By Mrs. Melissa Buckley (Leonard Wood)May 13, 2015
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 14, 2015) -- A Fort Leonard Wood Soldier has been recognized by the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command as the 2014 Noncommissioned Officer Instructor of the Year.
Staff Sgt. Jo Desiree Schaus is an Advanced Individual Training instructor for the 58th Transportation Battalion, 3rd Chemical Brigade.
"There are so many other great instructors. It is such an honor to win this award," said Schaus, who has been teaching on post nearly two years.
"I don't think I have ever been happier in my career than I am here training Soldiers," the Evergreen, Alabama, native said.
Shortly after arriving on post, she put her 54 months of deployment to use when she joined the 58th Transportation Battalion's tactical operations squad. The squad is responsible for teaching Soldiers in training proper response to combat convoy operations.
While attached to the tactical operations squad, she volunteered to compete in the Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Best Warrior competition.
"I like to stay busy. I'm constantly asking what I can do next," Schaus said.
After winning instructor of the quarter at the battalion and brigade levels, she went on to win the instructor of year for the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School.
For the TRADOC-level competition, Schaus and 73 other TRADOC service members, submitted a video of themselves teaching a class.
Schaus said she didn't do anything extra to prepare for the TRADOC-level competition.
"I just did my job. I have a passion for teaching. From teaching the privates to competitions, I give 110 percent no matter what I am doing," Schaus said. "I feel like if you don't care then you might as well just take off your uniform and go home."
Pvt. Juan Lopez, Company C, 58th Trans. Bn. and a Georgetown, Delaware, native is set to graduate from AIT next week. He said he feels blessed to have Schaus as an instructor.
"It feels good to know you are being trained by the best-of-the-best," Lopez said of Schaus.
"She doesn't hold back with her training. She breaks everything down and has a great attitude. She is very motivating and her commitment is out-of-this-world. She is always here, even when we are just doing physical training," he added.
After Schaus was told about her TRADOC award, she shared the good news with her Family. Schaus said they have been the bedrock of her support and success.
"They are happy for me," she said with a big smile.
Schaus said she has been overwhelmed by the immeasurable support from her leadership and fellow noncommissioned officers.
"The support channel that I have here is incredible. This is one of the best chain of commands I have ever worked for," Schaus said. "I wouldn't have won this award without my Cell Team 5 (coworkers)."
Lt. Col. Stephen Howell, 58th Trans. Bn. commander, said he is extremely proud of Schaus.
"She always goes above and beyond. She is a tremendous Soldier," said Howell, the Norwood, North Carolina, native. "She is totally dedicated to the mission wherever she is serving," he added.
Schaus joined the Army in September 2001 as an 88M Cargo Transfer operator.
During her early career, she served in England during Operation Log Viper. There she assisted in fielding the load handling system and palletized load handling system.
Schaus has also served four tours in various locations of Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
In Afghanistan, she served as the primary intelligence analyst with the company operations intelligence support team.