Instructors at the III Corps and Fort Hood NCO Academy donned a new patch the day before Thanksgiving. 

“By realigning ourselves, we are showing that we are part of a team in support of the entire enterprise, as far as NCO development is concerned,” Command Sgt. Maj. Alton Wright said.

The NCO Academy changed their patch emblem from a starred torch to a caltrop with three points, the III Corps emblem.

Together, a total of 68 instructors teach Masters Leaders Course, Basic Leaders Course and Common Faculty Development Instructor Course at the academy. The academy, established in the 1970s, has a long lineage of NCOs.

“NCOs are responsible to give our commanders smart, adaptive and agile Soldiers to be able to accomplish the commander’s intent and our goal here is to provide that,” Wright said.

Instructors at the academy teach because they enjoy teaching. To be an instructor at the academy, Soldiers must go through an application process and meet specific criteria.

“I’ve taught junior enlisted as a drill sergeant, I’ve taught ROTC cadets as a military science instructor and now, this gives me a chance to reach a different population – senior NCO’s,” Master Sgt. Michael Iozzo, an instructor at the academy, said. “It’s rewarding.”

Soldiers and Department of Defense civilians from around the country are taught at the academy.

“The institutional domain of the Army requires talented, adaptive leaders, and I think working here gives you an opportunity to be a good steward of our profession, which is to coach, train and teach the next generation of Soldiers to be successful in their careers,” Wright said. “I wanted to be an instructor, because I like the impact that we make on the NCO Corps long term – even after we’re gone.”

Iozzo said the mission of the academy is to forge the next generation of agile leaders by using a team approach.

“We instruct because we like to make a difference,” 1st Sgt. Jennifer Sherwood, an instructor at the academy, said. “You aren’t only affecting the everyday Soldier, but you are effecting the community around you, because you are producing leaders in the military and leaders in the community. It affects everything and everyone. If you want to make a change in the world, where better place to start than in an institution? This is a great place to do that.”

Every student learns differently, and instructors at the academy are constantly seeking new ways to reach their Soldiers.

“Every day they teach you – definitely patience and critical think ing skills,” she said. “How am I going to reach that person and truly affect them, so they learn and make a difference? It really teaches you a lot about yourself and a lot about your learning style, so that you can make that difference that you want to make.”

Thousands of students graduate from the academy each year.

“These Soldiers inspire me,” Wright said. “They really, really, inspire me every day. To see their passion, to see that they want to do this – that they want to be a part of this great team we have.”