Drill sergeants provide taste of basic training

Story and photos by Staff Sgt. Michael J. Oliver, Bravo Company Detachment 1, 2/75th Recruiting and Retention Battalion

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U.S. Army Reservist Drill Instructor Sgt. First Class Natasha Evans, 2nd Battalion 397th Brigade, teaches Kentucky National Guard recruits how to salute during the Recruit Sustainment Program drill weekend. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Oliver, Bravo Company Detachment of the 2/75th Recruiting and Retention Battalion)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – “Private, why were you the first to come back?” asked U.S. Army Reservist Drill Sergeant Lee Weber, 2nd Battalion 397th Brigade senior drill instructor.

“Drill Sergeant, because I’m highly motivated,” said Pvt. Dalton Edwards, Kentucky National Guard recruit.

The Kentucky National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program trains new recruits before leaving to basic combat training and advanced individual training. The RSP provides a strong foundation in basic soldiering skills and Army Values to be successful in Basic and AIT. Recently, the Kentucky Guard’s RSP has received a little help help from Army Reserve drill sergeants to train and teach the new recruits.

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Pvt. Erick Kolehmainen, Kentucky National Guard Recruit Sustainment Program Soldier, screams out the cadence count while doing push-ups at RSP drill training weekend. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Oliver, Bravo Company Detachment of the 2/75th Recruiting and Retention Battalion)

“We wanted our young Soldiers to have a better understanding of what to expect from drill sergeants and get the experience now so they will have one less thing to worry about before going to basic training,” said Recruiting and Retention Battalion Commander Lt. Col. Fred W. Bates V. “The National Guard benefits the most because the basic training and AIT graduation success rate will be higher.”

“I love my job and this program is a win-win situation for me to train new Soldiers and for them to experience basic training before they are shipped out,” said Weber.

When new recruits enlist, they become members of an RSP until they report to basic training.  While in the program they are taught physical fitness, marching in formation, military rank structure, Soldiers Creed, and the three Army general orders. They are also taught how to read a map, squad tactical movements, and how to take apart and put together an M16 rifle.

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U.S. Army Reservist Drill Instructor Sgt. First Class Natasha Evans, 2nd Battalion 397th Brigade, teaches a new Kentucky National Guard recruit how to salute during the Recruit Sustainment Program drill weekend. (Photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Oliver, Bravo Company Detachment of the 2/75th Recruiting and Retention Battalion)

“Having the drill sergeants is a perfect opportunity to provide realistic training for our new Warriors,” said Company Commander, Capt. Travis Riley, Bravo Company 2/75th Recruiting and Retention Battalion.

“The drill sergeants make us train better and harder and we are lucky to have them,” said Pvt. Erick Kolehmainen, Kentucky National Guard recruit.

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