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NEWS | Sept. 29, 2017

Knowledge, leadership, commitment: Army Reserve Special Agent makes history

By Sgt. Audrey Hayes 200th Military Police Command

The first Army Reserve Criminal Investigation Command (CID) Special Agent was awarded the Basic Army Instructor Badge, Sept. 18, 2017. Staff Sgt. Anthony Johnson, a detachment sergeant with the 383rd Military Police Detachment (CID), located in Lakeland, Florida, is not only making history for the MP Corps, but is augmenting the way his fellow Army Reserve agents grow and succeed in their career.

For Army Reserve CID agents, it is hard to obtain seats in active duty schools, such as the Advanced Leadership Course, which is necessary for career advancement. Having Johnson instruct courses provides more slots for Reserve agents so they can attend ALC and progress in their respective field.

“Staff Sgt. Johnson has stepped forward and accepted the challenge of instructing,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Craig D. Owens, the senior enlisted leader for the 200th Military Police Command. “This shows our active duty counterparts that our program can work.”

A part of the program, which is also groundbreaking, is that Johnson is the first adjunct instructor. This means that he can go and teach courses for a short time and then return to his home unit and civilian job.

Just because he’s a part-time instructor doesn’t mean he lacks the knowledge of the of the full-time instructors. Johnson has more than 17 years of civilian law enforcement experience and over 2,900 hours of law enforcement training, and has worked in many different fields. He is currently a crime scene detective, but has worked as a narcotics task force officer, served on a police dive rescue team, and a street crime unit. When it comes to mentoring agents, offers advice that stems from a diverse law enforcement background to add to their toolkits.

“Staff Sgt. Johnson may have pioneered this for the CID field,” said Owens, “but it’s going to revolutionize how our regular MP’s get their training.”

The plan is to have Reserve MP’s earn an instructor badge, like Johnson, so they can start offering classes. It’s going to take knowledge, leadership and commitment, which is what the badge represents.

With more than 80 hours of instructing time, Johnson also had to attend and pass the Basic Army Instructor Course and the Small Group Instructor Course. He said the toughest part was instructing in front of the “Murder Board,” a panel of at least three instructors with the rank of first sergeant and up.

“It was nerve-wrecking,” said Johnson. “If you’re lucky, you might have students to interact with, but not in my case.”

Johnson didn’t have any students, and on top of that, he had to randomly pick a class out of a hat. Despite feeling like he could have done better, he did his research and passed.

“The bottom line is that all [noncommissioned officers], regardless of their [career field], are expected to know certain combat skill sets, training management, and have the ability to research and lead troops,” he said.

Leading troops is Johnson’s passion. While he says he is proud of being the first Reserve special agent to receive the instructor badge, and being the first adjunct instructor for the United States Army Military Police School, Johnson’s accomplishments weren’t for his own gain.

“When this all started, I didn’t expect to earn an instructor badge, that was just a by-product,” said Johnson. “There’s a lot of instructor time that I preformed that I’m not getting compensated for and that’s okay, because I didn’t do this for me, I did this for my NCO cohort and the betterment of the Army.”

Perhaps Johnson’s accomplishments haven’t affected the whole Army, yet, but it is safe to say that his hard work is benefiting the MP Corps, as a whole.