News: Beaufort native earns rank of brigadier general
Story by Staff Sgt. Regina Machine
CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – Col. Kaffia Jones, a Beaufort, S.C., native and California resident, is to be promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony Sept. 10 in Atlanta.
Jones’ promotion comes while serving as Third Army/ARCENT G-6, communications, and Commander of the 335th Signal Command (Theater) (Provisional). She is also the commander of the 505th Signal Brigade, Las Vegas.
With guests from all over the world set to be in attendance, the ceremony attendees will be a combination of people she has encountered during her military and civilian careers.
“This promotion is not about me,” said Jones. “It’s about everyone who empowered me. My family, my friends, my leaders, and the senior leaders, religious family, and World War II veterans who believed in me; it’s all about those people.”
A trip to the post office led to her joining the Army. While waiting in line she began to read all of the signs along the wall. One just happened to be a recruitment poster.
“I told myself I was not doing anything anyway, so I joined the National Guard the next day,” she explained.
Jones enlisted in the National Guard in 1976 as part of the Quartermaster Corps.
Upon receiving her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies in 1980, Jones was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the California Army National Guard. She later earned a master’s degree and her doctoral degree in psychology.
After completing the Adjutant General Officer Basic Course, she served as a signal platoon leader, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Brigade, 40th Infantry Division (mechanized), in San Jose, Calif. At that time, it was the only line officer position open for a female in the unit.
In 1984, Jones transitioned into the Army Reserve, where she served in numerous staff level positions with the 91st Division, San Jose.
As a first lieutenant, she was the commander of B Company, 3rd Battalion, 362nd Infantry Regiment in San Jose, the same unit where she attended basic training as a private.
During her military career, Jones also served in numerous positions from being an assistant operations officer to communications and electronics chief.
She retired from the civil service in 2004, after 25 years in various positions with the California Department of Corrections. She currently owns Indian Hill Company, a land development company, which buys land, develops, and builds affordable rental properties for the people of Beaufort, S.C.
For any soldier who is aspiring to become a general, Jones advised: “Ask yourself what you want to bring to society? What do you want to leave society? These thoughts should guide you in what is done. Always think two steps ahead of where you are now.”
For 2nd Lt. Sade Williams, Jones’ aide and Brooklyn, N.Y., native, reading all Jones has accomplished inspired her to apply for her aide-de-camp position.
“I have learned so much from her in our four months together,” Williams said. “I learned by simply observing her words and actions.”
For Williams, the opportunity to be working with Jones allows her to work with a remarkable mentor.
Jones has received numerous awards to include the Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (silver oak leaf cluster), Army Commendation and Army Achievement Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization medal.
Upon Jones’ promotion, she will continue her assignments as Third Army/ARCENT G6, commander of 335th Sig. Bde., as well as remaining commander of the 505th Sig. Bde.