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How do I Choose a Drill Instructor School?

By Klaus Strasser
Updated May 17, 2024
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The precise job of a drill instructor generally varies from country to country. In the United States (U.S.), a drill instructor is a non-commissioned officer of the armed forces who instructs new recruits on military practice and norms. To choose a drill instructor school, it can be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the general curriculum offered by prospective institutions of study, in order to see if they correspond to both your abilities and ambitions. The possibility of studying at a drill instructor school in the U.S. is usually only available to soldiers who have already completed military training and served a minimum amount of time in the armed forces.

Drill instructor schools generally require specific prerequisites for any potential students. This may include a perfect physical fitness score and the completion of basic training. Personal aspects can also be considered, such as a normal family life and financial stability. The reason for such requirements is generally related to the notion that the future training of the armed forces depends upon the merits of any prospective drill instructor. Therefore, well-rounded candidates are usually more sought after by the armed forces.

The curriculum of a drill instructor school can vary, but normally the following basics are part of any program: a mastery of first aid techniques such as CPR; physical fitness and swimming training; the studying of subjects such as military history and tactics; and leadership studies. Drill instructors generally will have to be able to complete the same physical training that any recruit would be required to complete. This is both to ensure the quality of the drill instructor and to demonstrate to any potential recruits that the drill instructor is capable of fulfilling the same requirements he demands from them. Prospective drill instructors can also be evaluated according to leadership and teaching skills.

When choosing a drill instructor school, it can be a good idea to research the different types of programs that are available. This typically will let you know the specific requirements you must satisfy in order to study, as well as the nature of the program. The experiences of current and former drill instructors can also be a valuable source of information.

Asking certified drill instructors, and even those who did not pass drill instructing school, about their experiences may familiarize you with the training process, letting you know which aspects of drill instructing school are the most demanding. Eliminating the element of surprise from your training can help you become better prepared for your eventual studies. This can also help give you confidence in your ability to complete the program.

A drill instructor school that emphasizes leadership and didactic skills is generally a good choice. These types of programs usually teach you valuable people skills needed to relate to and understand new recruits. A drill instructor may not only be an authoritarian figure, but also a teacher.

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