Thursday June 18, 2009

Army Excellence

A University of Dayton military science instructor who's now stationed in Iraq has been named the best enlisted ROTC instructor in the nation.

A University of Dayton military science instructor, currently stationed in Iraq, has been recognized as the best enlisted ROTC instructor in the nation, in part because of his ability to engage and attract students to the Army life.

Sgt. Major Victor Fleek was named the 2009 Enlisted Instructor of the Year by the U.S. Army Cadet Command. A senior instructor in the University of Dayton's department of military science, Fleek taught military science to first-year students.

It's the first time a University of Dayton instructor has been awarded this honor. The Enlisted Instructor of the Year is selected from among more than 270 universities nationwide with active ROTC programs.

"Sergeant Major Fleek was an outstanding asset to this program. His constant positive attitude, his service and experience contributed greatly to the success and popularity of not only the military science classes, but this ROTC program in general," said Maj. Christopher Adams, executive officer of the University's ROTC program.

"This display of professionalism directly contributed to this program doubling in size during the two years he served at the University."

Adams, who nominated Fleek for the award said he "faithfully lives and emulates the values of the United States Army: loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage."

By e-mail from Iraq, Fleek said he enjoyed his teaching experience at the University for the contact with students: "I loved teaching at UD, day-to-day relating to the students about the Army life."

He came to the University in 2007 after graduation from the Sergeants Major Academy. He was deployed to Iraq in April for a 12-month tour of duty where he works in a Tactical Operations Center as a battalion level operations sergeant major.

A 25-year veteran of the Army, Fleek serves in the same unit in Iraq with a 2008 graduate of the University's ROTC program, Lt. Chris Esquivel. Fleek says the Dayton connection has been good for both of them.

Fleek and his wife Kathleen have five children and live in Beavercreek, Ohio.

At the University, Fleek taught Introduction to the Army courses, covering topics from drill and ceremonies, basic rifle marksmanship, Army values, and leadership skills.

U.S. Army Cadet Command, the parent organization of the Army ROTC program, presents the Awards of Excellence annually to the top officers, noncommissioned officer and civilians in the command from around the country.

The University of Dayton's ROTC program is expecting a fall enrollment of about 100 cadets.

For more information, contact Cilla Shindell, executive director of news and communications, at 937-229-3257 or