Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Army Veteran Michele S. Jones, who served as the first female command sergeant major of the Army Reserve.
Michele S. Jones enlisted into the Army in September 1982. During her active duty assignments, she served during the Kosovo War, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Desert Storm and the Global War on Terrorism.
She became the first female selected as class president while attending the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy.
In October 2002, Jones became the 9th command sergeant major of the Army Reserve, making her the first woman to ever serve in this position. In this role, Jones was the principal enlisted advisor to the chief of the Army Reserve.
During this time, she worked to elevate the Army Reserve in various ways, such as championing the right of the Reservist to have the same commissary privileges as the Army soldier. She also joined forces with Congress in a collective effort to extend TriCare to all military members and retirees. Afterward, she worked to refine the retirement process, believing that military careers should be based on service, not age.
After 25 years of service in both the active and reserve components, Jones retired March 1, 2007. Among her numerous military service awards are a Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Parachutist Badge, German Army Forces Airborne Wings and Royal Thai Airborne Wings.
Even after leaving the military, Jones continues to serve her country. She currently is the vice chair of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services.
She’s received the National Coalition for Black Civic Participation Lifetime Achievement Award, the Ford Foundation Freedom Sister’s Award and the NAACP Meritorious Service Award. Additionally, the National Museum of African American History and Culture featured her.
Thank you for your service!
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Graphic artist: Michelle Zischke