Breaking barriers, making history
October 5, 2010
- Coral J. Jones became the first African-American female to be pinned chief warrant officer five within the active Army Adjutant General Corps.
FORT MCPHERSON, Ga., (October 5, 2010) -- Coral J. Jones reached the pinnacle grade in her profession and made Army history as she became the first African-American female to earn the rank of chief warrant officer five within the active Army Adjutant General Corps Oct. 1, 2010, during a promotion ceremony at the U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) headquarters here.
Jones, born in Barbados and reared in St. Lucia, first enlisted in the Army at Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, as a personnel records specialist. She has served in the Army for almost 30 years.
"Who would have known 28 years ago when I enlisted in the Army that my accomplishments would afford me the opportunity to achieve this milestone in Army history," said Jones, who is assigned to the FORSCOM G-1.
John B. Nerger, U.S. Army Installation Management Command executive director, hosted Friday's promotion ceremony and spoke of his experience of working with Jones and exalted her accomplishments.
"I was touched in my career by 'Chief Jones.' She is about as people oriented as somebody could be; perfect for the AG Corps," Nerger said. "I am here to pay her homage, and there is nothing more important we can be doing this afternoon."
"The Army has chosen in good judgment to promote her, and (the Army) believes that she will be successful at a higher grade," he explained. "(The Army) wants her-and expects her-to produce further accomplishments at this level."
Nerger said that the day was a great one for the Army Family at large, and the Army Family should be proud of Jones' accomplishments.
"When one of us succeeds, all of us succeed," he exclaimed.
Before achieving this milestone, Jones said her most memorable moment was the time she spent stationed at Fort Polk, La.
"I remember doing field exercises with my Soldiers as a young detachment commander in the trenches digging fox holes," she said. "Being out with my Soldiers getting dirty is one of my most memorable moments."
Jones deemed that her most challenging moments happened during her time at Warrant Officer Candidate School at Fort Rucker, Ala. Though challenging in nature, Jones said it was truly worth it.
She said, "There were some moments where I thought to myself 'hey, is this really worth it'' But I wanted it bad enough and I stuck with it. It was very worth it."
Jones advises those who may read about her accomplishments to pursue their goals diligently.
"People died coming to this country trying to achieve the American dream, and we have the opportunity to (achieve that dream)," she said. Grasp it and hang on to it."