By Amy Newcomb (Fort Leonard Wood)April 25, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- The Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood honored 13 instructors who competed against their peers and earned the "Instructor of the Year" award for 2011 in Lincoln Hall Auditorium Monday.
Maj. Gen. Mark Yenter, MSCoE and Fort Leonard Wood commanding general, was the presiding officer and the 399th Army Band played music for the ceremony.
Yenter spoke about the distinction of being selected as top instructor and how important instructors are to the military.
"I think it's an exceptional thing to be an instructor," Yenter said. "(U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command) started the Instructor of the Year program in 1988. It's a tradition that recognizes great instructors, which is really the bread and butter of what TRADOC does."
Yenter said military instructors are not recognized enough for their dedicated work.
"This is a tough competition and it's tough being an instructor. Whether you are military or civilian it can be a tough assignment," Yenter said. "You are making a difference from the platform, you cultivate skills and you help others to accomplish their tasks in life as they leave us and go out and do great things and in many cases come back to us."
Award recipients include:
Marine Cpl. William Webb was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for being selected as the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
Scott Rocker was selected as the MSCoE Educator of the year and awarded the Commander's Award for Civilian Service.
Ronald Gregorio was awarded the Commander's Award for Civilian Service for being selected as the MSCoE Civilian Category winner.
Maj. Brett Bardo earned the Meritorious Service Medal for being selected as the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School Officer Instructor of the Year and TRADOC Officer category winner. Bardo will continue on in the competition to compete for the TRADOC Instructor of the Year award.
Bardo said he was humbled to receive an award.
"This was something that I wasn't expecting considering the caliber of the instructors at the CBRN school and Maneuver Support Center of Excellence," Bardo said. "They are excellent and to win it is just unbelievable."
Staff Sgt. Timothy Puett earned the Army Commendation Medal for being
selected as the USCBRNS Noncommissioned Officer category winner.
Randy Woodrum earned the Commander's Award for Civilian Service as the USCBRNS Civilian Instructor of the Year.
U.S. Army Engineer School top instructors were awarded the Army Commendation Medal: Maj. Cory Roberts earned Officer Instructor of the Year and Staff Sgt. Gary McNeely earned Noncommissioned Instructor of the Year.
Robert Santos was awarded the Superior Civilian Service Medal for being selected as the USAES Civilian Instructor of the Year and the TRADOC civilian category winner.
Santos will continue on in the competition to compete for the TRADOC Instructor of the Year.
Santos said he was honored that he was selected for this award.
"I have put in a lot of hard work and had a lot of help from my superiors and I am glad that I can represent the Army this way," Santos said.
U.S. Army Military Police School top instructors were awarded the Army Commendation Medal: Capt. Mary Smith earned Officer Instructor of the Year, Chief Warrant 2 Angel Miles earned Warrant Officer Instructor of the Year and Staff Sgt. Timothy Patrick earned Noncommissioned Officer Instructor of the Year.
John Scarbrough was awarded the Commander's Award for Civilian Service for being selected as the USAMPS Civilian Instructor of the Year.
Both Bardo and Santos, who will compete for TRADOC Instructor of the Year, said they are looking forward to going to Virginia to compete and meet and learn from other instructors who were selected to move up in the competition.
"Just to see other instructors, to hear what they did -- the techniques and whatever they had to perform at the level they did, because we can always learn from each other and be better," Bardo said. "Even though we won our respective levels, there is always something we can get better at."
For consideration in the competition, each competitor submitted a nomination packet, which included a video of the instructor teaching a class in their area of expertise. Prior to the ceremony, the audience of service members and civilians watched a video montage of their competition entries.