JACKSONVILLE, N.C. --
After Marines and sailors complete basic training, their learning and schooling does not stop there. Upon reaching their individual military occupational specialty school they are given the skills to competently perform their jobs both stateside and overseas, learning from teachers who were in their very place not too long ago.
The Jacksonville, N.C. chapter of the USO recognized those who teach Marines and sailors the skills to excel and survive, during the 17th annual Instructor of the Year award ceremony, March 25.
“Everyone looks to the United States military in terms of professionalism,” said Col. Timothy Mundy, commanding officer of the School of Infantry-East, Camp Geiger. “All of that comes from you, the Marine and Navy instructors.”
Picked from hundreds of their fellow instructors, eight Marines and one sailor were chosen as the best individual teachers from schools ranging from SOI-E aboard Camp Geiger to the Field Medical Service School here on Camp Johnson. Responsible for molding and shaping young service members’ military careers, the importance of their job cannot be understated.
“It’s a good feeling to be recognized like this, but I just like being a mentor to junior Marines,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jody Armentrout, instructor with SOI-E. “Try to be the best and strive to be on top so they have something to look up to. Tell them that no matter what goal you set, it is achievable.”
The winners of the various Instructor of the Year awards are as follow;
- Gunnery Sgt. Kristina Roberts, instructor with the Financial Management School, Marine Corps Combat Service Support School, Camp Johnson.
- Sgt. Jessica Leonard, instructor with the Supply School, Marine Corps Combat Service Support School, Camp Johnson.
- Gunnery Sgt. Brandon Merrick, instructor with the Personnel Administration School, Marine Corps Combat Service Support School, Camp Johnson.
- Sgt. Heath Sell, instructor with the Logistics Operations School, Camp Johnson.
- Petty Officer 2nd Class Angela Warner, instructor with the Field Medical Service School, Camp Johnson.
- Gunnery Sgt. Jody Armentrout, instructor with SOI-E.
- Gunnery Sgt. Roger Baez, instructor with the Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy, Camp Johnson.
- Staff Sgt. Christopher Rodriguez, instructor with the Marine Corps Engineering School, Camp Lejeune.
- Staff Sgt. Raymond Sanders, instructor with the Center for Naval Aviation and Technical Training, New River.
“This is the segment of the military that is often overlooked, the mentorship and teaching of Marines and sailors in the states,” said John Reed, executive director of Mainstreet Productions. “It’s your knowledge that gives them the skills that stays with them for the rest of their lives, skills that get them through the challenges they face overseas.”
The service members overseas protect those back home, but the techniques and skills they apply all come from the same place: school and combat instructors.