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Eric Hughes is a training specialist in the Quartermaster School's Petroleum and Water Department.

Place of duty: Basic Petroleum Logistics Division, Petroleum and Water Department, Quartermaster School

Hometown: Florence, S.C.

Prior military service: 24 years, U.S. Army

Duties: “I’m a training specialist, and part of my job is managing the course for the 92F10s (Petroleum Supply Specialist). One of my immediate priorities is to facilitate the forthcoming Army Virtual Learning Environment contract for the BPLD. This requires us to transition the course from a traditional, instructor-led style of teaching to more of a blended learning program.”

(Editor’s note:  PWD was recently awarded funding to improve digital learning platforms, which is considered a more efficient learning facilitator. It is said to save time, resources and build confidence and technical proficiency among students.)

Talk about virtual learning: “Having been in this department as a Soldier and civilian, understanding the way we teach, and looking at some of the feedback comments from students upon graduation, we have to get away from teaching in ways where the instructor is the focus. With AVLE, we’re becoming more student-centric. It produces a better-rounded Soldier, allowing them the opportunity to think more on their own. That’s what I’m excited about: giving them critical thinking skills so that when they go out to the operational Army, they will be more prepared to perform their jobs.”

What you love most about the job: “One of the things I love about this job is making sure cadre – instructors, training specialists or whatever capacity – are providing the most relevant information to students. I’ve been on assignment overseas for the past three years, and I’ve had the opportunity to see how the instruction translates to the operational Army. That’s why I love this job. I have the opportunity to affect change through the output of Soldiers who can effectively carry out their missions as petroleum supply specialists.”

What you least like about the job: “The fact that sometimes it takes time to implement change.”

Your chief motivation: “Looking at a product or process and saying, ‘That’s good, but how can we make it better?’”

Your greatest achievement: “When I was a Soldier assigned to (U.S. Army Europe) G4, I developed a Petroleum Excellence Award for the theater, which was the first ever. It was a contribution, on the downside of my career, to help recognize 92Fs and give them something to aspire to.”

Pet peeves:” “Someone who is not doing what they’re supposed to or putting forth any sort of effort.”

Greatest fear: “Not performing to the expectations of my supervisors.”

Your role models: “I wouldn’t say I have role models, but there are certain people to whom I look up to. A friend of mine is one of those people who’s always looking ahead. That’s one of the things I admire about him.”

The celebrity or historical figure you would like to meet: “I would say (Earvin) “Magic” Johnson (the NBA hall-of-famer). Of course, it’s all of his basketball accolades, and the fact I’m a (Los Angeles) Lakers fan. If I met him, I probably wouldn’t ask him how he did things on the court, but how his business enterprises came about – how he transitioned from being a basketball player to owning movie theaters, becoming a partner with the (LA) Dodgers, etc.”

What would surprise people about you: “They would probably be surprised to know I am a big soccer fan.”

Where you would most like to live: “Right here in Virginia.”

Where you were most satisfied: “In Germany, where I spent most of my career. It’s like a second home.”

The talent you would most like to have: “I would probably say singing. It can provide an emotional release and connection to people. It also can calm you down and reduce stress.”

What you most dislike: “People who are not open to listening to your ideas and thoughts.”

What you expect from leaders: “To guide and mentor me and prepare me for the future, whether that is on the civil service side or otherwise.”

What your peers can expect of you: “They can expect I will provide them with relevant information in support of their missions.”

Future aspirations: “Continuing to work in the civil service sector until I can retire, and looking for opportunities to get promoted along the way.”