FORT BENNING, GA – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year TRADOC’s recognition of their best of the best was celebrated via a virtual ceremony, hosted by Gen. Paul E. Funk II, TRADOC Commanding General, on August 6, 2020.
Out of an available pool approximately over 10,000 instructors, 68 candidates were assessed by 17 judges from 14 schools and the Army University for one of seven categories that compromise TRADOC’s competition.
For the fourth time, during the last five years, a WHINSEC instructor has been recognized for its exceptional qualities.
WHINSEC former partner nation instructor, Brazilian Marine Corps Lieutenant Commander (Major) Dias, (2018-2020) School of Leadership and Tactics (SLT), Chief of the Tactics Division, was named TRADOC Instructor of the Year, in the Officer category.
On behalf of GEN Funk, Major General Donahue Commanding General Maneuver Center of Excellence, and COL Suggs, WHINSEC Commandant, presented the award to LCdr David Manhaes, representative of Lcdr Dias, at the MCoE headquarters, during the ceremony.
LCdr Dias completed his assignment here at the Institute and returned to Brazil in early April timeframe.
"I had very high expectations when I arrived at WHINSEC in 2018. I knew it would be a great opportunity to improve personally and professionally. WHINSEC is a very unique and challenging Institute," said Dias.
During his tenure at the Institute, Dias led four courses under SLT. He also provided instruction for the Joint Disaster Response Techniques, Counter Transnational Threat, Medical Assistance, Transnational Threat Network Intelligence Analysis, and the Medical Assistance Courses in the area of Human Rights and Democracy. Additionally, he completed a Master’s degree in International Relations at Troy University in December 2020
Dias added, "It is a great responsibility, WHINSEC not only creates realistic conditions to improve the security in the Western Hemisphere, but also highlights the importance of democracy and human rights during the entire process."
He is married to Thalita Dias, a former Navy officer. They share two children Caio, five years old, and Ana Beatriz, one-year-old. Their youngest daughter was born in Fort Benning, Georgia, at Martin Army Community Hospital.
When Dias is off duty, he enjoys competing in Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. He is a judô Black Belt and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt. His hobbies include competing in triathlons, reading, and outdoor activities with his family. Their favorite place to visit and enjoy family time are the beaches in Rio de Janeiro.