FORT SILL, Okla.-- Soldiers come to the Fires Center of Excellence for training, whether it is Basic Combat Training, Advanced Individual Training or one of the numerous courses meant to better prepare them for a higher rank. Each Soldier gains a better understanding of how to fulfill their duty in their respective careers.

They wouldn't be prepared for what comes next without the outstanding instructors at Fort Sill. This year eight instructors are being recognized for that very reason. And this year field artillery is joined by the air defense artillery's crew to represent the latest transformation of training at Fort Sill.

There were four separate categories of winners with two instructors picked in each. The categories were commissioned officer, warrant officer, noncommissioned officer and Department of the Army civilian.

A ceremony was held in their honor Tuesday at Snow Hall. The Soldiers received Army Commendation medals, a commanding general's two-star note of commendation and a commander's coin. The civilian instructors received a Commander's Award for civilian service, a commanding general's two-star note of commendation and a commander's coin.

All eight instructors also received a certificate of recognition on behalf of the city of Lawton along with several prizes donated by local merchants.

Australian Army Maj. Charles Slinger, ADA Captain's Career Course, B Battery, 1st Battalion, 56th Air Defense Artillery. According to his peers and chain-of-command, Slinger ensured the latest training concepts were used in the classroom and his deployment experience in Afghanistan and Malaysia as well as the training conducted with the Royal British Army and Singapore armed forces brought a balance to the course.

Marine Capt. Trent Fensler, Field Artillery Basic Officer Leader Course, U.S. Marine Corp Artillery Detachment.

Fensler earned this honor by his proficiency in the world of light artillery. His peers and chain-of-command said his knowledge tempers his instruction by adding real world scenarios to the classroom.

Chief Warrant Officer James Lucas, Warrant Officer Basic Course, C Battery, 1st Battalion, 30th Field Artillery.

Lucas was chosen because his peers said he is the most sought after source for all matters pertaining to precision fires, counter fire and targeting products and processes.

Chief Warrant Officer Eric Strach, Warrant Officer Basic Course, B Battery, 3rd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery.

Strach served as the mentor for the first Warrant Officer Basic Course at Fort Sill and he is seen as someone who continually tries to enhance the course to provide students with the best training.

Staff Sgt. Andrew Baumgartner, Warrior Leader Course, U.S. Army NCO Academy.

Baumgartner has been nominated for spending long hours ensuring every Soldier in the course is successful as they go through their first level of professional military education.

Staff Sgt. Michael Flores, Medical Situational Training Exercise NCOIC and Combat Lifesaver First Aid, Service Battery, 434th Field Artillery Detachment. After multiple tours in combat, Flores has taught more than 23,000 Soldiers in Initial Entry Training skills to survive in the current operational environment.

Ronald Hussey, Avenger Course, C Battery, 2nd Battalion, 6th Air Defense Artillery.

Hussey has been the driving force in the Avenger instructor certification program and tracking progress of new instructors. He continues to serve his country after 23 years of military service.

Saul Magana, Professional Development Division, HQS Detachment, Fires Center of Excellence.

Magana is the primary author for the FCoE Army Basic Instructor Course. During the recent accreditation of the course it was singled out as a "best practice."

The awardees names will reside on the instructor of the year plaques posted in the Merritt Wing of Snow Hall.

The instructors will move on to the U.S. Training and Doctrine Command competition. Fort Sill has had three winners in the past including last year's Chief Warrant Officer Adam Shereyk, who won the warrant officer category. The winners will be named in the spring.

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