FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- The U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School has long been proud of its instructors, who turn out many successful chaplains and chaplain assistants without much fanfare. But sometimes an exceptional member of the staff will bring attention to the organization, allowing all its members to bask in the glow of excellence.

This exceptional instructor is Chaplain (Maj.) Lane Creamer, the 2010 TRADOC Instructor of the Year in the officer category. He bested nine competitors in his category for the honor at a ceremony at Fort Monroe, Va. May 10.

Creamer, an officer task analyst who trains chaplains, chaplain candidates and chaplain assistants in the field, as well as the classroom, has been an instructor since 2009. He was nominated for the award by his colleague, Janice Campbell, the chief of staff and faculty development, and a master instructor at USACHCS.

“I had to write a paper explaining why I thought he should be chosen as Instructor of the Year, and submit a video of him teaching a class,” she said. “He’s a natural. He put so much of himself into the lesson plans. He epitomizes the best of military instructors.”

There are 26 schools Army-wide with staff eligible to compete in seven categories.

“In 1988, the Army tasked TRADOC to come up with recognition program for instructors,” said Renee Escoffery-Torres, the TRADOC’s program manager for mandated training.

“From the very beginning, officers were most of the individuals who competed. Initially you only had one representative from each school. After a while, we broke it out into categories such as NCOs and warrant officers.”

The former TRADOC director of analysis and evaluation, Col. William Halstead, said that Creamer was “excellent” with a “tough, educated group to guide. He did it well, is naturally gifted and is a great example of the Army Learning Concept.”

A quiet, unassuming man, Creamer credits his honors to those he serves.

“It was truly an honor and humbling experience to receive this award. It is a joy and blessing to teach at the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School," he said.

“I share this award with our students, as they are the reason and purpose for all that we do, Ms. Janice Campbell who implemented a premier Instructor and development program, the faculty in whom I have the pleasure of working with on a daily basis, and more importantly God who deserves all of the praise, glory, and honor. “

Escoffery-Torres said the recognition is important not only for the winners but for all Army instructors.

“It’s very important to recognize them for all they do for our Army, and that’s why it’s nice for them to come to the learning summit so they can get the standing ovation they deserve. We can only hope that the thousands of Army instructors out there know this applause is for all of them because this is a tough, thankless job.”

Chaplain (Col.) David Smartt, USACHCS commandant, accompanied Creamer on his trip to receive his award, as did several civilian colleagues.

“We are very proud of Chaplain Creamer. Along with our other instructors and teacher development team, he has set the standard for a high quality learning experience,” he said.