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    Standing Joint Force Headquarters for Elimination bids farewell to 'great mentor' during retirement ceremony

    Standing Joint Force Headquarters for Elimination bids farewell to 'great mentor' during retirement ceremony

    Photo By Chris Bush | Honor Guard members unfold an American flag during the retirement ceremony for Col....... read more read more



    Story by Chris Bush 

    20th CBRNE Command

    ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. – Dozens of service members, Department of Defense civilian employees, and family members gathered to celebrate the career of Col. Robert E. Jones Jr., Standing Joint Force Headquarters for Elimination chief of staff, during his retirement ceremony at Aberdeen Proving Ground’s Top of the Bay club, Aug. 10.

    Jones was hailed as a “great mentor” who worked tirelessly during his decades of service “to build a strong force for the defense of the nation,” according to SJFHQ-E commander Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric W. Crabtree, the ceremony’s host.

    Crabtree thanked all of those in attendance to see the Jones family “step brightly into their future,” but admitted he felt some sadness to see Jones depart from the active duty ranks and commented on what a great legacy he is leaving behind. “We build on the successes of the people who have gone before,” Crabtree said. “[Jones] is the leader and mentor all of us hope to be.”

    Jones has served as the SJFHQ-E chief of staff – formerly known as the Joint Elimination Coordinating Element – since July of 2009. SJFHQ-E plans and trains to enable the command and control of weapons of mass destruction elimination operations in support of geographic combatant commanders and on order, deploys to augment an existing headquarters or to provide the core of a joint task force headquarters that executes WMD-E. The SJFHQ-E is co-located with the 20th Support Command (CBRNE) at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

    The ceremony’s guest speaker, Army Maj. Gen. John C. Doesburg, retired, who has known Jones for many years, praised the colonel as someone who provides much-valued guidance and advice to all who know him. Doesburg also said he was honored and surprised to be asked to speak at such a distinguished ceremony.

    “A lot of us here today owe who we are and where we are to Bob Jones,” Doesburg said. Doesburg had promoted Jones to captain earlier in his career and said that he knew then that Jones would go on to have a distinguished career.

    “I remember thinking he is going to be around for a long time. He is going to lead soldiers, he is going mentor those who need mentoring because that’s who he is,” Doesburg said. “He is a person of integrity, he is a person with a kind moral ethic and he never, never steps back from telling you what he actually thinks, which is so important in today’s military.”

    During his remarks, Jones drew a parallel from the Book of Ecclesiastes to highlight that there is a time and a season for everything and now was his season to make a transition into civilian life. He thanked the many family members – including his wife and children – on hand for their support throughout his nearly 30 years of service in the Army.

    “My retirement does not, in any way, decrease my desire to lead, train, mentor or provide a positive example,” Jones joked. “This ceremony simply denotes a change in season, a career transition, a change in DoD status, but the desire to serve transcends any change in status. I will continue to serve.”



    Date Taken: 08.10.2012
    Date Posted: 08.13.2012 14:27
    Story ID: 93131
    Location: ABERDEEN, MD, US 

    Web Views: 633
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