Former Soldier earns Ordnance School top instructor award

By Terrance BellMarch 24, 2022

Former Soldier earns Ordnance School top instructor award
Lucious Smith is a 91B Wheeled Vehicle Repairer Course instructor at the Ordnance School on Fort Lee. He recently earned the right to represent his organization in the Civilian Instructor of the Year competition at the Training and Doctrine Command level. Smith, an Army retiree, is the orientation course instructor in the Wheel Maintenance Training Department. (U.S. Army photo by T. Anthony Bell) (Photo Credit: Terrance Bell) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT LEE, Va. – Ask Lucious Smith to name his most important attribute as an instructor, and he is quick to respond.

“I stay ready,” said the 64-year-old assigned to the Ordnance School’s Wheel Maintenance Training Department. “Some people have to get ready. I’m ready right now.”

That measure of preparation paid dividends for the 91B Wheeled Vehicle Repairer Course Orientation instructor late last year. Asked to be a last-minute replacement for the fiscal 2021 Instructor of the Quarter competition, Smith was fully prepared as a previous IOY winner and brimming with eagerness to go after it again, which he did and won for a second time.

The journey continued. His superiors – well aware of his readiness and abilities – pushed him toward entering the Ordnance School Instructor of the Year Competition. He jumped on board, fulfilled the requirements, bested the efforts of “roughly 35-40 others” and stood once again in the victory circle.

“It was about time,” said Smith, implying his moment of recognition was inevitable. “I’m very modest, but I take what I do very seriously. I have a certain way of delivering information to students because I’ve been where they are, I know where they’re going, I know what they need and I know how to reach them.”

Smith is an Army retiree who served as a 91B wheel vehicle repairer and instructor while on active duty. He describes himself first and foremost as a man of faith and a positive behind-the-scenes figure willing to fill in the blanks wherever they might be.

“I’m humble,” he said. “I’m always that person who is not a hindrance but a helper. I like helping people. I like finding ways to reach the unreachable. That’s just my nature. If I see something that needs to be done, I want to be the one who does it.”

Smith’s supervisor, Clifford F. Triplett, said his strengths and contributions to the mission abound, but what truly stands out is his attention to detail.

“He is a professional,” said Triplett, who has known Smith three years.

“He is one of those who will unfailingly dot the ‘Is’ and cross the ‘Ts.’ He makes sure that when students leave here, they have an understanding of what they need to be successful out in the operational force.”

As the Ordnance School’s Civilian Instructor of the Year, Smith will now compete at the Training and Doctrine Command level, which includes candidates from military training facilities all over the country. The competition is likely to be much tougher, he said, but no matter the outcome, he is honored to represent the Ordnance School.

“It would really be something (to win),” said Smith. “I would look at myself as amongst the Michael Jordans of instructors.”

Already “amongst the Michael Jordans of instructors” and a source of inspiration is fellow instructor Kelly Bieschke who won at the TRADOC level in 2021.

“Not many people can say they’ve done what he’s done,” said Smith.

Triplett, however, said Smith has the qualifications to join Bieschke and others in the circle of few.

“I really thinks he is going to win,” he said. “He’s a great person, and it would be well-deserved.”

The TRADOC winner will be announced later this spring.