First in the country: UNG ROTC instructor sees award as stepping stone

Sergeant first class Shannon D. Clark, a military science professor at the University of North Georgia and 13-year National Reserves member, has been awarded the Basic Army Instructor Badge, AIB.

The AIB is a program designed to develop and recognize Army instructors. Clark is the first ROTC instructor in the country to receive this award.

Sergeant first class Shannon D. Clark teaches MILS 3000 classes. (Photo by Georgianne Carpenter)

Sergeant first class Shannon D. Clark teaches MILS 3000 classes. (Photo by Georgianne Carpenter)

“Earning the Basic Army Instructor badge has been a very rewarding experience,” Clark said. “The process has provided me with an opportunity to better myself as an educator and be an example for lifelong learning.”

This badge is a stepping stone for Clark, who is on her way to earning the senior and then master level of the badge.

She believes you should always look for ways to better yourself.

“This fall I will be completing a master’s degree in higher education administration, and I would like to obtain the senior instructor badge in spring 2018,” Clark explained.

Clark joined the U.S. Army 13 years ago and has been an instructor at UNG for a year and a half. She applied for the job and moved to Dahlonega with her family to help her husband accomplish his goal of becoming a United States Army Ranger.

When Clark retires from the Army, she hopes to become a professor of higher education.

Not only does she instruct military science classes, she’s also the faculty advisor for the Female Mentorship Program.

“[Clark] has challenged me and my leadership abilities to analyze overcoming adversities and obstacles as opportunity to grow and become a stronger leader, ” said Addyson Albershardt, junior sociology major and FMP founder. “Cadets who are influenced by SFC Clark will leave the university with more tools to be equipped for a complex environment in the Army.”

Clark teaches MILS 3000 classes, which cadets take in their junior year. During this strenuous period, cadets solidify their knowledge of military tactics. As Clark instructs and mentors her students, she makes sure they learn how to be leaders.

“[Everyone] should be encouraged that no matter what happens they should never give up on their dreams, never stop improving their foxhole and always trust in their ability to be better than they were the day before,” Clark said.

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