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Brig. Gen. Michaelene "Mikey" Kloster, commander of the 98th Training Division, said she believes effective Army training relies on an abundance of dedicated drill sergeants.
"That drill sergeant is our first line of training that every Soldier gets," she said. "Now 30 years into (my career), I still remember my very first drill sergeant. That drill sergeant is important to the defense of the nation, because that's where everyone's training starts."
Each year, the unit provides thousands of Army Reserve drill sergeants to the active duty for basic training, initial entry training and one station unit training on Fort Benning.
Additionally, drill sergeants are needed for a variety of events on post such as ceremonies and certified drill sergeants are requested as instructors for the U.S. Army Combatives School.
"It's a wonderful partnership and opportunity for our Soldiers to make sure that their standards of training are right there with the expectations of the active-duty," Kloster said. "We've only been at Fort Benning for less than two years, so every month we get more and more involved and I look forward to continue to make that relationship as robust as we possibly can."
Kloster said the 98th Training Division upholds those standards by keeping Reserve Soldiers involved and engaged with active-duty Soldiers during weekend training. They also balance their duties with Family life and a wide range of civilian jobs, from law enforcement and healthcare to education. As the Army continues to transform, Kloster said the Reserves will continue to support various functions, including military police, medical, military intelligence and aviation commands.
"Right now we have units ... in Afghanistan, and what they are doing is helping train some of the military forces ... whether it's military police, logistical force or Infantry forces," Kloster said. "I think as the active-duty starts to downsize, I think that opportunities for us will upsize. The Army Reserves is not going away, and it's a real value to add and a good partnership to have with Fort Benning, Fort Jackson, (South Carolina) and other installations."
In addition to Fort Benning, Kloster said there are more than 150 Reserve companies located from Maine to Puerto Rico.