FORT LEE, Va. (Dec. 15, 2010) - Instructor certification programs are designed to ensure military students obtain the necessary knowledge to accomplish their missions. The culmination of the certification process is in obtaining the title Master Instructor, which is no easy task, especially in the Ordnance School.

Staff Sgt. Sidney Galloway, Basic Electronics Maintenance instructor, Armament and Electronics Maintenance Training Department, reached that pinnacle in his quest for excellence, and was presented his Master Instructor certification during a ceremony Dec. 9. He joins the ranks of only 52 Master Instructors in the Ordnance Corps and is the first to earn the title at Fort Lee.

Instructor certification programs are designed to ensure military students are being trained by highly-skilled professionals. The Ordnance School has designed one of the most intense programs within Training and Doctrine Command.

"Ours is the most rigorous program in TRADOC," Col. Clark LeMasters, commandant, U.S. Army Ordnance School said. "Only a small percentage of our instructors make it to the master level."

Becoming a Master Instructor requires dedication. Some of the requirements to attain the certification include: teaching at least 1,000 hours of instruction; completing at least 18 months of cumulative teaching experience; conducting a seminar on a topic of instructional concern; completing a project or research paper; and appearing before a board for evaluation.

"It takes a lot of hard work and is a huge statement of an individual's commitment to his profession and to excellence," LeMasters said.

Galloway, a Coatesville, Pa. native, became an instructor in 2007 and teaches Army Advanced Individual Training students from three different ordnance occupational fields as well as U.S. Marine Corps Basic Refrigeration Technicians.

Galloway worked toward attaining this certification for three years and attributes his success to not only his hard work but to his mentor, Jackie Wilson, a fellow Master Instructor.
"He told me that if you want to give students the best, you've got to be the best," Galloway said. "So I figured, why not."

Of all the requirements to become a Master Instructor, the project was the most difficult to complete according to Galloway.

"The hardest part of this was coming up with a project," he explained. "Basically, a project is developing a training aid that will improve overall instruction. That was the toughest part because we came from Aberdeen to Fort Lee and we have new facilities so nothing really needed improving."

He overcame this obstacle by taking old test equipment and rebuilding it to better train students. The project involved direct current relay testers.

"We had old DC relay control boxes that used AC power to test them. I built the boxes so that the DC relays could be used with DC circuitry rather than plugging it straight into the wall," he explained.

The project alone took Galloway about 84 hours to complete, but the time spent is well worth it, as it is something students will be utilizing long after he leaves active duty.

Galloway will be retiring from the Army later this month, but will return to the school soon in his new role as a civilian instructor. This new career path will allow him to continue to pass his knowledge on to students for years to come.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16