The Quartermaster School awarded its first master-level Army Instructor Badge – along with four senior and 33 basic versions – during a Nov. 22 ceremony in the Petroleum and Water Department’s Guest Auditorium.

Staff Sgt. Anthony Madison, Logistics Training Department, is the first among his QM peers at Fort Lee to earn the top insignia for military trainers, according to Command Sgt. Maj. Eric J. Vidal, QM Corps CSM, who spoke at the ceremony. 

Vidal praised the work of the day’s honorees and explained why their accomplishment is significant.

“This set of instructors has holistically made a difference in the operational force,” he said. “A year-and-a-half ago, the common theme was that at advanced individual training the instructors were not producing the type of hard-charging individuals the Army desired. Well, that is no longer the theme; that is not happening.

“The Soldiers didn’t want to train in the rain; you trained in the rain. They didn’t want to be in the cold doing their job. You changed that mindset,” Vidal stressed. “You got them ready for large-scale combat operations. When the rockets (and) missiles are coming in, and the bullets are flying, the job still needs to be done. The reliance is on what has been instructed, and they are going to reflect on what happened here at Fort Lee. It started with all of you and what you trained them.”  

Awarding Army Instructor Badges is a key element of Training and Doctrine Command’s Faculty Development and Recognition Program. It incentivizes professional development among those who want to excel as instructors.

There are three badge levels military school faculty members can earn – basic, senior and master. Those achieving master certification demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles of learning, design and implementation. Some of the qualifications for a master trainer include successfully teaching at least 480 hours as the primary instructor, authoring new course materials, mentoring subordinates and being recommended by the Master Instructor Selection Board.

“The way I look at it is, the basic badge is about you making yourself proficient on the platform,” Madison observed. “The senior badge is about making the course better, and the master badge is about making the institution itself better.

“I think I did that. During the ceremony, we recognized three senior badges from LTD. This award isn’t about me; it’s about the department and how we’re getting better,” the 92Y instructor explained further. “It’s about making our course better. Today we have three seniors, and next quarter we’ll have three more because we’re raising the standard of our course.”

On his way to master instructor, the soon-to-be retiring Madison taught other instructors how to develop lesson plans and worked with Training and Development to help redesign the course. He taught other instructors how to assist them as well.

“We pass the knowledge on to future instructors, always trying to make our course better,” he said.

The impressive 4,100 hours of teaching under Madison’s belt came across as somewhat trivial to the Soldier.

“This is about the effect instructors have on students,” he said. “We’re getting a lot of positive feedback from the force now. That’s what I care about.”