FORT LEE, Va. – A Fort Lee noncommissioned officer was recognized as the top instructor for the Judge Advocate General Corps during a recent ceremony at the JAG courthouse here.
Sgt. 1st Class Keenan McAfee – assigned to Juliet Company, 262nd Quartermaster Battalion, and a cadre member for the QM School’s Paralegal Specialist Course – received an Army Commendation Medal and command accolades for the top-scoring performance that earned him the title of 2018 JAG Corps Instructor of the Year.
“I am absolutely grateful and highly honored to receive the award,” McAfee said. “The instructors I competed against are the best of the best, and I learned a lot from them.”
To gain the honor, the 11-year Soldier had to pass the Army Physical Fitness Test, submit a detailed packet and have his instruction method evaluated. On the day of his class assessment, he taught 30 students over a full day and received no major deficiencies.
Describing his reasons for entering the competition, McAfee said it was more than just trying to gain the award.
“I wanted to push and better myself in participating in the process. I like being put out of my comfort zone. We teach the same classes every day, and I have been an instructor here for three years. It felt like a good time to do this.”
McAfee grew up in Gravette, Ark., a small town in the northwestern part of the state. He joined the Army for many reasons but remembers an unfavorable statement from one of his high school teachers that remained with him.
“I had a teacher in high school who told me I would never make it,” he said. “Hearing such a negative comment really pushed me to prove him wrong. It made me want to get out of my comfort zone. Of course, joining the Army was a huge educational opportunity for me. I also wanted to serve my country. Since I am from a small town, that means a lot.”
The JAG instructor’s plans for the future continue to be focused on getting out of his comfort zone.
“Looking ahead, my career from here is to move on to a more challenging assignment. While I like what I am doing now, I want something to push me more. I also want to better myself as a leader and noncommissioned officer. And I want to help Soldiers and lead, train and mentor. That’s what I love.”