Staff Sgt. Krista Osborne
Fort Leonard Wood's drill sergeant of the year, Staff Sgt. Krista Osborne, was honored Friday by the Committee of Fifty, a local military support organization.
The post's top enlisted soldier, Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena, himself a former drill sergeant at Fort Sill, said he was impressed by Osborne's work and predicts she'll do well at the upcoming Army-wide drill sergeant competition next month that will name the top drill sergeant for TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command).
"She's doing it way better than I did," Delapena said. "As she moves on here, give her some prayers in September... so we will take that competition and be the number one drill sergeant in our Army."
Delapena said Osborne did her Basic and AIT at Fort Leonard Wood in 2014 and became a truck driver.
Osborne said when she came from New Mexico to Fort Leonard Wood as an 18-year-old, she was terrified, but is glad to be back. She said she enjoys the community and encourages her fellow drill sergeants to get off post when they can to spend time in the community with their families.
"We're not just raising pit bulls," Osborne said. "Our people take their hats off every day, go home, and do a phenomenal job."
Delapena noted that 87,000 new soldiers per year come through Fort Leonard Wood, but help is needed to expand the recruitment pool.
"87 percent of our Army, 87 percent of our soldiers, have a family member who is a soldier," Delapena said. "This isn't our Army, this is America's Army. The majority shouldn't be our family members. That's what we need help on."
Delapena said current retirement statistics say 80 percent of those who retire at Fort Leonard Wood stay in Missouri, and that happens because the local community is supporting soldiers.