FORT LEE, Va. (May 4, 2017) — Two Soldiers from Army Logistics University earned instructor of the year nods during the 2016 Training and Doctrine Command annual competition.
Staff Sgt. Tegst D. Ayalw, Logistics Noncommissioned Officer Academy, earned NCO instructor of the year, and Lt. Col. Jason Hanifin earned educator of the year.
Ayalw is a 92 Yankee Advanced Leaders Course small group leader and has been at Fort Lee for three years. She said she was surprised to earn the honor.
“There are thousands of instructors throughout TRADOC, and I am the one who was selected for this prestigious title,” she said. “I think it is truly humbling to be rewarded for something I love to do and take pride in doing.
“I think this award says that anything is possible with a lot of hard work and full commitment to any task that is ahead,” Ayalw continued. “If I continue to remain humble and strive to make a difference in peoples’ lives, I will continue to reap the rewards. You most definitely have to be committed as a stewardship of your profession and to lifelong learning. This accomplishment validates to me that any goal or desire coupled with discipline is attainable.”
Instructors do a vital job for the Army, and Ayalw said she’s proud to be part of that community.
“What I do as an instructor is immeasurable. I have the opportunity to train the future of my profession and make an impression on the Army’s force and especially on the NCO Corps,” she said. “When I am having a bad day, as a professional I remind myself that it is not about me. It is about the students whom I have an opportunity to make an everlasting impression on. So, I must maintain my motivation and commitment to the task, and not taint the learning environment.”
Hanifin – who taught in the Joint Logistics Course – has since retired and could not be reached for comment. Chris Paparone, dean of the College of Professional and Continuing Education at ALU, said he was an outstanding instructor.
“Jason had a great rapport with his students, his fellow faculty and his stakeholders,” Paparone said. “He is the exemplar of officership and we were proud to have him direct the very unique course that included senior NCOs, officers, and civilians from the National Guard, U.S. Army Reserve and across all the services, including the Coast Guard.
“Based on his directorship, the course grew in quality and demand tremendously – it now has a waiting list every class offering,” he continued. “He redesigned and sustained the course in coordination with a wide variety of stakeholders across the joint logistics enterprise and did so with an unparalleled spirit of collaboration and responsiveness.”