FORT BRAGG, NC. - Staff Sgt. Jerricol Jessie chose to be an instructor at the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Noncommissioned Officer Academy over a position at the Pentagon.
The New Orleans native is a happy person. He whistles and sings while at work, he says, because "it's an amazing job."
He wants to see the Army be a better place, and he believes that the Fort Bragg NCOA is the place to help do that. Over 300 Soldiers fill the classrooms every 22 days attempting to complete the Basic Leader course.
Because the course curriculum changes with the Army, Jessie says he can't be lackadaisical.
"I just have to be ready and willing to put the hours in, honestly, and not be lazy," he said. "I have to be able to adjust on the fly and go full speed ahead."
Jessie was picked by the XVIII Abn. Corps and Fort Bragg NCOA to be featured in this instructor spotlight:
Question - What is the most fulfilling part about being an instructor?
Jessie - I actually having the ability to teach Soldiers at a certain point in their career where they are becoming noncommissioned officers. Some students are lost and need more information on how to properly become noncommissioned officers.
Question - Why did you become an instructor?
Jessie - I became an instructor to get Soldiers at that pivotal point in their careers, when they are becoming NCOs and just being an overall part of the generating force. This makes an outstanding impact on the Army as a whole.
Question - What is the most challenging part of being an instructor?
Jessie - The most challenging part of being an instructor is the fact that our lesson plans and the course management plans change often. The things we have to teach the students is ever-changing, but it's also a great thing, the noncommissioned officers-to-be are getting the best training possible.
Question - What is one thing you'd like your NCOs to take away from your courses?
Jessie - I kind of go by a three step process that I push out to the students.
One, know who you are as a person, because in order to be a successful NCO, to me, you have to personally know who you are. Two, knowing who you want to be as a NCO, because you have a personal philosophy for yourself. Then the third step is just don't forget step one and two.
Question - As an influencer in Soldier's careers, what's one takeaway you'd like them to have?
Jessie - So being an instructor, it plays an integral part in a Soldiers' lives. They come here, they get the instruction from us. The instruction that we give them basically sets them up for success as NCOs. Everything from cultural competence, overall Soldier readiness, mission orders and troop leading procedures. We teach them things that broaden their knowledge base.
Question - What's the future for Staff Sergeant Jessie?
Jessie - There's no place I'd rather be. I'll continue to work and train troops until the Army calls me to do something else.