Sill Soldier awarded Army Instructor Badge
August 7, 2014
Fort Sill's Sgt. 1st Class Adrian Villareal, Senior Leaders Course (SLC) instructor, was one of seven Soldiers who became the first to receive the Army Instructor Badge during a recognition ceremony July 17 in Alexandria, Va.
As for how this impacts the Army, Villareal said the badge recognizes instructors' efforts.
"I think the badge is a great thing to have because it lets us know and everyone else that instructors are on the same sheet of music as the drill sergeants and recruiters," he said.
The Army chief of staff, and sergeant major of the Army recognized the instructors for their participation in Training and Doctrine Command's (TRADOC) Instructor Development and Recognition Program (IDRP).
The purpose of the program, designed by TRADOC's Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development, is to coach, mentor and train instructors who teach at noncommissioned officer academies throughout the Army.
"Our Soldiers are the best at what they do because of the training they receive from world-class instructors," said Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel Dailey, TRADOC CSM, and narrator for the IDRP ceremony. "These first seven Army Instructor Badge recipients represent the thousands of dedicated professionals in our Army who teach, coach and mentor tomorrow's future leaders."
The ceremony served as a foundation on which the Army can promote instructor achievement through personal and professional growth, inspiring others to do the same, said Master Sgt. Elsi Inoa-Santos, IDRP manager.
"This award codifies and recognizes hard work," said Sgt. 1st Class Brian Ditzler, an Army Instructor Badge recipient from the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.
Ditzler has 16 years of service with two years as an instructor at the Henry Caro NCO Academy. He said the badge is more than the individual recognition; it symbolizes the team effort of developing the backbone of America's Army.
"This is not just for me, but for my team and all the hard work they have put in to develop NCOs who come through the NCO academy," he said.
Villareal said he is proud to be an instructor and enjoys facilitating learning among senior enlisted Soldiers.
"In this job I have right here, I impact the Army more than in any other job I can think of. Back to the badge and why it's important, we're not just training privates, and we're not just people to be led. We're trying to send out leaders; if we're not doing that in a good way, then we could be setting up the Army for a loss. We have to be able to keep the information relevant and keep the students interested," said Villareal.
He said part of training the Army's leaders is showing them how to make a difference, not only in their units, but Armywide.
"I like to challenge these guys to find those regs and find something wrong with them," he said.
For example, a suggestion made in SLC was accepted and changed Army Regulation 350-1.
"Sending those leaders back now they know if they see something that's wrong they don't just complain about it. You've got to show your Soldiers, look you can make a change."
The other five instructors to receive the badge were:
-- Sgt. 1st Class Michael Brown, Quarter Master Corps, Fort Lee, Va.
-- Sgt. 1st Class Kevin Johnson, Aviation Center of Excellence, Fort Eustis, Va.
-- Staff Sgt. Justin Scott Ross, Maneuver Center of Excellence, National Guard, Starke, Fla.
-- Sgt. 1st Class Jacqueline Sauve, Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
-- Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Vann, Army Cyber Center of Excellence Fort Gordon, Ga.
-- Sgt. 1st Class Bryan Vann, Cyber Center of Excellence Fort Gordon, Ga.
(Editor's note: TRADOC public affairs contributed to this article.)