Time, Influence, and Free Chicken

Where have  you been?


If you have been following our blog, you may have noticed that it has been quite some time since our last post. No, we haven’t given up in our quest to impact the lives of others; we just needed to take some time to enjoy a great gift we were recently given – time.

For the past two years, I have been serving as Drill Sergeant in Fort Benning, Georgia. My team and I would take large groups of recruits from every walk of life, and transform them into a new, hardened version of themselves. This assignment would prove to be very taxing on myself, and my family; however, on the day that I was able to retire my campaign hat, I knew that what I was able to accomplish here made everything worth the struggle.

This hat will continue to shake the nerves of men for many years to come.

This hat will continue to shake the nerves of men for many years to come.

Free Chicken

This was definitely one of my proudest moments, and it was time to give them men of my company my last little bit of what I call “Free Chicken”. I had always thought about what I would say on this day, and I boiled it down to three things…here is my best effort to recall what was said that day:


Men, I have put on a good front for you. As I stand here in front of you, you may think that I am a big, bad-A**-mother f*****, but I’m not. In fact, everything that is good about me, all of my best qualities, are standing right behind me  – where they have always been. If it weren’t for those two gentlemen there, and that fine-looking lady, I wouldn’t be half the man I am today. Take care of your families, men. They’ll be the one’s suffering while you’re downrange with your brothers doing what you signed up to do. They’ll be the ones staying up late at night, wondering where you are, or what you’re doing. Go out there and F*** Sh*t up so that when you return, and lay your head down on that bed, you can feel confident that you gave it 110% – that all of that time you spent away was worth it.


I love them, they are my rock.

I love them, they are my rock.


My wife and kids were standing behind me during my speech. It was amazing to see just how happy they were to have me back, and it was a blessing to able to share this moment with my brothers in the back of the photo; however, it was time to go, and catch up on all that time lost. So, I left the men with this:


Before I leave, men, I want to ask you…who wants some free chicken?


“I do, Drill Sergeant!”

The room erupted, and man…I still get chills thinking about it.

Men, when you all leave outta here, know that though we may have made you feel otherwise, you, men, have a lot of power… more power than you may think. You have power in two big ways, men,  and I’ll share them with you today.

First, you all have the power of Influence.You are always influencing those around you – you do not have a choice. However, how you influence is where you get to make a choice. Choose wisely!

Second, you all have a great gift to give people, and that is the gift of time. Giving someone your time is one of the most sincere things you can do because it is something that you will never get back. So, when you leave here, make sure that you are giving your time to the right people, and that you don’t waste it on the phone, or playing video games. Bottom line, men, is don’t be a dirt bag.


And that was it. That was the last that they heard from me…they said goodbye to Drill Sergeant Airborne, and so did I.

The next month was spent getting used to being at home, taking the boys to their practices, and snuggling with my wife on the couch, giving them all what I couldn’t give them the past two years – my time. That, my friends, is what my focus will be until our next challenge, which I’m sure you all will hear about soon.


10 responses to “Time, Influence, and Free Chicken

  1. Cordero, Cristian

    DS airborne your a real f***ing man when I think of an nco your one of the few people that pop into my head, you and the other ds at charlie 1 46 know how to turn a boy into a man and civilian an to a solider !
    Just did 25 and 1 for airborne paratrooper in the sky !

    Currently in airborne soon to be pv2 airborne !


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  3. Pelaez, Cristian

    DS Airborne you are are a huge reason to my new persona that I have developed! Currently I have picked up personal development and trying to be more than just average! Been following motivational speakers (les brown, jim rohn, E.T, etc) and noticed that i need to grind to not only for me but also my parents. Noticed u stated mediocrity is a plague and this will stick to me to my very core! I’m done with being just an average person and I’m working on being #aboveaverage! 25 and 1 for the airborne paratrooper in the sky Drill Sergeant!!


    • Palaez,
      It was one of my greatest honors to be introduced to my Soldiers’ family. To see the impact they can have on them, how proud you can make them in just ten weeks, was always amazing to me. KEEP GOING! The only person who will set limitations for you is yourself! If you remove those limitations, you will gain a great deal of momentum, and reach heights that even you did not expect. Speed and intensity, Airborne, drive on Palaez, I’m proud of you.


  4. Jonathan Mejia

    DS Airborne,
    It’s a bitter sweat moment knowing that you have retired the DS Hat. Knowing that there are going to be new recruits that aren’t going to have the opportunity to be trained by an awesome soldier. I have met lots of NCO’s and everything that you have taught me and advised me of, still stands out above the rest. Thanks to your words of wisdom, I have become a better man. You have made a major impact in my life and will strive to take care of soldiers as well as you took care of us.


    • Jonathan,
      Thanks for the kind words. It was that same feeling that made me want to push harder, and get to where I am today. The desire to be my personal best so that I could help others came from the example given to me by my first leaders, my DS’s. I look forward to seeing your progress in the military, and in life. Keep in touch.
      -DS ABN


  5. Jonathan Perez

    DS Airborne,
    Its been a whole year since I went to basic at Charlie 1 46 but I will never forget the long lasting effect you left on me and the platoon. Because of an NCO such as yourself I was able to push myself beyond many other soldiers in my current unit and because of how you trained us to push harder like no other has opened numerous opportunities for me. Within 8 months of being in my unit I have attended Air Assault School, WLC, I am on my way to Sapper School this coming spring, and I have been nominated by my unit to run for Soldier of the Year for my state. I will also be heading on my first deployment as a team chief next fall. That all started with you and all other DS that made me into the soldier I am today and for that I am grateful. Thank you. Punishers Lead the Way!


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