The 5th Ranger Training Battalion dominated the Maneuver Center of Excellence’s first Instructor of the Year selection board since consolidation of the Armor and Infantry schools.
Soldiers leading the mountain phase of Ranger School at Camp Merrill in Dahlonega, Ga., swept the military categories: Capt. Paul Dunn was named top officer, while Staff Sgt. Stephen Zeitlin and 1st Sgt. Timothy Speichert — both assigned to C Company — earned the junior and senior enlisted nods, respectively. The civilian winner is Doug Campbell, a military history instructor with the Directorate of Training.
The MCoE selections were made Nov. 17 after instructors from various units competed quarterly throughout fiscal year 2011 to earn an opportunity to take part in the judging process.
All four will now represent Fort Benning before the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command board. Officials said a packet featuring DVD footage of the post’s top instructors must be submitted to TRADOC’s panel by Dec. 15.
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“I am honored to be selected because I know there is a huge pool of officers serving as instructors on Fort Benning,” said Dunn, 27, of Fredericksburg, Va. “I’m even more excited that (Speichert and Zeitlin) won as well. I think that clearly demonstrates the overall quality of instructors that we have here at 5th Ranger Training Battalion.”
Zeitlin is a mountaineering instructor, while Speichert serves as a senior instructor at Camp Merrill. During the Instructor of the Year boards, Dunn was a mountaineering platoon tactical trainer with A Company. He’s now the 5th RTB’s assistant operations officer.
Dunn said the Ranger instructors want to use the competition’s exposure to encourage Soldiers to come to Ranger School. The Army faces shortages of both Rangers and Ranger instructors, he said.
“I want to win the TRADOC competition to show the rest of the Army the quality of instructors we have here at Ranger School,” he said. “There are guys here who have just come from deployments and will be going back downrange as soon as they PCS. Despite serving in a non-deployable unit, they have volunteered to work long, hard hours. All of these instructors do a phenomenal job, and I’m honored to represent them.”
Campbell, meanwhile, works as a military history instructor for Officer Candidate School, the Infantry Basic Officer Leader Course and Maneuver Captains Career Course. He earned a doctorate in history from Texas Tech University in 1999.
“It is an honor to receive this award,” the 56-year-old Casper, Wyo., native said of his MCoE Civilian Instructor of the Year selection. “It would be quite an honor to win at the TRADOC or Army level, and it would reflect not only my efforts but those of others.”