestation Week and holds the position of Parade Sergeant at all Attestation Parades. The Senior Protocol officer is responsible for dress, bearing and discipline and also is the guardian of NSWPF history, customs, traditions and symbols at the NSW Police College. The Senior Protocol Officer carries a black pace stick with silver fittings and wears a black coloured Hellweg Brand Sam Browne belt with strap as a badge of office.


Western Australia Police

The Western Australian Police Force has a Drill Sergeant of the rank of sergeant who trains recruits in drill, discipline and other matters. He is also the recruit training manager responsible for overseeing the recruits training, ceremonial graduations, police funerals and other events. He meets regularly with academy executive and is responsible for removing recruits who fail parts of the course. The sergeant carries a pace stick as a badge of office during parades.


United Kingdom


British Army

In the
British Army The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' us ...
, the appointment of Drill Sergeant (DSgt) is limited to the five Foot Guards regiments, the
Honourable Artillery Company The Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) was incorporated by royal charter A royal charter is a formal grant issued by a monarch under royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, rec ...
(HAC), Infantry Training Centre Catterick,
London District London District (LONDIST) is the name given by the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. , the British Army comprises 80,040 regular full-time pe ...
, and the All-Arms Drill Wing (part of the Army School of Ceremonial, Catterick). Drill Sergeants hold the rank of
Warrant Officer Warrant officer (WO) is a rank Rank is the relative position, value, worth, complexity, power, importance, authority, level, etc. of a person or object within a ranking A ranking is a relationship between a set of items such that, for any two ...

Warrant Officer
Class 2. However, any senior NCO conducting drill can be colloquially referred to as a "drill sergeant". There are two Drill Sergeants per
battalion A battalion is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intend ...

battalion
(one in the HAC) and they have specific responsibilities for all duties, public or battalion (royal duties, barrack duties etc.). They support the Garrison Sergeant Major (GSM) or
Regimental Sergeant Major Regimental sergeant major (RSM) is an appointment that may be held by warrant officers class 1 (WO1) in the British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of the British Armed Forces. ...
(RSM) in the formation, practice and execution of these duties, typically running the duties roster, supervising rehearsals, and undertaking the guard mounts, both royal and barrack. They also deputise for the RSM in disciplinary matters. The London District Drill Sergeant supports the GSM in the supervision of
Trooping the Colour Trooping the Colour is a ceremony performed by regiment A regiment is a military unit Military organization or military organisation is the structuring of the armed force A military, also known collectively as armed force ...

Trooping the Colour
, the
State Opening of Parliament #REDIRECT State Opening of Parliament#REDIRECT State Opening of Parliament The State Opening of Parliament is an event which formally marks the beginning of a session of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Ki ...
, Beating the Retreat and any state visits. He also has responsibility under the GSM for the definition of British Army foot and arms drill. They can be distinguished from other WO2s by their dress. They have the right to wear Sam Browne belts when in No.2 dress and carry swords (never drawn) on ceremonial duties. They are the third most senior Warrant Officers within a regimental structure, after the RSM and the Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (RQMS). The HAC Drill Sergeant is thus the second most senior
Army Reserve A military reserve force is a military organization whose members simultaneously hold military and civilian occupations. These members are not normally kept under arms and their main role is to be available to fight when their military requir ...
soldier in the regiment.


United States

Drill instructors in the
United States armed forces The United States Armed Forces are the Military, military forces of the United States of America. The armed forces consists of six Military branch, service branches: the United States Army, Army, United States Marine Corps, Marine Corps, Uni ...
have different titles in each branch of service. In the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
, they are known as "Military Training Instructors", or MTIs. The
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
uses Marine Corps drill instructors at their Officer Candidate School, but only Chief Petty Officers and Petty Officers (1st or 2nd Class) are called "Recruit Division Commanders", or RDCs at their recruit training. Within the
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
, drill instructors are given the title of "Drill Sergeant". The
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
gives the title of "Company Commander" to their drill instructors. The
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the na ...
is the only branch of the U.S. armed forces where drill instructors are titled as "drill instructors", although the Marines were the first to call them Drill Sergeants but in 1971 changed to instructors. Drill instructors are referred to as "sir" or "ma'am" by recruits within the
USAF The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services. Initially formed as a ...

USAF
,
USMC The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the na ...
, and
USCG The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Marit ...
(for the first few weeks of basic training, until recruits are instructed to refer to their company commanders by their proper rank). Within the USN, recruits must refer to their RDCs by their proper ranks. Recruits in the United States Army must refer to their drill sergeants as "drill sergeant". The instruction and indoctrination given by the drill instructors of the various U.S. military branches includes instruction in customs and practices of military life, physical fitness, instruction in the proper execution of
military drill A drill A drill is a tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tool A stone tool ...
, instilling discipline and willingness to immediately obey all lawful orders given by superiors, and oftentimes, basic armed and unarmed combat training. Drill instructors are held responsible for the welfare, behavior, and military education of the recruits assigned to them on a 24-hour basis throughout the period of initial training, of which the most well known is Basic Training or boot camp. Their responsibilities include areas such as
military discipline Military justice (also military law) is the legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of ...
,
physical fitness Physical fitness is a state of health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity".World Health Organiza ...
, and weapons training. The title of Drill Instructor is a billet independent of rank, to be held by non-commissioned officers who successfully complete the intense training program to earn that title. The rank held by drill instructors varies by branch: *''Drill Sergeants'' in the
United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable over geologic time frames) and consists ma ...
are Sergeants (E-5),
Staff Sergeant Staff sergeant is a Military rank, rank of non-commissioned officer used in the armed forces of many countries. It is also a police rank in some police services. History of title In origin, certain senior sergeants were assigned to administr ...

Staff Sergeant
s (E-6), Sergeants First Class (E-7), and rarely
Master Sergeant A master sergeant is the military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items ...
s (E-8). *''Drill Instructors'' in the
United States Marine Corps The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is the maritime land force service branch Military branch (also service branch or armed service) is according to common standard the subdivision of the na ...
normally hold the rank of
Sergeant Sergeant ( ; abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full version of the word or phrase; ...

Sergeant
(E-5) through
Gunnery Sergeant Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) is the seventh enlisted rank An enlisted rank (also known as an enlisted grade or enlisted rate) is in some armed services, any rank below that of a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer. The term can be inclusi ...
(E-7). Corporals (E-4) are no longer authorized to attend Drill Instructor School and therefore are not authorized to hold the billet of a Drill Instructor. Successful completion of Drill Instructor School grants the Marine an additional MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) designation of 0911, Drill Instructor. *''Recruit Division Commanders'' (formerly ''Company Commanders'') in the
United States Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label = Colors , march = "Anchors Aweigh" , mascot = , equipment = List of equipment of the United St ...
are
Petty Officer Second Class Petty officer second class is the fifth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label ...
(E-5) through
Master Chief Petty Officer U.S. Coast Guardmaster chief petty officercollar device U.S. Coast Guardmaster chief petty officersleeve rating insignia United States Navymaster chief petty officer collar insignia United States Navymaster chief petty officer shoulder ...
(E-9). *''Military Training Instructors'' in the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
are generally Staff Sergeants with 2 years time in grade (E-5) through
Master Sergeant A master sergeant is the military rank Military ranks are a system of hierarchical A hierarchy (from the Greek: , from , 'president of sacred rites') is an arrangement of items (objects, names, values, categories, etc.) in which the items ...
s (E-7). *''Company Commanders'' in the
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
are
Petty Officer Second Class Petty officer second class is the fifth enlisted rank in the U.S. Navy ), (unofficial)."''Non sibi sed patriae''" ( en, "Not for self but for country") (unofficial). , colors = Blue and gold  , colors_label ...
(E-5) through
Master Chief Petty Officer U.S. Coast Guardmaster chief petty officercollar device U.S. Coast Guardmaster chief petty officersleeve rating insignia United States Navymaster chief petty officer collar insignia United States Navymaster chief petty officer shoulder ...
(E-9). The arduous nature of drill instructor duty means that such assignments are among the most prestigious carried out by enlisted personnel. Those who become drill instructors are eligible for a variety of
military awards A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their ...
, such as the Marine Drill Instructor Ribbon, and the Army's
Drill Sergeant Identification Badge The U.S. military issues instructor badges to specially training military personnel who are charged with teaching military recruits the skills they need to perform as members of the U.S. Armed Forces or teach continuing education courses for noncom ...
.


U.S. Air Force

Air Force MTIs are non-commissioned officers ranging from Staff Sergeant (E-5) through Master Sergeant (E-7). They are trained at the Military Training Instructor School at Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas. Course length has changed several times during the last decade, but generally includes a period of assignment to a senior instructor to observe training (called "bird-dogging"). MTIs initially conduct basic training at Lackland Air Force Base as part of the 737th Training Group, but a select few conduct military training at the Officer Training School at Maxwell AFB and at the Air Force Academy during basic cadet training. Male MTIs are identified by the dark blue campaign hat and female MTIs by the dark blue Australian bush hat. Their usual duty uniform is the
Operational Camouflage Pattern Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP), originally codenamed Scorpion W2, is a military camouflage pattern adopted in 2015 by the United States Army for use as the U.S. Army's main camouflage pattern on the Army Combat Uniform (ACU). This pattern ...
(OCP), with blue service uniforms worn during certain drill practices and the graduation ceremony. Upon receiving their certification as an instructor, they receive the Air Education and Training Command Instructor badge for wear on the right side of the blue uniform. MTIs usually begin their tours as "team members" - junior partners of a two-person team. Experienced MTIs becomes "team chiefs" and often work a basic training flight alone when manning shortages occur (especially during summer). MTIs refer to direct recruit training as being "on the street". At the conclusion of a tour, some MTIs are offered the chance to work in essential support training roles in the basic training course. This includes the combat training portions of the course, classroom academic instruction, and the "confidence" obstacle course. Unlike the Army, the Air Force uses a different specialist to continue military training during advanced individual or technical training. Military training leaders (MTLs) wear a blue
aiguillette An aiguillette (, from ''wikt:aiguille#French, aiguille'', "needle"), also spelled , or , is a Cord (sewing), cord with metal tips or lace tags, or the decorative tip itself. Functional or purely decorative fasteners of silk cord with metal ...

aiguillette
on the left shoulder and act in the same capacity as Army drill sergeants during technical training. The aiguillette in various colors is worn by students to indicate leadership roles - green for student flight leaders, yellow for student squadron leaders, and red for squadron student commanders. A white aiguillette is worn by chapel guides, a white and blue rope denotes they are in the Drum and Bugle Corps, and a teal rope is worn by student counselors. At some technical training centers a black aiguillette is worn by members of student honor guards or drill teams.


U.S. Army

Historically, the task of the Drill Sergeant has been intrinsic to good order and discipline and commands respect throughout the Army. Currently, soldiers of appropriate rank (usually
Staff Sergeant Staff sergeant is a Military rank, rank of non-commissioned officer used in the armed forces of many countries. It is also a police rank in some police services. History of title In origin, certain senior sergeants were assigned to administr ...

Staff Sergeant
s and Sergeants First Class ) may volunteer or be centrally selected by U.S. Army Human Resources Command to attend Drill Sergeant School. Those centrally selected are known as "DA Selected" meaning
Department of the Army The United States Department of the Army (DA) is one of the three military departments within the Department of Defense of the U.S.. The Department of the Army is the federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is ...
selected. Drill Sergeant School is ten weeks long and consists of exactly the same activities as basic training; drill and ceremony, basic rifle marksmanship, obstacle/confidence courses, and field training exercises, training management, and leadership. Certain aspects of the
Basic Leader Course The Basic Leader Course (BLC), formerly the Warrior Leader Course (WLC) and Primary Leadership Development Course (PLDC), is the first course of study in the US Army non-commissioned officer, noncommissioned officer United States Army Sergeants Maj ...
are included. Drill Sergeant candidates are held to the highest standards while going through the school as preparation for their tours of duty. The Drill Sergeant candidates are treated with a great deal of professionalism and not like recruits. Upon graduation, male Drill Sergeants wear the
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
campaign hat A campaign hat, sometimes called campaign cover, is a broad-brimmed felt Felt is a textile material that is produced by matting, condensing and pressing fibers together. Felt can be made of natural fibers such as wool Wool is the texti ...

campaign hat
(nicknamed the "Brown Round") and female Drill Sergeants wear the olive drab Australian bush cap. An Army Drill Sergeant's normal tour of duty (called being "on the trail") is two years with a possible one-year extension. Drill Sergeants may be assigned to units that conduct
Basic Combat Training Recruit training, more commonly known as basic training or regularly boot camp, refers to the initial instruction of new military personnel Military personnel are members of the state's armed forces A military, also known collectively ...
(BCT), reception, or One-Station Unit Training (OSUT). BCT Drill Sergeants train approximately 11 cycles during their two-year tours. OSUT Drill Sergeants train recruits for an equivalent of BCT plus an additional number of weeks depending on the
Military Occupational Specialty A United States military occupation code, or a military occupational specialty code (MOS code), is a nine-character code used in the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land military branch, service branch of the United Stat ...
, so their average number of cycles is less than that of a BCT Drill Sergeant. The breaks between cycles are extremely short, creating an incredibly demanding environment for Drill Sergeants. It is not unusual for a cycle to graduate on a Thursday or Friday with new recruits arriving the following Monday or Tuesday. Following several years of regular noncomissioned officers filling platoon sergeant billets in
Advanced Individual Training United States Army Basic Combat Training (BCT) is the recruit training program of the United States Army, for service in the United States Army, U.S. Army, United States Army Reserve, U.S. Army Reserve, or the Army National Guard. Some trainees ...
, the Army announced in early April 2018, that Drill Sergeants will return to AIT training. Senior Drill Sergeants are the most senior NCO in a given training platoon, and are ultimately responsible for Soldiers within or under their authority. The only NCO more senior to these individuals at the company level is the company's
First Sergeant #REDIRECT First sergeant First sergeant is typically a senior non-commissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not earned a commission. Non-commissioned officers usually obtain their position of authority ...
, the senior enlisted leader and advisor to the company commander. Successful completion of Drill Sergeant duty greatly enhances opportunities for promotion. Many of the U.S. Army's most senior
noncommissioned officer A non-commissioned officer (NCO) is a military officer who has not pursued a commission Commission or commissioning may refer to: Business and contracting * Commission (remuneration), a form of payment to an agent for services rendered ** Commi ...
s are former Drill Sergeants. The Army has had a difficult time recruiting Drill Sergeant volunteers due to recent changes in doctrine and policy, with a recent study by the Department of Defense noting that fewer than 30% of Drill Sergeant candidates are volunteers. Past Drill Sergeants enjoyed much autonomy and latitude with which to train recruits and were reputed hands-on disciplinarians. Currently, the Army's Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) has sought to shift this authority away and has moved closer to what is known as "Schofield's Definition of Discipline." It is now a punishable offense to use demeaning or derogatory terms to refer to recruits or trainees, and terms such as "warrior" or "Soldier" are preferable. Additionally, it is a serious offense to punish recruits or trainees with "excessive" physical exercise, now known as
hazing Hazing (American English), initiation (British English), bastardisation (Australian English), ragging (South Asian English), or Deposition (university), deposition, refers to any activity expected of someone in joining or participating in a group ...
. The United States Drill Sergeant Academy is located in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. This is where all Drill Sergeants go to complete their drill sergeant training. The Academy is led by the Commandant and Deputy Commandant of the Drill Sergeant Academy. The instructors, known as Drill Sergeant Leaders (DSL's) are previously trained, and experienced Drill Sergeants. DSL's are selected very carefully by a panel of current senior Drill Sergeant Leaders, along with the leadership from the Academy. DSL's are held to the same high Army standards that new incoming Drill Sergeants are assessed on and must remain at those standards while instructing at the Academy.


U.S. Marine Corps

It may be taken offensively by U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructors to be referred to as 'Drill Sergeants', which is strictly an Army term in the American military, just as Marines may take offense to being called "soldiers". This is considered to be a grievous insult if done intentionally. The only acceptable address of a drill instructor by a recruit is "sir", "ma'am" or "(senior) drill instructor (Rank) (last name)". At Officer Candidates School (OCS), candidates are instructed by Drill Instructors who have already served a tour at one of the Recruit Depots. Officer candidates address their instructors as "Sergeant Instructor" (and rank and last name), or "Platoon Sergeant" (and rank and last name). The OCS Platoon sergeant is comparable to the Senior Drill Instructor in an enlisted recruit platoon. In the initial phase of training, officer candidates are trained in almost the same manner, and by the same people, as enlisted Marines, with slight differences reflecting the difference between the responsibilities the candidates will have as second lieutenants and those the recruits will have as junior Marines. In addition, Drill Instructors at either E-6 or E-7 also train naval officer candidates at the Navy's Officer Candidate School at Officer Training Command Newport, Rhode Island, a holdover from the days when they trained prospective naval aviators at the former Aviation Officer Candidate School (AOCS) at Naval Aviation Schools Command, Pensacola, FL. Class Drill Instructors train officer candidates alongside Class Chief Petty Officers who have experience training Navy recruits as Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs). Like Marine Corps recruits, Navy officer candidates must address Drill Instructors as "Sir" or "Ma'am", even though the DI is not a Commissioned Officer. In the U.S. Marine Corps, candidates for Drill Instructor school are both volunteers and designates. The Headquarters Marine Corps Special Duty Assignment Team creates a list known as the HSST List. This list has the names of Marines that have been slotted for the different B-Billets and Special Duty Assignments. Once a Marine's name comes up on this list, they must either serve the duty or prove that they are unfit for the assignment. The tour of duty is three years and demands the highest moral character and strength. It is the job of the Drill Instructor to pass these characteristics on to the future of the Corps. This duty is referred to as "Making Marines", and is one of the most important duties of a Marine's career. A drill instructor is directly involved in shaping the future of the United States Marine Corps. Marines report to either Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in South Carolina or to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in California, where they are assigned to Drill Instructor School. Upon graduation, they are assigned to one of the Recruit Training Battalions. Female Marines may now serve on both depots as Drill Instructors. Since spring 2016, Female Drill Instructors have begun serving in limited capacity on board Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. This change took place in the Spring of 2016. Service as a Drill Instructor is considered a Special Duty Assignment in the Marine Corps (or "B" billet), which is factored into consideration of a Marine's eligibility for promotion. A Marine assigned to DI School must have at least a rank of Sergeant (E-5), or have been selected for promotion to Sergeant. The school requires DI School students to complete every task recruits are required to do. The typical training day begins around 4:00 a.m. (0400
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) and ends around 7:30 p.m. (1930), many times with specific training evaluations and end-of-day cleanups that require even longer days. At the end of each day, DI School students have to practice effective
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time management
in studying for exams, practicing drill, rehearsing the teaching of drill movements verbatim and preparing uniforms all while still making time for intense physical training. The school lasts approximately three months with four classes running throughout the year. Physical training or "PT" as a unit is conducted at least three times a week, with each session lasting approximately two hours. In addition to warming up, stretching, and calisthenics, students complete the "DI Playground" a circuit course that focuses on enhancing upper body strength. Physical training also prepares the future Drill Instructors for the Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test which consists of pull-ups, abdominal crunches, and a 3-mile timed run. Since a drill instructor is often required to spend 20 hours a day or more on his or her feet and to move fast at all times, various running sessions are conducted to enhance speed and endurance. Students are led by their squad instructors in ability group runs based on speed, gradually increasing distance and speed throughout the course. Track workouts,
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runs, and
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runs are also a staple of the training. Drill and discipline are crucial parts of the Drill Instructor School curriculum. Every student is continuously evaluated, corrected, and mentored, with special attention paid to the smallest of details, such as the placement of a finger within 1/4 inch of its required location along a trouser seam, angle of the weapon, and positioning of the student in relation to the unit. Required knowledge is constantly taught and evaluated in the form of written exams, practical applications, and inspections.
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are inspected continually, with surprise inspections conducted randomly in addition to the scheduled inspections. The drill instructor is expected to convey the best possible Marine Corps image to recruits and to America and to conduct his/herself to the highest Marine Corps leadership and integrity standards as well as to impart these standards to every recruit they train. Drill Instructors take a pledge which consists of the following words: "These recruits are entrusted to my care. I will train them to the best of my ability. I will develop them into smartly disciplined, physically fit, basically trained Marines, thoroughly indoctrinated in love of Corps and country. I will demand of them, and demonstrate by my own example, the highest standards of personal conduct, morality and professional skill." Upon completion of Drill Instructor School, Drill Instructors are assigned to Recruit Training Battalions as junior members ("fourth hats", "third hats", "kill hats", "bobby", or "bulldogs") of drill instructor teams. His or her job consists of constant corrections, dispensing punitive "Incentive Training" (IT), and keeping unremitting pressure on recruits to pay attention to details. He or she also teaches and reinforces academic knowledge to recruits. It is his or her duty to command the recruit platoon for initial drill evaluation, in which, in addition to the platoon receiving a score, the Drill Instructor is evaluated as well. These new drill instructors bear the burden of responsibility for breaking down a recruit's sense of self and selfishness, so that the more experienced drill instructors can focus the recruits on selflessness, obedience, and fraternity. After completing a few 13-week cycles, the drill instructor is moved up to the position of ''Experienced Drill Instructor'' (EDI), also called the "heavy", "drill hat" or "J Hat". The next step in a drill instructor career is becoming a ''Senior Drill Instructor''. Senior Drill Instructors hold a respected position which is distinguished by the wearing of a black highly polished (patent leather) sword belt instead of a green duty belt. A Senior Drill Instructor is ultimately accountable for the training of the
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and for the efficiency of his or her assistant Drill Instructors. Although Senior Drill Instructors are NCOs (Sergeants) or Staff NCOs, their position in the recruit training platoon is similar to that of a
commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an i ...
Platoon Commander in a line platoon. As such, they are further set apart from "junior" Drill Instructors. After completing a number of cycles, drill instructors are often assigned to Support Battalion duties outside of recruit-training platoons. Such assignments are referred to as quotas, and include jobs as academic instructors, administrative duties at Recruit Processing (Receiving Barracks, also known as Receiving Company at MCRD San Diego),
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instructors, Medical Rehabilitation Platoon (MRP), Physical Conditioning Platoon (PCP), Combat Water Survival Instructors, Field Training Instructors (a.k.a. Black Shirts) CRD Parris Island only and Instructional Training Company Instructors (ITC DI) CRD San Diego only Some drill instructors choose to do a second tour of duty on the drill field. These volunteers still report to Drill Instructor School, but are referred to as course challengers, and are only required to complete a short refresher course. Multiple tour drill instructors, based on rank and experience, are usually assigned as Senior Drill Instructors, Series Chief Drill Instructors (MCRD San Diego) or Series Gunnery Sergeants (MCRD Parris Island), DI school instructors, Company First Sergeants, or Battalion Sergeants Major. While in Drill Instructor status, both male and female DIs wear a
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campaign hat
with their service and utility uniforms. For their successful service, Marine Drill Instructors are awarded the Drill Instructor Ribbon. This ribbon is also awarded to other enlisted Marines and officers assigned to the recruit training environment, although these billets are recognized as being less directly involved in actually training recruits such as Series and Company Commander/ XO, Battalion Executive Officer, S-3, and Commander, and various levels of Sergeants Major at each Depot. At OCS, the ribbon is also awarded to Officer Candidate Company First Sergeants, Company Gunnery Sergeants, and Platoon Commanders.


U.S. Navy

In the
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, recruit training is conducted by Recruit Division Commanders (RDCs, formerly Company Commanders or CCs) at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes, located at Naval Station Great Lakes, in North Chicago, IL. RDCs are usually E-6 (
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), but may be up to a Master Chief (E-9) and have at least six years time in service and above, who are volunteers that serve a three-year tour at RTC Great Lakes. After submitting an approved package containing an endorsement from a commanding officer, prospective RDCs attend RDC "C" School located at RTC Great Lakes and are identified by the blue aiguillettes (ropes) they wear on the left shoulder of either their service, dress, or working uniforms. RDC School students typically spend thirteen weeks learning about the duties they will perform as RDCs, including drill and ceremony, classroom instruction, and uniform and compartment maintenance. They undergo routine uniform inspections, where RDC school staff (experienced RDCs) meticulously check for any deficiencies in a student's uniform. In addition, RDC School students spend three days a week undergoing physical training. Because of the intense workout periods, some RDC students find themselves unprepared; however, they must be ready to keep up with the recruits, some of them who are much younger or more athletic than they are. According to RDC "C" School staff, PT is the number one reason why some students drop out of the course. Towards the end of RDC "C" School, RDC students shadow actual RDCs currently commanding a division. At the end of thirteen weeks, they receive their red ropes and badges which set them apart as RDCs. Following graduation and entering their first divisions, senior RDCs mentor these new junior RDCs, who then go on to gain experience with every new division (commonly referred to as a "push"). In the second year of their three-year tour, RDCs take a break from training divisions and perform other duties on base, including drill evaluations, practical training instruction, teaching classes at RDC "C" School, or Battle Stations 21. RDC duty is considered a highly prestigious one as it is associated with higher levels of accession into the higher petty officer rates, including Chief Petty Officer. RDC duty also allows Sailors an opportunity to earn the Master Training Specialist designator. At the end of the three-year tour, eligible RDCs receive the Recruit Training Service Ribbon, along with a choice of coast for their next duty stations. In addition to training recruits at RTC Great Lakes, RDCs at E-7 (Chief Petty Officer) or above who have experience leading recruit divisions train students at Officer Training Command in Newport, Rhode Island, either training prospective naval officers at Officer Candidate School (OCS) as Class Chief Petty Officers, alongside Marine Corps Drill Instructors, or newly commissioned junior officers in the Navy's Staff Corps (i.e. JAG, Medical Corps, Nurse Corps, etc.) at the Officer Development School (ODS).


U.S. Coast Guard

In the U.S. Coast Guard, Company Commanders are usually E-5 to E-8 and are special duty volunteers. Candidates attend Company Commander School in
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,
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, which is collocated with recruit basic training. Upon completion, candidates then go in front of a board for final approval. Upon becoming a Company Commander (CC), the Coast Guardsman earns the right to wear the Company Commander Badge. Coast Guard recruit companies average two or three CCs per, with the newer CCs serving as Assistants to the more experienced Lead CC. During recent years, Coast Guard Company Commanders have gone to the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT to train outgoing third class cadets during a week-long evolution called "100th Week", in which they are once again treated as incoming fourth class cadets by the CCs. The rationale behind this is to remind these cadets of their experiences coming into the Academy, and to reinforce the mantra that they must do the things they will eventually demand of incoming Swabs. Later in the week, CCs begin teaching the cadets lessons on leadership. The experience provides third class cadets with invaluable experience they will need in training the new incoming fourth class cadets during Swab Summer.


Canada


Canadian Armed Forces

The appointment of Drill Sergeant Major (DSM) (French: Sergent-major instructeur (SMI)), is usually held by the most Senior Master Warrant Officer of an infantry regiment; an exception being with the
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Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
where that position is known as the Quartermaster Sergeant Instructor or QMSI In Basic Military Qualification, the course staff member that is teaching drill for a particular drill class is the "drill instructor" for that class.


In popular culture

Drill instructors have a reputation as unforgiving wikt:taskmaster, taskmasters and they are often portrayed as such in popular culture. Film and TV Among the definitive fictional portrayals are: *Jack Webb as
Gunnery Sergeant Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) is the seventh enlisted rank An enlisted rank (also known as an enlisted grade or enlisted rate) is in some armed services, any rank below that of a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer. The term can be inclusi ...
Jim Moore in the 1957 film ''The D.I. (film), The D.I.'' *Myron McCormick as Master Sergeant#United States Air Force, Master Sergeant Orville King in 1958's ''No time for sergeants#Motion picture, No Time for Sergeants'' and the 1955 Broadway theatre, Broadway production of the same title, both times opposite a young Andy Griffith. *Frank Sutton as
Gunnery Sergeant Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) is the seventh enlisted rank An enlisted rank (also known as an enlisted grade or enlisted rate) is in some armed services, any rank below that of a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer. The term can be inclusi ...
Vince Carter in the TV sitcom ''Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.'' from 1964–1969. *Darren McGavin as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Drake and Earl Holliman as Master Sergeant Frank DePayster, two US Marine Corps drill instructors who differ over the proper way to train an exceptional recruit (Jan-Michael Vincent), in the 1970 television film ''Tribes (film), Tribes''. *Don Rickles as Chief Petty Officer (United States), Chief Petty Officer Otto (or ''Seymour'') Sharkey in the 1976-78 TV series ''C.P.O. Sharkey''. *Hal Williams as Sergeant First Class L. C. (later, ''Ted'') Ross in both the 1980 film ''Private Benjamin (1980 film), Private Benjamin'' and the 1981–83 TV series of the same name. *Warren Oates as Sergeant First Class Hulka in the 1981 film ''Stripes (film), Stripes'' *Louis Gossett Jr. as Gunnery Sergeant Emil Foley in the 1982 film ''An Officer and a Gentleman'' *Sgt. Slaughter as Special Drill Instructor Sgt. Slaughter in ''G.I. Joe: The Movie'' (1987). *Christopher Walken as Sergeant First Class Toomey in the 1988 film ''Biloxi Blues (film), Biloxi Blues''. *John Finn as Command Sergeant Major, Sergeant Major Mulcahy in 1989's ''Glory (1989 film), Glory'' *Gregory Hines as Sergeant First Class Cass in the 1994 film, ''Renaissance Man (film), Renaissance Man'' *Clancy Brown as Career Sergeant Zim in the 1997 film ''Starship Troopers (film), Starship Troopers''. *Scott MacDonald (actor), Scott MacDonald as Drill Instructor Fitch in the 2005 film ''Jarhead (film), Jarhead''. *Vince Vaughn as Sergeant Howell in the 2016 film ''Hacksaw Ridge''. *Tamala Jones as Gunnery Sergeant Miller in Season 2 of CBS military drama, ''SEAL Team (TV series), SEAL Team''. R. Lee Ermey Actor R. Lee Ermey served as a real-life U.S. Marine drill instructor (1965–1967) and later played the role of D.I.s in the following productions: * Staff Sergeant#United States, Staff Sergeant Loyce in the 1978 film ''The Boys in Company C'' *
Gunnery Sergeant Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) is the seventh enlisted rank An enlisted rank (also known as an enlisted grade or enlisted rate) is in some armed services, any rank below that of a Officer (armed forces), commissioned officer. The term can be inclusi ...
Hartman in the 1987 film ''Full Metal Jacket'' * Sergeant major#United States Marine Corps, Sergeant Major Bougus in the 1995 pilot episode of ''Space: Above and Beyond'' * Master Sergeant#United States, Master Sergeant Hiles (deceased) in the 1996 film ''The Frighteners'' (a parody of Ermey's character in ''Full Metal Jacket'') * Sergeant major#United States Marine Corps, Sergeant Major Sauer in a second season episode of ''JAG (TV series), JAG'' Reality TV These productions feature real-life Drill Instructors from law enforcement agencies around the world. *''The Academy (American TV series), The Academy''. Featuring the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. *''Police Training Academy (PTA)''. Featuring the Western Australia Police. *''Recruits (TV series), Recruits''. Featuring the NSW Police Force. Literature *Caddy, D; ''Sh*t My Drill Sergeant Said: Wit and Wisdom from America's Finest''. (2015). Humour. *McDugle, K; ''Inside the Mind of a Marine Drill Instructor''. (2014). *Ricks, T; ''Making the Corps''. (2007). A journalist follows a U.S. Marine Corps platoon as they are trained by 3 fierce Drill Instructors. *Rooks, R; ''The Guidon Bearer: A Basic Training Story''. (2014). Fiction set in Boot Camp. *Shirley, B; ''Parris Island Daze: My Drill Instructor Was Tougher Than Yours''. (2012). Humour. *''The Hat: A Salute to the U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructors, Parris Island, South Carolina''. (1997). *Ward, C; ''Sir Yes Sir''. (2015). Humour. Video games *''Half-Life: Opposing Force'', (1999). Jon St. John provides the voice of Senior Drill Instructor Dwight T. Barnes. Music *Muse (band), Muse's Drones (Muse album), ''Drones'' album features the songs "[Drill Sergeant]" and "Psycho (Muse song), Psycho" which both contain sections in which a drill sergeant is heard screaming at a recruit


Further reading

*Popaditch, N; (Gunnery Sergeant); ''The Ultimate Marine Recruit Training Guidebook: A drill Instructor's Strategies and Tactics for Success''. (2009). *Smith, L; ''The Few and the Proud: Marine Corps Drill Instructors in Their Own Words''. (2006).


References


External links

* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Drill Instructor Military education and training Military life Military supporting service occupations