FORT JACKSON, S.C. — Most people would roll over and go back to sleep if they woke up at 0230. But the six soldiers vying to be the Army’s next Drill Sergeant of the Year aren’t “most people.”
They rolled out of the rack to tackle a land navigation course. The goal was to find seven points covering four miles in less than three hours. And there was no pot of gold awaiting them at the end of this rainbow. Instead, it was the Confidence Course.
The competitors had to successfully negotiate more than 15 obstacles. If they failed at one, they had one more chance to knock it out. Fail a second time, and you are rolling goose eggs on the score card.
The strenuous, nonstop pace of this four-day competition was evident as the drill sergeants dug deep to push through.
“I’m truly exhausted,” said Staff Sgt. Samantha Goscinski. “Just whooped.”
But Goscinski, Fort Jackson’s Drill Sergeant of the Year, said the competition has shown her that she can push herself “farther and harder” than she ever imagined. And in the mean time, she isn’t letting the pounding pace or tough competition get the best of her. Instead, she is taking it one step at a time.
“I’m not worried about the competition,” she said. “I’m just focused on the task I’m doing. I don’t have enough energy to worry about the competition.”
The competition concludes Thursday night, with the winner announced Friday morning.