Update: Army Says Plans To Return Drill Sergeants To AIT Are Not Final

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Despite what appeared to be an official announcement published on the official news site of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, a spokesman for the command tells Task & Purpose that plans to return drill sergeants to Advanced Individual Training are, in fact, not final.   


On May 18, Task & Purpose published an article titled “It’s Official: Drill Sergeants Will Return To Soldiers’ AIT In 2019” which stated that the Army had, after years of deliberation, decided to replace AIT platoon sergeants with drill sergeants, and that the change could occur as soon as October 2019.

The article was reported based on an article published on TRADOC’s official news site that seemed to indicate that the plans had been finalized. The TRADOC story was titled “Drill sergeant’s return to AIT scheduled late 2019.”

The TRADOC article was posted to the command’s official Facebook page accompanied with the following text: “A decade after taking drill sergeants out of advanced individual training and replacing them with AIT platoon sergeants, the U.S. Army is planning on bringing the drill sergeants back.”

In an email to Task & Purpose, TRADOC media relations chief Maj. Thomas J. Campbell explained that the TRADOC news article was misleading, and that the headline has since been changed to more  accurately reflect the status of discussions within the command.

The new headline is “Talks underway for drill sergeants’ return to AIT >> TRADOC.”

“I understand your work is based on an article posted to the TRADOC News site on May 15 titled, ‘Drill sergeants’ return to AIT scheduled for late 2019,’  but please understand this was our office sharing news relevant to the Command. It is not a piece produced by TRADOC and certainly not an official announcement. We have also asked their editor to modify their headline.”

Task & Purpose has issued a correction in the May 18 article and changed the headline to reflect Campbell’s remarks. You can read the corrected version here.  

Army Reserve photo by Master Sgt. Michel Sauret
Ryan Kules

Editor's note: A combat wounded veteran, Ryan served in the U.S. Army as an armor officer assigned to 1st Battalion, 13th Armor Regiment. While deployed to Iraq in 2005, his vehicle was hit with an improvised explosive device buried in the road. He works as the Wounded Warrior Project's national Combat Stress Recovery Program director.

On Nov. 29, 2005, my life changed forever. I was a 24-year-old U.S. Army armor captain deployed to Taji, Iraq, when my vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. On that day, I lost two of my soldiers, Sgts. Jerry Mills and Donald Hasse, and I lost my right arm and left leg.

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(U.S. Marine Corps photo)

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Just weeks before that emotional ceremony, Alexandrina Braica, her husband and five children attended a similar memorial at the same military base, this to honor Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, a member of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion who also was killed in a rollover accident, April 13, at age 29.

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"We're all still in denial, 'Did this really happen? Is he really gone?' Braica said. "When I got the phone call, Josh was not on my mind. That's why we were at peace. He was always in training and I never felt that it would happen at Camp Pendleton."

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