Fort Bragg NCO instructor spotlight: Staff Sgt. Melissa Brandt
By Spc. Adam ManternachMay 4, 2019
FORT BRAGG, NC -- Staff Sgt. Melissa Brandt, a Basic Leader Course instructor at the XVIII Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg Noncommissioned Officer Academy, chose to teach to set her apart from her peers.After being on Fort Bragg for five years, she became an instructor to change the progression of her career. It gave her new motivation, she said.The Melbourne, Florida native 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?Brandt - The most fulfilling part about being an instructor is helping our future leaders understand what goes into the framework of the Army, how the Army is shaped and the policies and procedures that make it that way.Question -- How do you feel that you're helping them understand policies and procedures?Brandt - I go into regulations with them and use simple things we need on a daily basis to perform our missions, such as troop leading procedures and cultural competence.
Question - How do you feel this assignment has helped your career?Brandt - I believe this position has helped me stand apart from my peers. As a member of Air Defense Artillery, there aren't many instructor positions other than the Advanced Leader Course. I know when my packet goes before the board, I'll have something to make me unique.Question - What's the most challenging part of this job?Brandt - Opening up classroom discussion so all learners are able to participate. Some learners are hands on and some are readers. I have to be able to cater to every learner.Question - What is the most rewarding part of this job?Brandt - Sending these Soldiers that came here with baseline knowledge back to their units with improved understanding of what we do as leaders. This helps build our NCO corps.Question - What would you like for your young NCOs to take away from courses here?Brandt - Listening is key. We teach a course in effective listening. We all have to listen to someone, whether it's other Soldiers, or our chain of command. As leaders, if we're not listening, we're not influencing. We can't promote readiness if we're not ensuring our troops are taken care of, and we can't promote readiness if we're not listening to our chain of command.Question -What makes instructing rewarding?Brandt - I have a few students from my old battery or battalion come through the course. They reach out to me, and I understand how the unit functions. I am able to give them sound advice to help them transition from one echelon to another.