Soldier recognized of Black Hat of the Year - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Soldier recognized of Black Hat of the Year

Staff Sgt. Rommel Hurtado, a jumpmaster instructor at the U.S. Army Airborne School, was officially recognized as the 2009 Black Hat of the Year in a ceremony Nov. 12 on The Airborne Walk. Staff Sgt. Rommel Hurtado, a jumpmaster instructor at the U.S. Army Airborne School, was officially recognized as the 2009 Black Hat of the Year in a ceremony Nov. 12 on The Airborne Walk.

 

Press Release

FORT BENNING, GA -
After a monthlong competition, one Black Hat stood out from the pack.  

Staff Sgt. Rommel Hurtado, a jumpmaster instructor at the U.S. Army Airborne School, was officially recognized as the 2009 Black Hat of the Year in a ceremony Nov. 12 on The Airborne Walk.

Called Sergeant Airborne by their students, the instructors who wear the Black Hat are the epitome of noncommissioned officers – professional and disciplined with high standards, said Col. Jon Ring, 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment commander.

“I always like to improve myself in any way I can,” said Hurtado about the competition.   “I like to use my time wisely, and I am always up for a good challenge.”

The 10-year Army veteran has deployed four times in support of the Global War on Terrorism has served with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C, and 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. 

Hurtado is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 507th Parachute Inf. Regt. and has been an Airborne School instructor for nearly two years.

He said his future plans are to become a pilot.

The award’s name comes from the black hats worn by all Airborne School instructors, who must first “earn the right” to wear the headgear of one of the most respected instructors in the Army.  Instructors from the 1st Battalion, 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment, are eligible for the award. 

The competition focused on all aspects of Airborne training.  The instructors were graded in a number of areas, including classroom instruction, technical abilities while performing practical work in the aircraft, jumpmaster personnel inspection and sustained Airborne training.

Besides being named the top instructor, Hurtado received an Army Commendation Medal, a four-day pass, exemption from battalion duty for one year, regimental and battalion coins and numerous gifts from sponsors.

Source: Fort Benning Office of Public Affairs

 

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