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Drill Sergeant Badge To Privates First Class?

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Youtube is full of all sorts of interesting official Department of the Army videos. I ran across the following from 1971 showing the training of students at the Third Army Drill Sergeant School at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. What I find interesting is that in the scene of the graduation ceremony showing the students receiving their diplomas and Smokey The Bear hats, most of the graduates are Privates First Class. I have heard of Drill Corporals, but never Drill PFC's. Would these men have automatically been promoted to sergeant upon being assigned to a drill instructor slot? If not, would they still be entitled to wear the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge?




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  • 2 weeks later...

Thats interesting. I was in a Drill Sergeant slot in the late late 90s as an E-4. This was during my time in the Army Reserves. Reservists could be an E-4 Specialist or Corporal but I think Regular Army required a Drill to be E-6 to attend DSS which that changed to E-5 at some point then maybe back. At that time, if we finished DS School prior to making E-5 then we were to wear a black or dark blue helmet liner & were called turtles or those who were Corporals were turtling as Drill Corporals. I transferred to another DS unit prior to going to school & they did the same. The only time at that point that someone lower than E-5 would wear a round brown was for color guards. When berets came about wearing the liners in at least my Battalion ceased (& I took them home) but the term of turtles continued with the DSS qualified E4s wearing berets. So had I completed DS School as an E-4 I wouldve added the X-ray skill identifier so wouldve been an 11C10X.

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  • 11 months later...

I seem to recall that at one time, the army would take certain candidates and send them to the Drill Sergeant Academy. Upon graduation, they would be promoted to corporal. I would assume that the photos show PFCs graduating and that upon graduation, they would advance to corporal.


I know that there were a fair number of drill corporals in the army in the 60's and they were always paired with a far more senior drill instructor. The corporals would typically live in the barracks while the more senior DIs would go home at night.



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1971 was during the Vietnam War. Due to man power constraints, promotions were accelerated leading to the derisive term for "shake and bake NCO's" at the time.

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