- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

FORT JACKSON, S.C. (AP) - Retired and current Army drill sergeants are gathering at Fort Jackson to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the celebrated trainers’ program.

The senior enlisted men and women are in charge of Army’s recruits and transform about 120,000 civilians into soldiers every year.

A Hall of Fame induction and cake cutting ceremony are being held Friday at the post outside Columbia.

Fort Jackson is home to the Army’s Drill Sergeant School, consolidated from separate locations several years ago.

In 1964, the Army began a school for drill sergeants at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri to improve and streamline soldier instruction.

Army officials say the service has about 2,200 drill sergeants and 600 platoon sergeants in uniform.

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