Left - Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Heilman; Right - Staff Sgt. Jarod Moss
Command Sergeant Major
Jimmie W. Spencer, USA, Ret.
Director, Noncommissioned Officer and Soldier Programs
Fort Eustis, Va., was the site of a four-day competition designed to identify the very best drill sergeants for the year 2012.
Competitors from both active duty and United States Army Reserve units endured physical and mental challenges during the competition, which tested their knowledge of warrior tasks and battle drills and then, more importantly, tested their ability to teach these tasks to new soldiers.
The noncommissioned officers selected as the Army’s "best of the best" for 2012 were: Staff Sgt. Jeffrey Heilman, Fort Jackson, S.C., the active duty U.S. Army Drill Sergeant of the Year; and Staff Sgt. Jarod Moss, 95th Reserve Division as the Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year.
Heilman was born in Philadelphia, Pa., and joined the Army, completing infantry and One Station Unit Training at Fort Benning, Ga., in December 2004.
His assignments include: The 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y., and the 171st Brigade, Fort Jackson, S.C. He was deployed during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Heilman’s military education includes the Warrior Leader Course (Honor Graduate); Advanced Leader, Maneuver Senior Leader; and the Basic Airborne and Combat Life Saver courses.
He has completed 33 semester hours of college credit towards a bachelor’s degree in business management from Troy University.
His awards and decorations include the Army Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal; the Afghanistan and Iraq Campaign Medals; and the Combat Infantryman, Parachutist and the Drill Sergeant Identification badges.
Heilman is married and has a daughter.
He said, "I would like to start by saying my thanks to everyone who has supported me, as I would not be who and where I am today without help. I couldn't have done this without God, my wife, my family and the people around me at work."
Adding, "I am proud to serve in the Army and am honored to have an impact on others’ lives as an NCO and as a drill sergeant. I am passionate about making our Army better. Winning the Drill Sergeant of the Year Competition is something I never considered could happen to me.
"I know that winning this event was a major accomplishment, but I still feel the same as always; an NCO who likes to work, train and play hard. I will continue to do my best at all times to square away everything within my reach."
Staff Sgt. Jarod Moss was selected as the Army Reserve Drill Sergeant of the Year.
He was born in Dallas, Texas, and enlisted in the Army in June of 2001.
He is a graduate of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle Maintenance Course, One Station Unit Training at Fort Knox, Ky.
Moss’s assignments include the 72nd Tank Battalion, Camp Casey, Korea, and the 204th Field Support Battalion, Fort Hood, Texas.
His mobilizations include duties at Fort Sill, Okla., and Fort Knox.
His military and civilian education includes the Warrior Leader Course; Basic Noncommissioned Officers Course, Phase 1; Combatives Level 1; and the Combat Life Saver Course.
He earned a bachelor of arts from the University of Texas-Arlington.
"I felt the competition was very challenging," Moss said.
Adding, "It tested me both physically and mentally beyond what I could have imagined. I would have to say it is was the hardest competition I have ever competed in and afterwards I feel like I am a better drill sergeant now than I was before because it showed me the areas that I need to improve in to become a better leader."
Moss’ awards include the Army Commendation and Army Achievement medals, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Overseas Service Ribbon, and the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge.
Heilman will receive the Stephen Ailes Award, presented to the active duty drill sergeant of the year, at the 2012 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting.
The Ailes Award, initiated in 1969 is named for former Secretary of the Army Stephen Ailes who was instrumental in originating the first drill sergeant school at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.
Moss will receive the Ralph Haines Jr. Award, named for the commander of the Continental Army Command (forerunner of TRADOC).
The drill sergeants, along with the AIT Platoon Sergeant of the Year and the 2012 Recruiters of the Year, will receive their awards from Gen. Raymond Odierno, Army chief of staff, and the Sgt. Maj. of the Army, Raymond Chandler, at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Luncheon, Tuesday, Oct. 23, during the AUSA Annual Meeting.
The meeting will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Oct, 22-24.
Mark your calendars for this important professional development event, and help us honor all the great soldiers and NCOs attending the Annual Meeting for their selfless service to the nation.
For more Annual Meeting information, go to www.AUSA.org.