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                  comprehensive and disciplined Drill Sergeant certification program allows you to know
that training is to standard. Deliberately build time during cycle reset to certify and recertify tasks. A thoughtfully executed Drill Sergeant certification program not only builds trust but develops Noncommissioned Officers at our core competency- training and leading Soldiers.
A Systems Approach
You are responsible for tracking and
managing your company’s readiness. Training, administrative and medical readiness, and the professional development of the company are your responsibility. Thankfully, the Army has numerous systems to assist you. Below are some of those systems and best practices for putting them to use.
1) eMilpo: The center of the Army Human Resources universe. eMilpo provides all the personnel reports, personnel actions such as suspension of favorable action FLAGs, and much more. Request viewing permissions through
your S1. This allows you to view your company’s personnel reports in real-time and obtain Soldier Record Briefs. The monthly reports are printed and reviewed by you on the third duty day of each month. The reports are for your permanent party and trainee populations. Review these carefully, make corrections, and submit them to your S1. Maintain a copy of these reports for one year.
2) MEDPROs: In 193rd Brigade, our unit’s
medical and administrative readiness metrics
are sent weekly. This report shows all medical administrative, e.g., DD-93 and SGLI deficiencies. I stay ahead of this report by forecasting out 90 days in MEDPROS. Every Monday morning, I build a spreadsheet showing who will be overdue in the next 90 days.
3) Army Training Requirements and Resources System (ATRRS): You can view scheduled and completed training for your company in ATRRS Training Tracker. I use this to forecast good times to send Soldiers to schools. This is also helpful to use when building the duty roster and reviewing manning for future training.
4) Evaluation Reporting System (ERS): ERS is the system for tracking current and previous NCOER
statuses. I search individually to verify previous evaluation report dates. You can also view the status of all evaluation reports submitted from your unit.
5) Digital Training Management System (DTMS): All company training is scheduled and tracked in this system. Individual readiness, e.g., ACFT, ABCP, are also recorded in DTMS. I review DTMS weekly to update and forecast individual and unit training requirements.
Invest time to familiarize yourself with these systems and find what works best for you.
It Takes A Team
Team Jackson consists of numerous
entities that enable us to accomplish our mission. Transportation, finance, range control, Army Emergency Relief, Army Community Service, and the list goes on. The First Sergeant should be the company’s liaison with these outside organizations. Visit and introduce yourself to these offices immediately. Understand their role in supporting you. Cultivating a relationship with them early will pay dividends down the line.
A Balanced First Sergeant
Finally, and most challenging for me as a First Sergeant, is balance. The competing requirements you face are vast. The rubber vs. glass balls metaphor illustrates this dilemma. Lower priority tasks are the rubber balls and will bounce back the next day. On the other hand, glass balls (family, Soldier welfare, health, etc.) will break and should be prioritized. We have developed what is rubber vs. glass over our career. What are your commander and battalion command teams?
If you have not started thinking about improving communication, accountability, teamwork, system utilization, and balance, I urge you to start. Your time as a BCT First Sergeant will fly by. Focusing on the areas outlined above will help you be an effective basic combat training First Sergeant. I hope the insights and lessons learned in this paper assist you in that goal.
1SG Connell is the First Sergeant of Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, 193rd Infantry Brigade.
An Effective First Sergeant
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