The creation of Army Instructor Badges was a result of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s implementation of NCO 2020, a major overhaul of its system for training and developing Non-Commissioned Officers. Under the direction of the Institute for Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development (INCOPD), an Instructor Development and Recognition Program (IDRP) for the Noncommissioned Officer Education System was created, along with the regulations outlining the requirements for earning Basic, Senior, and Advanced Instructor Badges.

The path to being awarded the badge is not an easy one. NCOs must be referred into the IDRP  by the commandant of their NCO academy, as well as measure up to TRADOC’s minimum instructor evaluation and certification requirements. To earn just the Basic badge, an instructor must spend a full eighty hours serving as a primary instructor.

Earning the various badges also brings promotion points, but they are not cumulative. The fifteen points awarded with the Basic badge, for example, are not added to the fifteen given when the Senior badge is earned. The maximum number of promotion points that can be earned is twenty for the Master Badge.

The first Instructor Badges were awarded in July, 2014, when seven Instructors earned the Basic Badge after completing the IDRP at a variety of NCOES schools. These included the Quarter Master Corps (Fort Lee), Maneuver Center of Excellence (Fort Benning), Aviation Center of Excellence (Fort Eustis), Intelligence Center of Excellence (Fort Huachuca), Cyber Center of Excellence (Fort Gordon), and the Fires Center of Excellence (Fort Sill).

There was some outcry from non-NCOES Instructors upon learning of the new badges, which are only issued to those Instructors at NCOES schools who completed the IDRP program (participation is IDRP is voluntary). But TRADOC Regulation 600-21, “Noncommissioned Officer Education System Instructor Development and Recognition Program,” issued in June 2016, implies that at some point non-NCOES Instructors will also be able to qualify for the Instructor Badge.
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