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BUHL5.jpgStaff. Sgt. Ashley Buhl, the 2023 Army Drill Sergeant of the Year. (Photo by Hunter Rhoades)

'... I'm just happy.'

 By Robert Timmons, Fort Jackson Public Affairs

The unfriendly scowl of a noncommissioned officer staring intently with eyes hidden deep underneath a brown round or green bush hat is a vision most would conjure up when thinking about a drill sergeant.

It certainly would not be a happy smile.

But that is exactly what you get with Staff Sgt. Ashley Buhl, the 2023 Drill Sergeant of the Year.

“Honestly, I don’t know why I walk around like this,” she said after receiving the honor. “Honestly, it hurts my cheeks. I wake up and I’m just happy.”

Her smile was evident as she took center stage at the NCO Club on post to receive the honor.

“I don’t have reasons to be sad,” she added. “Of course, there are times when I am sad, but at the same time I want other people to feel happy. I would never want someone to feel sad. So, I just want to be that person that when you see me you can’t help but smile.”

Don’t let the smile fool you, she is “tough as nails.” She has to be firm with trainees.

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