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NMOTC Announces Instructors of the Year

Navy Medicine Operational Training Center (NMOTC) recently announced the command Instructors of the Year (IOY) for FY18, who were chosen from among IOYs across 16 NMOTC detachments and units spread across the nation.

Lt. George Armas, from Naval Survival Training Institute (NSTI) in Pensacola, Florida, was named Officer IOY. Senior Chief Hospital Corpsman Earl Wagner, from Naval Undersea Medical Institute (NUMI) in Groton, Connecticut, was named Senior IOY. Naval Aircrewman (Helicopter) 1st Class Randy Eaton, from Aviation Survival Training Center (ASTC) in Pensacola, was named Mid-grade IOY. And Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Robert Zaruba, from ASTC Jacksonville, Florida, was named Junior IOY.

Armas and Zaruba went on to be chosen by NMOTC’s parent command, Navy Medicine Education Training and Logistics Command (NMETLC), as IOY in their respective categories.

Each participant submitted a written package of their accomplishments throughout the year as well as answered both knowledge-based and hypothetical questions before a board of their supervisors.

“It is a great feeling to have the chance to compete for honors at any level,” said Zaruba.

Zaruba said instructing other Sailors is a passion, and he firmly believes in the importance of teaching aviation survival training. He said when he takes his place at the podium, he tries to spread his excitement and positivity in what he is presenting in an effort to make his training “stick to Sailors once they return to the fleet.”

Zaruba also explained that being himself adds a great deal to his success. He believes in going the extra mile and just being yourself. He makes time and extra effort to engage with the students who struggle instead of just “talking off the board.” He said, above all, the single-most important aspect is to make instructing and learning fun.

Feedback on his efforts has also been extremely positive. He appreciates his friends and family that have expressed their excitement to him, but he says the real honor is the attention he receives from his fellow Sailors.

“The best is when I have mentors and previous co-workers reach out to me from all across the NMOTC enterprise to give their well wishes,” said Zaruba. “It really makes a Sailor proud.”

Now that Zaruba has been named Junior IOY at both NMOTC and NMETLC, he said there is a lot he has to change. He feels compelled to holding a higher standard as he sets the bar for his peers to emulate while still maintaining his love for his instructing duties and persisting with the effort that got him to where he is today.

“Whenever I saw someone named IOY, I saw them as a role model,” said Zaruba. “If I can be that to someone else, then I feel I am helping shape the future of instructors at NMOTC.”

Navy Medicine Operational Training Center is part of a health care network of Navy medical professionals around the world who provide high-quality health care to more than one million eligible beneficiaries. Navy Medicine personnel deploy with Sailors and Marines worldwide, providing critical mission support aboard ships, in the air, under the sea, and on the battlefield.

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