MCSSS awards Hill ‘Instructor of the Year’

8 Apr 2016 | Cpl. Jared Lingafelt Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools recognized the 2015 Instructor of the Year at Camp Johnson on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune March 31.

Gunnery Sgt. James Hill, a career level instructor at the Personnel Administration School, earned the title of ‘Best of the Best’ for calendar year 2015 after winning a competition focused on leadership skills and instructional performance.

"It is important for us to formally recognize the hard work that each Marine instructor invests in their students," said Col. David Jones, commanding officer of MCSSS. "It isn’t just a routine job. Marine instructors are creative, brilliant even; and masters in their fields, as well as master communicators.

They are the leaders the students most look up to; they are models and mentors," said Jones. "Instructors have the ability to shape the future of the Marine Corps through their students. It isn’t easy, but it is very rewarding."

The leadership portion of the competition required the competitors to appear before the school sergeant major and other school senior enlisted leadership, where they were assessed on their leadership qualities and traits.

"The competition was difficult due to creating a period of instruction from scratch and implementing student involvement throughout a 50-minute class," said Hill, a Cullman, Alabama native. "In addition, competing against the other schools Instructor of the Year increases the difficulty due to their level of experience and knowledge."

Competitors were also required to teach a lesson from a list of topics using numerous teaching techniques and media of each instructor’s choice. The instructor with the highest combined score from each component of the competition took first place.

"This means that I now have to live up to the title as the MCCSSS Instructor of the Year, and continue to improve in all aspects of teaching," said Hill. "This award is honorable, however humbling as well, because I have had a lot of mentorship from other instructors and senior leadership during my time as an instructor."

The first place winner not only receives the title of Instructor of the Year, but also the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, a 96-hour liberty period, the Silver Eagle Award, an engraved K-Bar and a designated parking space.

"Without our dedicated core of instructors, the Marine Corps would not be the elite fighting force it is today," said Jones.