*EDITOR'S NOTE: THE PICTURE IS A STOCK PHOTO FROM DVIDS, AND THOSE PICTURED ARE NOT REFERENCED IN THIS STORY*When people think of Drill Sergeants, the connotation is always loud, in your face angry behemoths put there to scare the hell out of you and break you down. While that may be true, the key in being an effective leader and trainer is knowing when to take a step back and take a different approach. Such as when a Recruit tells you he is detoxing from drugs. This is one of those cases. This Drill Sergeant is the epitome of a true leader.
The Story Begins...
I went to basic in 2005 when I was 25. My story is different. I didn’t join because I was hooah hooah. I joined to change my life. I was heading down a trail that would either had ended with me being in jail or dead. I was a bartender and was into Coke. My family had shunned me away because they did not want to see my life destruct before their eyes. One day I walked to the recruiter station and signed up. I was able to stay clean enough to pass the piss test MEPS. As soon as I got home that day I started to do a few more lines. Fast forward about a month and I left for Basic Training.
During the first week of Basic Drill Sergeant B said, "Private S, bring your battle buddy with you to my office now!". I thought the worst and was nervous. Drill Sergeant B asked me what my malfunction was. I told him I was going through a detox from cocaine. Now I was near the end of detoxing and the Drill Sergeant took off his cover and said, "Private, I will help you out during your recovery. Thank you for being honest with me and telling me the truth. None of the Drill Sergeants will smoke you on an individual basis, but in 2 weeks you will wish you have never even looked at Coke".
Time to Pay Up...
15 days later the Drill Sergeant came in to the bay and said, "Private S come with me". It was a round robin of Drill Sergeants waiting their turn to punish me. I’m not sure how many push-ups, crunches, sit-ups or flutter kicks I did that day, but I did it with a smile on my face and said, "thank you" to each Drill Sergeant.When family day came, Drill Sergeant B stated, "Privates, you better not introduce me to your family or I will embarrass you!". My family showed up and I instantly took my parents to meet Drill Sergeant B. I said, "Drill Sergeant these are my parents". Before Drill Sergeant B could say a word my mom gave him a hug and said, “thank you for saving my sons life. We will always be thankful for what you did. Our son has spoken very highly of you”. I looked at my Drill Sergeant and he had a tear in his eye. Drill Sergeant B said, "Ma’am your welcome".
This was the first time I had ever seen my Drill Sergeant be nice and genuine.When I got on the bus to ship out for Advanced Individual Training (AIT), Drill Sergeant B walked up to me and said, "Private S if you ever touch that f*cking sh*t again I will snap you in half!".I stayed in the Army for 10 years, got married, and have a beautiful family. I am very successful in my career and my life. I owe Drill Sergeant B everything.Wherever you are Drill Sergeant thank you!Story originally posted on ASMDSS