First Space Force guardians graduate from Army drill sergeant school

by Tommy Grant

Two Space Force guardians this week became the first in the newest service branch to receive the distinctive Army drill sergeant hat.

Tech Sgt. David P. Gudgeon and Sgt. Yuji R. Moore graduated from the U.S. Army Drill Sergeant Academy on Wednesday during a ceremony at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, according to a service release.

The pair’s accomplishment reinforces the Space Force’s place alongside its sister services and will help the service solidify its own training methods.

“This is historic, and I don’t think it’s lost on anybody how we bring the joint force together in order to get after it,” Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond Harris, Army Training and Doctrine Command’s senior enlisted leader, said in the release. “The Army will never fight by itself; the Space Force will never fight by itself. In the entire Department of Defense, we fight in a joint force.”

Aspiring military training instructors with the Air Force and Space Force typically attend a course at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. But now, officials during the ceremony highlighted that the Army’s drill sergeant academy has opened the doors of its demanding institution to both soldiers and other service members to prepare to teach the core tenets of basic training.

Although Gudgeon and Moore, who initially enlisted in the Air Force before transferring to the Space Force, were less accustomed to the traditionally soldier-dominated environment, they said they eventually learned to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

“For me, this is a pretty foreign environment … not being really familiar with Army tactics or doctrine and things like that,” Moore said in the release. “I had to continuously lean on battle buddies to be like, ‘Hey, what is this?’”

The duo added that they will inevitably take what they learned to others in the Space Force when they arrive back at their assignments.

“I think we’re definitely gonna be bringing in a different flavor to that training environment that they haven’t seen yet,” Gudgeon said in the release.

Jonathan is a staff writer and editor of the Early Bird Brief newsletter for Military Times. Follow him on Twitter @lehrfeld_media

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