Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Noncommissioned Officers Academy instructors are the first of their profession on Fort Leonard Wood to wear their own distinct Basic Army Instructor Badge.

Instructors were awarded the BAIB Dec. 3, after an approval process that began nearly four years ago and culminated with the final design and inclusion in the Department of the Army Pamphlet 670-1 this year.

Although each instructor is hand selected by their regimental command sergeant major and the NCOA, the badge is earned after completing established criteria.

"All instructors were initially awarded the basic instructor badge," said 1st Sgt. Bernell Zorn Jr., Military Police Senior Leader Course, MSCoE NCO Academy.

Zorn said instructors must be submitted for and work to earn the Senior Army Instructor Badge and the Master Army Instructor Badge

"It is important to note that this badge is unique to the NCOA instructors," Zorn added. "Other course instructors are not eligible to wear the badge."

Just as the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge, the BAIB will identify those who were assigned to the U.S. Army's Training and Doctrine Command with the responsibility to train NCOs, Zorn said.

"NCOES instructors are masters of their trade. They not only have to master skill-level-one tasks but they must also master skill-level-two, three and often four. They must then facilitate this knowledge to other future leaders," Zorn said.

Commanders have a tool in the BAIB that will assist them in identifying well-trained NCOs, as they re-enter the field, according to Command Sgt. Maj. Curtis Johnson, MSCoE NCOA commandant.

"The BAIB is a testament to the NCOs of our past, present and future who are willing to better train our forces in peace and war," Johnson said. "The NCOES instructors who wear this badge will represent the best NCOs of their regiments and of the Army."

A noncommissioned officer education system instructor is an Army instructor who is primarily assigned to an NCOA as an educator. The Instructor Development and Recognition Program was created to bridge the gaps and addresses the selection, development, assessment and management of NCOES instructors.

The IDRP contains three levels of instructor recognition, performance outcomes for each level, an instructor development plan to achieve the levels, and an evaluation plan to assess instructors at each level. Participation in the IDRP is voluntary. A snapshot of criteria to wear each badge follows.

Army Instructor Recognition and Badge
NCOs are able to facilitate and present instruction in a variety of learning environments. Instructors closely adhere to the instruction outlined in the training support package and effectively plan, prepare and execute instruction. Among other requirements, they must successfully teach at least 80 hours of instruction as the primary, pass two-instructor evaluations (conducted at a minimum of 30 days apart). The badge's approving authority is the NCOA commandant.

Army Senior Instructor Recognition and Badge
In addition to continuing to improve instructor skills, senior instructors also use student reaction and learning data to recommend areas for instructor improvement or curriculum changes. To earn badge, they must meet all requirements for basic badge, successfully teach at least 400 hours of instruction as the primary instructor, complete three additional instructor courses and redesign a lesson and score at least 70 percent. Senior Army Instructor Badge's approving authority is the MSCoE and FLW commanding general.

Army Master Instructor Recognition and Badge
Master instructor recognition is awarded to instructors who are able to design new lessons and make evidence-based recommendations regarding instructional strategies, methods, media and technology. They must meet all requirements for senior badge, successfully teach at least 400 hours of instruction as the primary instructor after being awarded the senior instructor badge, complete two additional instructor courses and be recommended by the Master Instructor Selection Board. Master Army Instructor Badge's approving authority is the MSCoE and FLW commanding general.