USAMRIID SGM Louis Selected for Graduate Fellowship
Sgt. Maj. Dietrek G. Louis, sergeant major of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Maryland, was recently selected for the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy Graduate Fellowship at Pennsylvania State University.
Twenty individuals were chosen for the merit-based program, which requires a proven track record of academic excellence (including a grade point average of 3.0 or higher) and outstanding leadership and communication skills. A panel of Army senior leaders, along with a Penn State University representative, selected the best candidates who will go on to complete coursework towards a master's degree in education. Each graduate will be assigned to the USASMA at Fort Bliss, Texas, as an associate professor for three years.
Because he already has his master's of education degree, Louis will be awarded a second master's degree and will be working towards his doctorate in education. He will leave the USAMRIID for enrollment at Penn State in May.
"I am excited about this opportunity," said Louis. "Hopefully, the Army will send me back to the USAMRIID after I complete my requirements. My family and I have designated [the Frederick, Maryland, area] as our home after my military career is completed."
Louis, who was born in Florida and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been stationed at the USAMRIID for just under one year. Prior duty stations include: Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; Fort Bliss, Texas; and Camp Red Cloud, South Korea. He and his family-wife Eleshia and son Dietrick, age 13-especially liked Fort Campbell and the Nashville area.
A combat medic by training, Louis said his career path "took off" when he was assigned to an infantry battalion and afforded the opportunity to attend several different schools.
"I had already completed a degree, and together with the Army's multiple training opportunities--that propelled my promotion through the enlisted ranks," said Louis.
When asked what advice he would give to junior Soldiers, Louis offered the following: "Don't complain; hard work is easy work; utilize your time wisely and take advantage of all education benefits provided by the military. Following these steps will take you further than you can imagine."
Louis cites his parents and their teachings as his greatest influence. On the military side, he said Command Sg.t Maj. (Ret.) Shirley Hunt and First Sgt. (Ret.) Steven Couty have helped to make him the leader he is today, adding, "I'm always smiling because there's nothing I have to frown about."
The U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy was founded in July 1972 and has graduated hundreds of thousands of Soldiers, according to its website. The academy is headed by a three-star level nominative command sergeant major and is supported by a world-class staff and academic faculty. The USASMA creates all curricula for each level of the Army noncommissioned officer education system, and plays a key role in the education of all enlisted leaders from corporal to command sergeant major in the active Army, Army Reserve and Army National Guard. The Sergeants Major Course is 10 months long and prepares senior NCOs to lead at the highest levels of the Army and Department of Defense.