Page 19 - Jackson Journal
P. 19

                 A big part of having balance in the platoon is mentoring your young Drill Sergeants so that they are better off when they leave the trail. Your goal with your Drill Sergeants shouldn’t be to have an easier cycle because you are using their strengths, but to send a well-rounded leader, regardless of MOS, back out to the forces.
Many of us are told that our time as a Senior Drill Sergeant will not count towards our Key Development time. This is very discouraging because you soon come to realize that you are doing a job that in most cases can be harder than that of an equivalent job in FORSCOM. As an Infantryman, I know that nowhere else in the Army will I be completely responsible for the health, welfare, training, and failure or success of fifty to sixty Soldiers with only three Non Commissioned Officers, and a Platoon Leader to help you. In FORSCOM, as an Infantry Platoon Sergeant, I
will have thirty to forty Soldiers under my direct command. Of that, thirteen will be in a leadership position, ranging from a senior Specialist to a Staff Sergeant on the enlisted side. There will also be
a lieutenant that I will directly be working with to complete the mission and tasks. Although
the missions are different, the mechanics of the job are relatively the same. I am mentoring and training Soldiers to be able to fight and win wars, as well as training NCO’s to become stronger leaders and individuals. Both are thankless jobs. You get a couple of years to do the job to the best of your ability and if you do it well, those who serve under you will always remember how you made an impact in their lives. Both jobs serve
a purpose that benefits the Army in many ways. As a Platoon Sergeant in FORSCOM you are responsible for meeting the demands of the Army in training, garrison, or while deployed overseas.
As a Platoon Sergeant/Senior Drill Sergeant you
are responsible for supplying the Army with the Soldiers it needs to keep it running like a well-oiled machine. The biggest difference comes from the fact that in FORSCOM you will train that Platoon for months, maybe even a year as you prepare to deploy together. As a Platoon Sergeant/Senior Drill Sergeant you will train different Soldiers every couple of months for years.
Finding balance in all of it is the challenge. Training the Trainees has become easier now that Platoon Leaders have come into the fold. They are an asset but only if you let them become one. Treat them like a Platoon Leader and they will adapt, just as you did when you became a Drill Sergeant. The new TDA allows for four Drill Sergeants in every platoon, which gives you three Squad Leaders for approximately sixty trainees. That is a great 1:20 ratio that will help you in planning your training. Your Trainees are your product and you decide what you want to sell to the Army. Will it be the Soldiers that you would be proud to have in your platoon in FORSCOM? As a Platoon Sergeant you are in a thankless job. You choose a thankless job so you can’t be upset when nobody thanks you. If you do this job hoping to get a pat on the back at the end of each cycle you’re going to be waiting for a while. Do what is best for your platoon, not what you think will get you recognition.
SFC Thomas Mendoza is the Platoon Sergeant
/ Senior Drill Sergeant for 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade.
    Jackson Journal 19

   17   18   19   20   21