By Annette P. Gomes, Warrior Care and TransitionJuly 27, 2017
While her colleagues often describe her as quiet and humble, other adjectives used to describe Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jacqueline Jones include determined and a "Hard Charger."
The Iowa native says she had a simple plan for her career path.
"I wanted a career whereas I could use my foreign language skills, payoff student loan debt, see the world and obtain skills for civilian employment," Jones said.
That dream came true for her shortly after joining the Army. Her military resume reads like a novel, with multiple deployments to include Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, and assignments to Kuwait and Okinawa, Japan. Jones is fluent in four languages including Russian, Spanish, French and Serbo-Croatian.
But after 29 years in the Army Reserve, and severe damage to her ankle, Jones began to think about her future.
"My ankle was worn out through years of running and years of low-level injuries throughout my military career. The Army replaced my entire ankle, so now I have a titanium joint. I enjoy a challenge and I see this as one where I can use my skills and abilities to accomplish meaningful objectives," Jones said.
She used those skills first hand as she entered the Warrior Transition Unit's Career and Education Readiness Program. The program allowed Jones to continue on a career track than transition to a civilian career.
"Determined is an understatement. She was determined to acquire as many certifications as she possibly could to set herself up for success once she transitioned out of Bravo Company while assigned to the Fort Belvoir Warrior Transition Battalion. Chief Jones is always researching and participating in educating herself for her next mission in life and is always willing to assist not only a fellow soldier but our staff" said Tim Brien, Transition Coordinator with Fort Belvoir's WTB.
These days, Jones' main focus is on her new position as a traffic analysis technician with the National Capital Region Cyber Protection Center, and furthering her education as she works toward a Master's degree in cyber security.
Jones accepted the position after completing the nine week Cyber Common Technical Core Course along with a one week Cyber Protection Team Course. Despite sustaining injuries to her ankle, Jones passed her Army Physical Fitness Test. This milestone ensures Jones will be able to return to her Reserve Unit.
Brien describes the WTB as a place for Soldiers to heal and transition, but notes that often times Soldiers don't know if they will return to the Army or be discharged. He commended the approach Jones took and her impact on the Soldiers around her. "Chief Jones pushed forward to ensure she was prepared [to return to duty or transition out of the Army]. She's an example of what taking care of your health and career looks like. I don't need 80 more of her, one is enough to lead by example and influence the rest of the Company."