FORT BRAGG, N.C. - Staff Sgt. Francisco Castellanos, a Basic Leader Course instructor at the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Brag Noncommissioned Officer Academy, has high learning expectations for himself and his Soldiers.
The Oceanside, California native has a series of firsts in his family - he's the first to graduate high school, he's the first in his family to serve in the military and the first to graduate from a four-year college.
He continues to excel and set himself apart from his peers by being an instructor at the NCOA. By facilitating a peer-to-peer learning model in BLC, he said he is able to share and learn from his fellow instructors and students across military occupation specialties.
Castellanos 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?
Castellanos - Watching Soldiers grow as leaders. Students take initiative, dig into field manuals, watch demos and put in time to learn and teach from their peers to complete tasks to the standard.
Question - Why did you become an instructor?
Castellanos - I've always had a passion to teach Soldiers, and the NCOA was an opportunity to teach, coach, and mentor them across the Army.
Question - What is the most challenging part of being an instructor?
Castellanos - Facilitating and encouraging students to do peer-to-peer learning. I encourage Soldiers to have discussions and share their experiences with each other while looking at the regulations and references.
Question - What is the most vital lesson you enjoy teaching young NCOs?
Castellanos - I enjoy teaching and sharing my experiences with counselings as a paralegal specialist. Using basic written communication is important for both young NCOs and their future Soldier's development.
Question - Does your time as an instructor stop here?
Castellanos - As long as I wear the Basic Instructor Badge, I'll be asked about it. Teaching and coaching Soldiers about professional development is something an NCO should do and I plan to keep doing it. The teaching won't stop here.