Navy Training Honors 2009 Instructors of the Year
By Steve Vanderwerff,
Naval Education and Training Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) — Naval Education and Training Command (NETC), announced its 2009 Military Instructors of the Year (IOY) during a ceremony May 6 at the Navy Memorial.
NETC Commander Rear Adm. Joseph Kilkenny spoke at the ceremony and praised the instructors.
“Demand for maritime forces is the highest it has been in recent years and we are responding to this demand with more agility and flexibility than ever before,” Kilkenny said. “We are able to achieve this level of support and readiness because our Sailors and Marines receive the best training in the world. And you, the instructors sitting here before us, are the key to that success. You are fully engaged with the mission of your commands. You take the extra time and effort required to ensure your Sailors and Marines are ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their shipmates as they go into harm’s way.”
Marine Corps Capt. Kim R. Rossiter, from Lake Charles, La., was selected as Officer Instructor of the Year. A 16-year veteran, Rossiter is currently assigned to Marine Corps Detachment, Navy and Marine Corps Intelligence Training Center (NMITC). He credits his communication skills and passion for his selection.
“Instructor duty, with the associated opportunity to make an impact on Sailors and Marines, officer and enlisted, who are the future of naval intelligence has been the most rewarding duty of my 16 years in uniform,” Rossiter explained. “I have been blessed with the communication skills and passion to achieve the highest levels of understanding among my students.”
Rossiter has been teaching students for a little more than two years at NMITC.
“I embrace opportunity to mold and mentor young minds in the art and science of intelligence operations, while always seeking ways to demonstrate the value of the Navy and Marine Corps team. I affect what I can effect, maintain an operational mindset, never compromise my integrity, and I never settle for the, ‘oh, well, that’s how we did it in the past’ argument.”
The Senior Enlisted Instructor of the Year is Chief Naval Aircrewman Jonathan R. Showerman, from Portland, Mich. An 18-year veteran, he is currently assigned to Recruit Training Command (RTC), Great Lakes.
“I’m honored to be selected for this prestigious award,” Showerman said. “I appreciate the recognition and hope I represent all of my fellow instructors at the “Quarterdeck of the Navy,” RTC Great Lakes, with pride.”
Showerman has been instructing students for more than two years at RTC. He suggests to those who want to be an instructor and make a difference to, “never short-change yourself, and always strive to be the best you can possibly be.”
Enlisted Instructor of the Year honors went to Construction Electrician 1st Class Ryan Gerdon, a native of Belford, N.J. He is currently assigned to the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering Detachment Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas.
“Being assigned to instructor duty is the most rewarding privilege I have had in my 13 years of naval service,” Gerdon said. “It has allowed me to exercise my passion for my rate, while paying immediate dividends in the form of students who are excited to go out and contribute to the Navy’s mission.”
He credits his leadership and team effort for his selection.
“My selection as instructor of the year is a reflection of the outstanding mentorship and support I’ve received from my leadership,” he explained. “To be recognized among all the outstanding instructors throughout the Navy is very humbling. I couldn’t have achieved my success without help from others. It’s a total team effort. If you don’t seek help from others, you limit your opportunity to give back to your students and accomplishing your goals.
“It often sounds cliché, but with being an instructor it’s easy to get caught up with routines,” Gerdon explained. “There is a fine line between being comfortable and then too comfortable. Those behind the podium should always work towards learning more about their topic, while making a concerted effort to keep improving their knowledge base, lesson plans, slides, and all of the other tools he or she may use. The improved end result will ultimately reflect in the students who are looking to them as the subject matter experts.”
The NETC Military Instructor of the Year award program recognizes Navy and Marine Corps instructors and facilitators who exemplify personal excellence and display outstanding instructional and leadership performance. The program highlights the significant contributions of individuals from throughout the Naval Education and Training enterprise who have been nominated by their command based on their sustained superior performance over the course of the past year. Nomination packages, highlighting the nominee’s accomplishments, community involvement, and personal and professional growth, are submitted to NETC headquarters in Pensacola. An awards committee reviews the packages and selects the most deserving candidates for IOY honors, which include award of the Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal and an IOY plaque.
“There is no doubt that the Naval Education and Training Command enables the fleet to successfully execute the Maritime Strategy. We have some of the greatest military instructors in the world,” said Kilkenny. “If we didn’t we wouldn’t have more than 150 allied nations sending their personnel through our schools. I firmly believe the success of our training can be linked to the skill and unwavering dedication of our instructors.”
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