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Troops and Veterans
By Steve Reeves

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First Female Commandant Takes Reins At Drill Sergeant School
(September 30, 2009)

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Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa King, shown here during a change of responsibility ceremony in front of Fort Jackson post headquarters, takes over as commandant of the Drill Sergeant School, making her the first woman to hold the position.
Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa King, shown here during a change of responsibility ceremony in front of Fort Jackson post headquarters, takes over as commandant of the Drill Sergeant School, making her the first woman to hold the position.
 FORT JACKSON, S.C.

Command Sgt. Maj. Teresa King made it clear that even though she just made history Tuesday, she was more concerned with the immediate future.

“I'm ready to train,” King told a large audience, one that included Sgt. Maj. of the Army Kenneth Preston, during the ceremony that installed her as the new commandant of the Drill Sergeant School.

King is the first female commandant of the school, a fact that has garnered national media attention.

The 28-year Army veteran said she is focused on doing her job of training drill sergeants for the Army the best she can.

“I am deeply humbled and very grateful for this opportunity,” King told the group that had gathered in front of post headquarters. “If it wasn't for God, I wouldn't be here today.”

King, formerly the 369th Adjutant General Battalion's command sergeant major, said she is fully aware of her responsibility as the commandant of the Drill Sergeant School.

“(Americans) have freely given us their sons and daughters,” King said. “They trust us to train them and keep them safe. I will not disappoint them or betray this trust.”

She also had a message for Drill Sergeant School instructors.

“To the drill sergeants behind me in formation: I will bring 110 percent to this job – and I expect the same from you.”

King replaces Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Newsome, who is retiring from the Army after serving 30 years.

“I am very humbled to have served as the Drill Sergeant School commandant,” Newsome said. “I've enjoyed every minute of it.”

Command Sgt. Maj. Brian Stall, the post command sergeant major for Fort Jackson, said running the Drill Sergeant School is a tough job, one in which Newsome excelled.

Stall said that he expects King to continue Newsome's tradition of excellence as commandant of the school.

Stall noted the media attention that King attracted as the first female commandant of the school, but said the attention should now focus on her ability.

King was chosen for the job for one reason and one reason only, Stall said. “She is simply the right person for the job,” he said.

Article and photo by Steve Reeves
352nd Civil Affairs Command Public Affairs
Copyright 2009

Reprinted from Army News Service

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