By Valerie Collins (Leonard Wood)October 5, 2017
Chief Warrant Officer 3 Kelly Jameson, forensic scientist and chief of the forensic training center at Fort Leonard Wood, has committed his life to being a voice for victims.
Jameson has had a hand in hundreds of cases over the course of his career. He has a passion for understanding victims and takes every case personally.
"I really want to get justice. If we don't get resolution, that really bothers me. If we don't have enough information that really sticks with me," Jameson said.
Jameson has spent years studying cases and connecting with his own instincts to be a voice for every victim.
One of his most notable cases is the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, where he served as the lead investigator.
This case was one that consumed his life for years, shaping the way he investigates.
"We are the voice of the victim. Without us -- the voice -- the suspect will win," Jameson said. "Every case I come across changes my outlook."
It is with this mindset that Jameson teaches his military students to think outside the box and to be advocates for justice.
"He won't let you look at victims as a number or 'just another case,'" said Navy Chief Petty Officer Christopher Tyner, master at arms, who recently was a student of Jameson's.
Tyner describes Jameson as a person with heart, passion and his own style of teaching classes not just what they need to know to pass the exams, but what they need to know to be efficient investigators in the field.
"He owns the room simply based on who he is," Tyner said, adding that it says a lot about Jameson, as a leader, seeing that his team shows the same passion for victims.
Jameson finished high school with no major goals for college.
"I knew I wanted to be a police officer in Spokane, Washington, but they required at least a bachelor's degree," Jameson said.
He attempted to obtain his bachelor's degree at a local college in Spokane but ended up failing out. This put him on the path to the Army recruiter's office.
He has now been serving for 15 years. Over the course of his career he has worked as a noncommissioned officer in charge of a military police investigation unit, a special agent for CID and, eventually, entered the CID warrant officer corps.
Jameson admits that the Army has offered him many opportunities that he would not have had otherwise.
After the 2009 Fort Hood case went to trial, Jameson was granted order to become the special agent in charge at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He explains the case at Fort Hood required him to be within driving distance.
During times when he was at Fort Hood for the trial he would help close open cases during his down time. As the special agent in charge at Fort Sill he was asked to travel to Fort Bliss on a staff assistance visit to review open case files, and make suggestions for improving their investigative style.
"We have a responsibility to teach future investigators at the highest possible level because they will be held to the highest possible standard," Jameson said. His mission is to evolve the training already in place into a more realistic learning environment for future CID agents.
Jameson has spent his career learning. Since joining the Army he has obtained a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Troy University, a master's degree in criminology from Boston University, a master's degree in forensic science from George Mason University and is working on his dissertation to complete his doctorate in public safety with specialization in criminology by 2019.
"He is the most intelligent man most of us have ever met," Tyner said. "His desire to make this a university style learning experience" and Jameson's "extreme wealth of knowledge and experience," set this school a part from the rest.
He presents his students with a copy of the written statement from the survivor of the Stanford rape case as a reminder that some victims are survivors and are left to live with the pain of the crime committed against them.
Sexual assault is one area that frustrates him as an investigator. In having them read this first-hand account, Jameson said he is starting a conversation about sexual assault and the vulnerability that is experienced by those victims. His hope is for his message to resonate with enough of his students that they will then have the ability to effectively advocate for every victim they encounter.
"We can't stop sexual assaults, but we can educate," Jameson said.
Tyner explains that by reading this statement and having this conversation, "Jameson makes us all want to do this job better."
"The changes I have made to these classes would not have been possible without the United States Army Military Police School, the director of Training and Education command team, and my team here, who have provided me the support, as well as a platform, to share my knowledge and passion," Jameson said.
"The more people that can learn from him the better we all are," Tyner said.
Staff Sgt. Josh Whiting, criminalistics instructor for MPI, CID and advanced crime scene, describes Jameson as a "fantastic leader and a mentor," adding that Jameson is extremely approachable and encourages everyone to take advantage of his experience. "He pushes his Soldiers to advance in the field," Whiting said.
"Be the voice of the victim," a motto Jameson has displayed all over his office and classroom. He said he wants his students to remember that is why they do this job.