Military News

Ft. Jackson sergeant takes top honors in national drill sergeant competition

Sgt. 1st Class David Stover rose to the challenge and took home the title of 2013 Army Drill Sergeant of the Year Wednesday, after a 3-day competition that pitted him against five other top drill sergeants from around the country.

Reservist Sgt. 1st Class Ryan McCaffrey, who is a trainer with the S.C. Department of Corrections, took top honors as the 2013 Reservist Drill Sergeant of the Year.

The wins bestow more than just bragging rights for Stover and McCaffrey. As the top drill sergeants, they’ll become advisers to the nation’s top training brass at Joint Base Langley-Eustic near Norfolk, Va. Stover, a Virginia native, said he looks forward to having an impact on how recruits are trained — and being within an hour of his family for the first time in 8 years.

The annual competition, held at Fort Jackson earlier this week, was cut for budgetary reasons, from five days to three. The physical and mental challenges include a 10-mile hike with a 70 lb. pack, treating wounds, pushups, instruction, and the disassembling and assembling of an M-16 and machine guns.

Rachael Myers Lowe