New program at ‘Schoolhouse’ honors top instructors

  • Published
  • By Thomas Brading
  • OSI Public Affairs

A new program at the Office of Special Investigations Academy, also known as the ‘Schoolhouse,’ recognizes their top instructors.

Roughly one tenth of the instructors at OSIA will ever hold the title of “Master Instructor,” said Master Sgt. Tyson Andersen, OSIA Training Management Division superintendent.

To date, two individuals have been named Master Instructors.

The latest recipient, Special Agent Joshua Carethers, OSI Academy Detachment 1, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, senior enlisted leader, noted that receiving the honor gave him a sense of accomplishment.

As an OSIA instructor, Carethers said the Master Instructor title is a testament to his commitment and ability to prepare the next generation of Special Agents.

"It feels good because it shows others there are achievable milestones when you work hard and commit yourself to the Academy's mission,” he said.  

Once they have received the [Master Instructor] patch, Carethers and other master instructors may wear it on OSI Academy-approved clothing. The designation also goes on annual performance reports and decorations that become part of the member’s permanent record.

The new program is similar to the one at Headquarters Air Education and Training Command, which also acknowledges instructors who excel in their craft, Andersen said.

OSI recognition is evaluated based on three factors: experience, instructor performance and professional development.

Time spent in the classroom seems to be the biggest challenge for instructors, Andersen said. For example, they need to clock more than 1,500 hours of instruction and seminar time, along with at least two years of experience.   

Besides time, candidates must also get senior leadership to sign-off with an “Excellent” or “Outstanding” rating on their last three evaluations.

The ratings heavily rely on in-class evaluations, Andersen said, which analyze instructors down to the smallest details, such as the number of pauses the instructor uses during a class.

Andersen said the 10 percent master instructor goal was an intentionally high standard set by OSIA leadership.

The designation "solidifies the record [instructors] had during their assignment," he said. "They are busting their tail doing a lot of work. There is a lot of stuff that goes on behind the scenes that people don't see."

Not only does this new recognition underline their time spent as instructors, but "they excelled at it," Anderson added. "They were rock stars and no one can take that from them -- because they earned it."