DSOY competitors — Staff Sgt. Heslin


Outside the Wire will feature profiles (in alphabetical order) of the six Drill Sergeant of the Year contenders this week. The competitors, which include four active-duty soldiers and two reservists, will be evaluated as they tackle more than 50 physically and emotionally challenging events. The winners will be announced Friday.


Staff Sgt. John Heslin is Fort Benning’s Drill Sergeant of the Year. The Baltimore native joined the Army in 2004.

“It is an honor to be here representing Fort Benning and meeting the other competitors,” he said. “It’s also a good opportunity to get some good competition between the posts.”

The fire support specialist said his strengths include land navigation, weaponry and warrior tasks. Though modules and boards are his weakest points, Heslin said “lots of preparation” has boosted his confidence.

A two-time Iraq veteran, Heslin served as part of Task Force Cobra and Task Force Mountain. He also has served at Fort Hood, Texas.


About Author

A Navy brat who spent eight years in the Marines (two years aboard the carrier Independence). Worked in journalism in Eastern North Carolina through the latter part of the 90s, then became editor of Air Force Times in 2000. Stayed there five years, then took a break to finish some school. Now back in the game with Navy Times.

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