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Cadre In Focus
by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Deidra Jackson - April 18, 2015

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FORT HUACHUCA, Ariz - Being a drill sergeant in the U.S. Army and its Reserve Component is one of the most thrilling experience a Soldier can have. The guidance and insight you give to civilians to become Soldiers is a very rewarding feeling. Being a drill sergeant encompasses some of the best Soldiers the Army has to offer, so it would only be fitting for the best to compete to show that they are.

Army Reserve drill sergeant, Sgt. 1st Class Christina Martinelli, A Company, 1/321st Infantry Regiment, 98th Training Division(IET), is one of those Soldiers competing for the title of Noncommissioned Officer of the Year during the 108th Training Command (IET) 2015 Best Warrior Competition.

March 27, 2015 - U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christina Martinelli takes a moment to look up as she low crawls on the confidence course during the 2015 Best Warrior and Drill Sergeant of the Year competition. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Deidra Jackson)
March 27, 2015 - U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Christina Martinelli takes a moment to look up as she low crawls on the confidence course during the 2015 Best Warrior and Drill Sergeant of the Year competition. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Deidra Jackson)

Martinelli lives in Columbia South Carolina with her boyfriend and currently works at the 81st Regional Support Command in the junior enlisted promotion section.

Originally from Massachusetts, Martinelli's ultimate goal is to be a command sergeant major in the Army. So competing in this competition is more than she could ever dream, but the thought of winning the competition makes that goal even more realistic.

“This would be a great experience because Sergeant Major hold boards and I have never participated in one, so it gives me a taste of what the Soldier side is and how I would prep as a Sgt. Major,” Martinelli said.

The military has given Martinelli many goals that civilian life just couldn't give her and for these reason she loves every aspect of it.

Martinelli worked at the National Park Service in Massachusetts until August 2014. She says she loved working there but hated the job. Working for the Army as well as being in the Army is more than this young Soldier could have hoped for.

Going active duty was once a dream for Martinelli but since moving to South Carolina and working at the 81st, staying in the Army Reserve seems to make more sense, it's the best of both worlds.

“I love being a Reserve Soldier, I love the opportunities, love to travel, I love the school and meeting new people and I love that the Army can't move me anywhere.”

Doing the competition has been the best experience for Martinelli, especially because as a Reserve Soldier there is not enough time in a weekend to be able to focus on basic Soldier skills. This is a great opportunity to get back to the field, something that Martinelli loves.

“This is an awesome experience for anyone. Anyone can do it if you want it bad enough. The basic military skills you seem to lose after basic training, this experience helps bring it back, skills like land navigation,” Martinelli said.

Martinelli has high hopes for the future, she may not be a participant in the competition next year, but she would love to come back as a sponsor. She wants to motivate another Soldier to do what she has done, only better.

“It would be cool to be a sponsor and a mentor, and help somebody through this. I believe being a sponsor would be where I would be the most effective,” she added.

When she is not working Martinelli loves cooking and participating in Spartan competitions.

Mentoring and motivation is a blueprint of a good noncommissioned officer and for Martinelli the foundation for being a drill sergeant. It is not about being a noncommissioned officer, it's about being a great noncommissioned officer.

By U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Deidra Jackson
108th Training Command (IET) Public Affairs
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2015

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