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Bristol man named U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor of the Year

March 29th, 2014 7:00 pm by Matthew Lane

Bristol man named U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor of the Year

Gunnery Sergeant Michael H. Wampler

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Gunnery Sergeant Michael H. Wampler of Bristol, Tenn., believes his work ethic and morals helped him secure the U.S. Marine Corps Drill Instructor of the Year award for 2013.

"Not just doing the bare minimum to meet the mission of recruit training, but everything you do for the recruits is going to be a reflection of yourself," Wampler said. "Recruit performance is solely based on how much you put into them. If your recruits are successful, it's because you gave them the maximum effort and everything you had.

"As a DI we have them from the first day of training, all the way through 12 weeks, with them every single day, everywhere they go."

Wampler, 27, was born and raised in Bristol, Tenn., graduated from Sullivan East High School in December 2004 and enlisted in the Marine Corps the following month. Wampler graduated from boot camp (Parris Island, S.C.) in April 2005 and ordered to Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Air Station in California where his primary job is being a Cobra and Huey helicopter mechanic.

Since becoming a Marine, Wampler has served two tours of duty in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and upon returning to the states, pulled a two-year stint as an instructor with the mechanics school, teaching new Marines how to work on helicopters.

"Once I was done with that, I put in orders to go to drill instructor school to be (one) here in San Diego," Wampler said. "This past year I was nominated for drill instructor of the year for San Diego and I competed against the Parris Island nominee and I won it."

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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