FORT EUSTIS, Va. -- Seven Soldiers and civilians from U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command were recognized as Instructors of the Year and presented awards by Gen. Robert W. Cone, TRADOC's commanding general during the fourth Annual Army Learning Summit May 3 at the TRADOC Headquarters on Fort Eustis.

Cone, who handed out Instructor of the Year plaques and TRADOC coins during the ceremony, said he was impressed with the accomplishments of this year's recipients and thanked them for their effort and dedication in teaching future leaders.

The National Guard's TRADOC Instructor of the Year, Staff Sgt. Jericho Ingold was honored to receive the recognition. "I have never been selected to receive such a prestigious award," said Ingold. "I have been Instructor of the Cycle, and Soldier of the Quarter, but to know that I was selected to represent the NGB category is pretty awesome."

Instructors are judged on their tactical and technical knowledge, communication skills, appearance and military bearing. Their contributions to training-literature development, research and article publication are also considered.

TRADOC created the Instructor of the Year program in 1989, and current Instructor of the Year program manager, Renee Escoffery-Torres, has been at the helm of this program for more than a decade. She challenged the winners during the ceremony to continue to push Soldiers and civilians to go above and beyond as they develop future leaders.

"I hope you realize not only the importance of your role as instructors and educators, but I hope you recognize the magnificence of making a difference in the lives of Soldiers and civilians you teach," said Escoffery-Torres.

Master Sgt. Jeffrey Kennedy, Army Reserve TRADOC Instructor of the Year, tells his fellow Soldiers that "we have to abandon the mindset of being instructors and become teachers."

"Anyone can mindlessly flip through a slide presentation and recite a lesson plan word for word," said Kennedy. "We have to study harder and know more than our students. If we find ourselves in a situation where a student has more experience on a particular subject, we have to exploit that opportunity and allow the student to train their peers and instructors."

Developing Army leaders is a core TRADOC initiative and an important component in the organization's effort towards designing the Army of 2020.

Maj. Brett Bardo the Officer Instructor of the Year talked about leadership after the ceremony.
"Leadership to me is providing a good example in your actions and candidly providing guidance and mentorship to peers and subordinates alike," said Bardo.

The 2011 Instructors of the Year:
Maj. Brett Bardo, Officer Instructor of the Year
Staff Sgt. Adrienne Harmon, Non-commissioned Officer Instructor of the Year
Robert Santos, Civilian Instructor of the Year
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Troy Skaggs, Warrant Officer Instructor of the Year
Master Sgt. Jeffrey Kennedy, U.S. Army Reserve Instructor of the Year
Staff Sgt. Jericho Ingold, U.S. Army National Guard Instructor of the Year
Erika Brooks, Educator of the Year