'Exemplary talent, skill'
The Fires Center of Excellence and the Marine Corps Artillery Detachment recognized their 2017 Instructors and Curriculum Developers of the Year at a ceremony Thursday.
"This year's recipients displayed an exemplary talent and skill through their instruction and the curriculum they developed for a variety of students from all services and allied nations," Fort Sill narrator Michael Simmons said.
Fort Sill Chief of Staff Col. Todd Wasmund said the six honorees represent all of the instructors across both the Air Defense Artillery (ADA) School and the Field Artillery (FA) School. The Marines play a significant role "because we could not do our shared mission without great instructors from the Army and the Marine Corps rowing together and getting this important mission done," he said.
As Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has made clear, readiness is the No. 1 priority. Producing graduates who are ready to go out and execute in their units requires competent instructors "and you guys have proven yourselves to be the best of the best," Wasmund said.
The following six individuals were recognized for their attention to detail, outstanding work ethic and proven leadership:
Capt. Stephen M. Waite was named the Marine Corps Detachment's Commissioned Officer Instructor of the Year. A native of Poplar Bluff, Mo., he enlisted in the Marine Corps in October 2003 and was commissioned after graduation from the University of Missouri in May 2012. He is married to the former Ashley McCauley of Poplar Bluff, and they have two children, Max, 11, and Mason, 9.
Waite was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for professional achievement and the superior performance of his duties while serving as an instructor of the FA Basic Officer Leader Course (BOLC) and the Marine Artillery Officer Basic Course.
Sgt. 1st Class Bobby A. Cruz was named the ADA Noncommissioned Officer Instructor of the Year. A Native Chamorro from the Island of Guam, he enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 2005. He was originally a signal support systems specialist, but he later reclassified as an air defense battle management system operator. He is married to the former Bernice Marie Bamba of Dededo, Guam. They have four daughters and two sons.
Cruz is assigned to Bravo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 6th ADA, 30th ADA Brigade. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for exceptionally meritorious achievement.
Staff Sgt. Anthony F. Hannasch was named the FA Noncommissioned Officer Instructor of the Year. A native of Kansas City, Mo., he enlisted in the Army in April 2004 and attended One Station Unit Training at Fort Sill. Upon graduation in August 2004 he became an FA tactical data systems specialist. He later transitioned to fire direction specialist. He currently teaches the Fire Direction Specialist course on the Advanced FA Tactical Data System (AFATDS) and analog fire direction techniques.
He has been married for over 13 years. He and his wife have five sons and one daughter. He is assigned to Alpha Battery, 1st Battalion, 78th FA, 428th FA Brigade. He was presented the Army Commendation Medal.
Staff Sgt. Eric J. Pulaski was named the Marine Corps Detachment's Noncommissioned Officer Instructor of the Year. A native of Tonawanda, N.Y., he enlisted in the Marine Corps in February 2004. Upon completion of Marine Combat Training at Camp Lejeune, N.C., he reported to Marine Corps Cannon Crewman School here to become an FA cannoneer.
He is married to the former Karina Salas of Chicago and they have one daughter. He was presented the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.