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Army drill sergeant pushes BMT flight

  • Published
  • By Mike Joseph
  • 502nd Air Base Wing OL-A Public Affairs
When Army Staff Sgt. David Peters marched Air Force Basic Military Training Flight 258 past reviewing officials during a parade here April 8, it completed one half of a basic training instructor exchange between services.

The drill sergeant-military training instructor exchange has given the Air Force and Army an opportunity to evaluate basic training processes from another prospective by subject-matter experts -- NCOs who develop future military leaders.

Though some parts of basic training are service specific and methods may vary, the objective for both services' training instructors remains the same.

"The end state, regardless of (whether) we're talking about the Army (or) the Air Force, is we're looking to develop agile and adaptive Airmen and Soldiers -- leaders (who) can think on their own and accomplish the mission," Sergeant Peters said, a 14-year veteran and Army drill sergeant the past two years.

"Leading Soldiers or leading Airmen is really no different, " he said. "I'm an NCO. and I'm going to do my best to train them."

The idea for a training cycle drill sergeant-MTI exchange began to formulate last year when Army Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, then the deputy commanding general of Initial Military Training for the Training and Doctrine Command, visited here to see Soldiers who were training on base.

It gathered momentum after General Hertling invited Col. William H. Mott V, the 37th Training Wing commander, to tour Army basic training at Fort Benning, Ga.

"We had a great visit looking at what was just a little bit different," Colonel Mott said. "They're different words and a different environment, but it's the same character development operation.

"We had a discussion about (a long-term) exchange, but I wasn't ready," he said. "When I was approached about trying it for one class, I said, 'I'm in. Let's do it.'"

After working out the details, Sergeant Peters arrived here in early February, and Staff Sgt. Joshua Hite, a 322nd Training Squadron MTI, went to Sergeant Peters' unit, Delta Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry at Fort Benning, Ga., to train Army recruits for 9.5 weeks.

The Army drill sergeant and Air Force Tech. Sgt. Brian Fisher, who was Sergeant Peters' MTI team instructor/trainer during the exchange, picked up the 322nd TRS flight in week zero.

The parade ended Sergeant Peters' 8.5 week-exchange.

Senior Master Sgt. Laroy Newhouse, the 322nd TRS training superintendent, said the exchange has been a good experience, and Sergeant Peters helped make it a success.

"We hate to lose him," Sergeant Newhouse said. "He's grown on us, and we like having him around.

"He's gained the respect and loyalty of his flight and peer instructors," he said. "Sergeant Peters brought with him the same mentality as our instructors here -- professionalism and the same order and discipline we expect from our instructors."

Sergeant Peters came to BMT with an open mind, not knowing what to expect. He said the Air Force's attention to detail, drill and graduation requirements were some of the differences in the two services' training along with the terminology and methods.

The veteran Soldier was confident in helping to prepare the training flight for Basic Expeditionary Airman Skills Training week, also sharing his knowledge on weapons and infantry skills, he said.

Sergeant Newhouse said Sergeant Peters' expertise in field training, self-aid buddy care and the M-16 rifle were beneficial to the trainees and MTIs.

"He had a good time at the BEAST, and the flights did well," Sergeant Newhouse said. "He's definitely given us a lot of input, and his ability to communicate to the flight and his chain of command has been awesome."