By Joshua Cohen
Vermont National Guard Public Affairs
Staff Sgt. Andrew Fryburg, chief instructor at the 124th Regimental Training Institute’s modular training battalion was awarded the Master Instructor Badge on April 19, 2022.
During the ceremony, Vermont National Guard Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Gregory Knight, remarked, “there are fewer that 100 Master Instructors across the Army, so that should give you an idea of the scope of this undertaking and the significance of the award, you are building the future leaders of the US Army.”
Attaining the top instructor level, “Fryburg holds the distinction of being the first Regimental Instructor to sit before a Master Army Instructor Selection board,” according to the 124th RTI’s Command Sgt Maj. John Digby III.
Qualifying as a Master Instructor requires that candidates are first selected by supervisors to appear before a panel that includes at least one Master Instructor.
Before being selected for the Master Instructor Panel, Fryburg said Senior Instructor candidates need to be thoroughly knowledgeable in the five pillars of Army instruction: professional development, planning and preparation, instruction on methods and strategy, and assessment, evaluation, and management.
“Each of the voting panel members asks questions on the five pillars of Army Instruction, there are a minimum of 15 questions and each voting member must ask three questions.”
Fryburg explained that attaining the levels of Instructor and Senior Instructor only requires course work. However, preparing for a Master Instructor Panel takes a minimum of four years, “you have to learn the five pillars of Army instruction, most of the skills are learned through time as a classroom instructor.”
Fryburg said obtaining the Master Instructor Badge involved a building block of education spanning over four years. “Usually at that basic level with your Senior Instructor badge you are managing more of your peers and their development and you're taking in the new instructors and mentoring them to get their certifications.”
Fryburg said on-the-job training was essential. "I’d say if anyone were trying to study for the Master Instructor Panel without the hands-on experience, they would have to be familiar with at least six manuals from the principals of education to the management of instructors.”
Fryburg said he can now sit on panels for those seeking to become Master Instructors.
“The Master Instructor on my board had to come from Pennsylvania because there was no one else available in New England, now I can be on Master Instructor Panels for New England states in addition to Vermont, it is personally an honor to be a new Master Army Instructor.”