By Wilson A. Rivera / Fort Gordon Public AffairsJanuary 25, 2012
FORT GORDON, GA - (Jan. 24, 2012) Top honors for the U.S. Army Ordnance School 2011 Instructor of the Year were awarded in each category during a ceremony Tuesday at the Courtyard to instructors at Fort Gordon.
Educators dedicated to their students' training turning them into "Future Warriors" were Truzell DeRamus Jr., civilian instructor of the year, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Harold C. Mitchell Sr., warrant officer instructor of the year, and Staff Sgt. Olanrewaju Anibaba, noncommissioned officer instructor of the year, who are with the 73rd Ordnance Battalion.
"It's about your profession and excellence," said Brig. Gen. Clark W. LeMasters Jr., U.S. Army Ordnance School commandant and Chief of Ordnance. "I commend you for the tough job every one of you who stand on a platform do. After 18 months on the job, I am really getting an idea of what you go through as an instructor."
Each instructor first competed at a local board held each quarter and then the yearly board. Instructors must conduct training in front of students while being videotaped and critiqued by the U.S. Army Ordnance School at Fort Lee, Va.
"I've never been a teacher. I probably was a terrible student most of the time, but it's incredible for what you as instructors do," LeMasters said. "Those of you who also fill the void as squad leader, platoon sergeant for these [advanced individual training] students, it's incredible. I commend you for maintaining excellent standards."
DeRamus and Anibaba train Soldiers to become a Radio and Communications Security Repairer, which is an essential member of the Army communication maintenance team. Soldiers deal with everything from radio receivers, transmitters, communication security equipment, controlled cryptographic items and more. They install, repair, calibrate, align, troubleshoot and provide preventive maintenance on equipment. Mitchell trains warrants officers on the same concepts with more focus on Federal Communications Commission regulations, security certifications, operation of equipment.
"We teach theory and then have Soldiers apply what they learned with hands-on training," said Anibaba.
To make the training the very best in can be Soldiers got to get the most out of it, said LeMasters. It's not about cutting hours, we're looking for short cuts. It's about doing smart things, that will make our training as good as possible for the Soldiers out there in the field to do his job.
While at Fort Lee, Va., attending a funeral of a young Soldier killed in Afghanistan, who trained at Fort Gordon, LeMasters listened to what the Soldier's unit talked about: "He went forward, did his job in an environment that was extremely challenging. Where he didn't get trained on every piece of equipment he was going to work on, he figured it out how to adapt and was agile and flexible enough to go into that environment where he coped with it and actually worked in a joint force, he fit right in.
LeMasters wishes the battalion was just right outside the back gate of Fort Lee, Va., so he could spend more time to interact with Soldiers, but Fort Gordon is the place for communication, tied in with the Signal School.