The Brandeis A.F.J.R.O.T.C. instructors, Colonel Patrick Lopardi and Master Sergeant Ken Madden, won two different Outstanding Instructor awards in the spring.
Lopardi won Region 3 Outstanding Instructor of the Year award from Headquarters A.F.J.R.O.T.C.. Madden won the Outstanding Instructor award for A.F.J.R.O.T.C..
In order to qualify for the awards and to be nominated, the Senior Aerospace Science Instructor Lopardi had to submit a form with all of the achievements and community service hours from last year.
Unsurprisingly, Lopardi credits the work of the cadets for his nomination.
“I received [the award] primarily because everything our cadets did, everything our instructors did throughout the school year, whether it was the 2,000 hours of community service, all the different events we participated in with the drill, rocketry team, cyberpatriot team, P.T. team, all those different activities and all the trophies that we win,” Lopardi said. “Mostly it’s all the community service that we put forth.”
Corresponding with Lopardi, Madden also credits his nomination to the hard work and dedication from the TX 20083rd corp of cadets.
“What qualifies me for [the award] is the good job the cadets do. Certainly nothing I do,” Madden said.
Beyond just crediting their success to the cadets, these instructors genuinely enjoy being A.F.J.R.O.T.C. instructors.
“Just being around young, enthusiastic students, in our case cadets, it just makes you want to come to work everyday,” Lopardi said. “While also working with two very seasoned, better word for old, instructors that we have a good time, basically we have fun.”
When asked his favorite part of being a Brandeis instructor, this is what Madden had to say,
“[My favorite part] oh, gosh, the kids, yeah, seeing the kids everyday, that’s what I like.”
“I thought it was seeing me and Sergeant Mangiafico everyday,” Lopardi said.
“Oh there’s that too,” Madden said.
At the end of the day, these hard-working instructors just enjoy spending time with the cadets and doing their jobs. Awards do not mean as much to them as the overall success of the cadets; they help to guide through their four years in the corp.