Skill, ability are hallmarks of ROTC instructor’s Army Career
An ROTC instructor has earned Tobyhanna Army Depot’s Warfighter of the Quarter Award. The award recognizes military personnel for outstanding service.
Master Sgt. Roland Cuellar, senior military science instructor at the University of Scranton, was presented the fiscal 2013 third quarter award by depot commander Col. Gerhard P.R. Schröter and depot Sgt. Maj. Juan Rocha for his years of distinguished military service and community support.
The presentation took place during a ceremony at a NASCAR 400 event. Cuellar’s daughter, wife, and commanding officer Lt. Col. Ryan Remley attended the ceremony.
Cuellar is the 15th recipient of the award.
“This assignment has been very rewarding,” Cuellar said. “Taking part in the development of our future lieutenants is a huge responsibility that I take very seriously.”
The sergeant was raised with a competitive spirit; a mentality that he brought to the Army. He noted that he gets his motivation from the Soldiers and future leaders of the Army, treating the unit as his team and the Soldiers as his teammates.
“Loyalty and self-discipline are keys to success in this business,” Cuellar said. “Joining the U.S. Army was the best career choice I could have ever made.”
The 20-year veteran is assigned to the Army Reserve Officer Training Corps program and manages a number of issues, including standards and discipline, professional development of enlisted cadre members, fitness programs for the cadets and the unit’s equal opportunity policies.
As the senior noncommissioned officer (NCO) in charge of a Cadet Command Battalion, Cuellar oversees the training of 150 cadets and 24 cadre members, an operating budget of $1.5 million and a scholarship budget of more than $2 million. A cadre usually consists of five to seven officers ranking from second lieutenant to colonel, NCOs ranking from staff sergeant to master sergeant and civilian technical assistants. It is the cadres’ job to teach and help the cadets achieve the rank of second lieutenant.
“Cuellar has made a significant impact on the overall mission success of the battalion,” said Remley. “His actions ensured that the battalion exceeded its commission goal as a total of 24 new second lieutenants were commissioned last month.” In addition, his work is critical to the mentorship, teaching and professional development of members of the command group and staff sections. Thereby ensuring that upon commissioning, these leaders have the requisite skills to effectively serve the Army, Remley added.
Remley also remarked that Cuellar demonstrated knowledge of small unit leadership and tactics that is “unrivaled” during a tactical training exercise alongside 85 cadets from five universities.
Over the years, Cuellar has realized that to be an effective leader, one must first learn to work as a member of the team before trying to lead anyone. He also believes leaders must be ready to adjust their methods to resolve an issue and get Soldiers motivated to accomplish the mission.
“Any successful leader must understand the time in the trenches in order to have a grasp of a Soldier’s abilities,” he said. “Knowing each Soldier and their individual abilities is key and our ability to communicate proficiently can be the difference in the effectiveness of the team.” The sergeant speaks from experience — he served three tours of duty in Southwest Asia during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Senior leaders, university officials and alumni have praised Cuellar’s participation in recent ceremonies. The “flawless execution” of a change of responsibility and change of command ceremonies earned high marks, Remley said, adding that the sergeant also ensured the battalion’s color guard detail was rehearsed and executed missions supporting events in the local community.
The sergeant’s community outreach also includes partnering 25 cadets with a veteran’s service organization to refurbish and clean-up a local shelter for homeless veterans in downtown Scranton.
Cuellar’s duty performance this quarter has simply been superb, according to Remley. “His instruction of cadets, mentorship of fellow noncommissioned officers and involvement in the local community is unmatched,” he said.
Tobyhanna Army Depot is the Defense Department’s largest center for the repair, overhaul and fabrication of a wide variety of electronics systems and components, from tactical field radios to the ground terminals for the defense satellite communications network. Tobyhanna’s missions support all branches of the Armed Forces.
About 3,500 personnel are employed at Tobyhanna, which is located in the Pocono Mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania. Tobyhanna Army Depot is part of the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command. Headquartered at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., the command’s mission is to research, develop, acquire, field and sustain communications, command, control computer, intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors capabilities for the Armed Forces.