U.S. Department of Defense Header Image (click to return to U.S. Department of Defense homepage)
Department of Homeland Security Threat Advisory NoticeDHS Threat & Protection Advisory Level - Yellow: Significant Risk of Terrorist Attacks
Search DefenseLink.mil
Jul. 30, 2014  War on Terror   Transformation   News Products   Press Resources   Images   Websites   Contact Us 
U.S. Army Pfc. Russell Dilling
Army’s Oldest Basic Trainee Graduates
By Bob Bellin
Fort Jackson Leader
FORT JACKSON, S.C., Oct 16, 2006 — The Army’s oldest Basic Combat Training soldier marched off Hilton Field here last Friday as a graduate.

Pfc. Russell Dilling, 42, Company A, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, enlisted in June after the Army raised its maximum active-duty enlistment age to 42.

“The hardest part,” Dilling said, “was switching over from civilian to soldier – making the transition was the hardest.”

Despite the physical challenges, Dilling said he succeeded by keeping a positive attitude.

“I’ve gained a lot of confidence and I have a lot of pride in myself, and that outweighs all of the physical pain I experienced,” he said.

Dilling underwent a physical transformation, losing almost 40 pounds in nine weeks.

“He’s got heart. He didn’t quit,” said battalion Command Sgt. Maj. Marion Mike.

Dilling’s parents, sister, two aunts and oldest son attending the graduation.

Spc. Jonathan Dilling, 259th Quartermaster Battalion, Fort Carson, Colo., said it felt “different” to see his father graduate just weeks after seeing his younger brother graduate.

“I expected my brother to follow in my footsteps, not my dad,” he said. The specialist smiled and said that if he and his dad served in the same location, he would probably still outrank his dad.

With basic training complete, the oldest soldier in the Dilling family is now at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., learning small arms and artillery repair.

“It’s been an interest of mine,” Dilling said, “and I’m looking forward to a new challenge.”

Last Updated:
10/16/2006, Eastern Daylight Time
The Pentagon Channel offers  live DoD programming and on-demand video of Pentagon and Baghdad briefings, Capitol Hill hearings, presidential addresses and more.
Live DoD Programming
Video On-Demand
Special Reports
VA on Data Security
Leaving Lebanon Photos
Travels With Rumsfeld
BRAC
Guantanamo Bay
Web Watch
Top Leaders
News Products
Press Articles
Press Resources
Pentagon Press Passes
Today in DoD
Press Advisories
Releases
Photos
Photo Essays
Speeches
Transcripts
Briefing Slides
Casualty Reports
Civilian Jobs
Commanders Page
Detainee Affairs
DoD Websites
Freedom of Information
Military Homefront
Military Pay & Benefits
Multinational Force Iraq
My Pay
Publications
DoD Updates
ExpectMore.gov
 Site Map   Privacy & Security Notice   About DoD   External Link Disclaimer   Web Policy   About DefenseLINK   FirstGov.gov