JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
Tech. Sgt. David Infante, who teaches the interview and interrogation portion of the Military Police Investigation course at the U.S. Army Military Police School in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, improved the eight-week course by doing what Air Force instructors do best – putting their students first.
Infante has been teaching the course since October 2020 and teaches students from all military branches, including civilians and foreign national students. He typically has 30 students in each class, running 12 classes per year.
He wanted to revamp the curriculum methodologies to provide his students with the necessary tools to aid their development, and he did just that through something as simple as a three-question feedback form from his students.
The questions are:
- What is the most valuable thing you learned from the course and why?
- What is the least valuable thing you learned from the course and why?
- What would you change about the course?
“This continual feedback allowed me to implement rapid change in how I present material, as well as where my focus needs to be when accomplishing practical exercises,” Infante said.
The feedback highlighted some key issues, such as students needing more time to conduct interviews and wanting valuable individual feedback from their instructor.
Infante jumped into action and modified the way they conducted practical exercises and implemented individual feedback after every exercise. He also created grading rubrics for each student to provide a more student-centric learning environment.
“Prior to my arrival, there was a focus on the quantity of interviews versus the quality of interviews,” he said. “This change allowed the opportunity for one-on-one feedback, which wasn’t part of the course plan before. This helps keep me up to date with process changes that we would normally miss if we didn’t encourage the back-and-forth discussion between students and instructors.”
Additionally, he improved their technical capabilities by utilizing Blackboard Learn, a learning management system, to provide students 24-hour access to course materials. Using the system also lessened their environmental impact by printing fewer documents for each student.
Although these small changes make a big difference, Infante wanted to make an even bigger impact by rewriting the course plan that is more in line with current, advanced interview and interrogation procedures.
“The emphasis on professional development in my current billet allows me to attend multiple law enforcement courses, anywhere from four to eight a year, which are fully funded by USAMPS and the 37th Training Wing,” he said.
Infante said that attending these courses confirmed their lesson plans are on par, and sometimes better than what is presented in those civilian courses. Additionally, he explained that without the Air Force and Army’s leadership support, staying ahead of the game wouldn’t be possible.
“My students affect people’s lives on a daily basis, and I feel I owe them the most up-to-date material in order to make them the best investigators they can be,” he said.
The USAMPS falls under the 14th Military Police Brigade. The 37th Training Group is tied to the USAMPS through the several Army courses that Airmen attend across Fort Leonard Wood. These courses include MPI, inter-service non-lethal individual weapons instructor, protective services training, and special reaction team.