By Jacqueline Boucher
| Tobyhanna Army Depot | Aug. 21, 2019
Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Flannery, engages with Sgt. 1st Class Alexander Barrios during an active learning exercise where students apply what they have learned during the information technology course. (Photo by Thomas Robbins)
An Army instructor’s love of education helps Soldiers realize their full career potential in the information technology field.
Sgt. 1st Class Thomas Flannery was named Tobyhanna Army Depot's Warfighter of the Quarter for the fourth quarter of 2019 during a ceremony yesterday at the Pocono Raceway. He is a senior instructor assigned to the High Tech Regional Training Site – Maintenance, 80th Training Command, The Army School System or TASS.
The sergeant teaches hundreds of Army Reserve and National Guard students how to build computers, small networks, servers, and information security annually. To him, this award means he’s a dedicated worker who strives for excellence.
“I’m responsible for my students learning and development,” Flannery said, explaining that he looks forward to guiding them through the learning process. “I help individuals having difficulties with the material, ensure course milestones are met and everyone is successful.”
Coworkers describe Flannery as a technological wizard, who works well under pressure and can make sense of chaotic situations. Other attributes include improving instruction materials and upgraded the school’s teaching toolbox when the 21 year veteran figured out how to link video and sound to new monitors throughout the building. Everyone agrees Flannery teaches one of the more demanding and lengthy courses.
It’s not easy to connect with every student that passes through the schoolhouse doors, according to Master Sgt. Michelle Arbogast, senior signal noncommissioned officer at the training site. Each instructor has a different approach to training Soldiers.
“Flannery has the uncanny ability to remain calm in all situations and find ways to reach Soldiers on a personnel level,” Arbogast said. “He can adapt to all kinds of situations and do so with great professionalism that translates into his teaching style.”
Experience has taught Flannery how to be a leader, set an example and accept challenges. He encourages everyone to get out and learn new skills and discover other cultures. According to instructor, it’s important to stay connected with humanity and grounded – no matter what life throws at you.
Flannery admits some of his proudest moments of his career happened when he deployed to Southwest Asia.
“My duty while deployed was to create and maintain radio networks,” he said. “I had the opportunity to solve network problems, help setup satellite communications and keep warfighters connected during their missions.”
Looking back on a distinguished career, Flannery said he has learned a great deal about how to interact with other people and a great respect for other cultures and customs.
“I have gained a deep understanding about who I am and my capabilities,” Flannery said, adding that he attributes his success to a thirst for knowledge and the satisfaction of helping others and making them successful.