'Warrior instructor citizen'
March 25, 2013
Warrior Citizens juggle full-time jobs, family life and their Reserve commitment, but a select few, like Staff Sgt. Aaron Madison, add the title of instructor to their repertoire.
Madison, a bank customer service representative in his civilian capacity, worked as an instructor for the first time during the Cargo Specialist Reclassification Course at Fort Eustis, Va., March 3-28, 2013.
"I didn't know what to expect," said Madison, 2nd Brigade, 94th Training Division. "My first class ended up being less stressful than I thought it would be."
Madison received instructor tips before and during his block of instruction from Sgt. 1st Class Dale Warfield, and Staff Sgt. Lonell Z. Ricks, also assigned to the 2nd Bde., 94th.
"I tell the instructors before the courses start to review the material and make sure they are knowledgeable about their topics," said Warfield, the cargo specialist course liaison.
The two-phased reclassification course teaches Soldiers how to transfer cargo to and from air, land, and water, as well as how to operate and maintain winches, cranes, and forklifts of various types and sizes.
"Cargo specialists are more than just moving men, and being an instructor is just as important," said Ricks, the course manager for the month of March. "Being an instructor takes dedication."
"Instructing keeps you up-to-date on cargo operations," added Ricks, who works as a heavy wheel mechanic as a civilian. "The better instructor I am, the better the students are trained."
Both Ricks and Madison said they enjoyed working as Cargo Specialist instructors, but Madison also said he liked that his Army Reserve occupation is different from his civilian job.
"I've been in cargo operations since I joined the Army 13 years ago, and now I'm an instructor," said Madison. "I thought it would be nice to do something different on the civilian side, so I can get a break from each (occupation) at times."