FORT BENNING, Ga. (May 17, 2018) -- Brazilian army Lt. Col. Rafael Novaes, an instructor of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation's Command and General Staff Officer Course, won against U.S. Army educators across the globe to be named the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command's Educator of the Year for 2017. That means he is considered the best educator in the U.S. Army.

Novaes follows another WHINSEC instructor in earning the title; two years ago, Chilean Army Col. Luis Cuellar was TRADOC's Educator of the Year, and in between, Salvadoran Army Capt. Rafael Monterrosa was named TRADOC's Officer Instructor of the Year.

According to WHINSEC commandant Col. Robert F. Alvaro, this is evidence that nations send their very best to the institute both as students and as Instructors. He says the competition is not for international instructors or U.S. instructors but for all instructors teaching and training in Army schools.

Novaes has reached the pinnacle of instruction at the institute, going from instructor to senior instructor and then master instructor. He has been nominated to be an assistant professor of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, WHINSEC's higher headquarters.

Novaes was commissioned an infantry lieutenant upon graduation from the Agulhas Negras Military Academy in 1997 and has had several teaching assignments in the Brazilian Army. He has also taught those going on United Nations peacekeeping missions and on two occasions served on those missions himself.

Always seeking improvement, Novaes constantly studies. He has earned a master's degree in military operations, and a doctorate-equivalent degree in military sciences from the Brazilian army's Command and General Staff College. While at the institute and in addition to the instructor training done here, Novaes got permission to go to the Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies for a National Policy Formulation course.

Novaes is nearing the end of his tour of duty at WHINSEC, but he will return to the U.S. in early August when Gen. Stephen Townsend, Commanding General of TRADOC, will present his trophy and also recognize the other instructors who placed highly in the competition during a ceremony at TRADOC headquarters at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia.