Salvadoran Army Captain Rafael A. Monterrosa is the U.S. Army Training & Doctrine Command’s Officer Instructor of the Year for 2016. Capt. Monterrosa is the chief instructor and course director for the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation’s (WHINSEC) Cadet Leadership Development Course, offered up to eight times per year to military cadets from the United States and other regional countries.
Although WHINSEC is one of the smallest education facilities in the U.S. Army, it draws from the best U.S. and partner-nation instructors. Capt. Monterrosa follows last year’s Educator of the Year, Chilean Army Col. Luis Cuellar, as an honoree, and in its short history, the institute has had one other TRADOC Instructor of the Year. Remarkable in this is that Capt. Monterrosa teaches in Spanish, so his entry in the competition was in Spanish, with interpretation by the institute’s interpreter/translators.
Capt. Monterrosa first came to WHINSEC in 2002 as a cadet in El Salvador’s Military Academy, taking the very course he is now teaching. After his commissioning in 2003, Capt. Monterrosa went to Field Artillery Basic Course in El Salvador, the Field Artillery Advanced Course in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, back to El Salvador for a basic Airborne Course, and eventually back to WHINSEC in 2015.
In addition to the Instructor Training Courses at the institute that brought Capt. Monterrosa to Master Instructor status, he has also taken the UN Peacekeeping Operations Course. His operational assignments have been varied and challenging, adding to his credibility as an instructor.
He has been an Infantry platoon leader, an Infantry company commander, a Field Artillery platoon leader, and a Battery Commander for the 102 Field Artillery Battalion. In 2007, Capt. Monterrosa was deployed to Al Kut, Iraq, with the Salvadoran Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom.