Chief Warrant Officer-2 Jeffrey Thomas
Jones II, Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer-in-charge with Marine
Wing Support Squadron 371 and a native of Columbus, Ohio, stands
before a memorial wall of his fallen brothers-in-arms at MCAS Yuma,
Aug. 3, 2012. Photo by USMC Lance Cpl. Uriel Avendano
YUMA, Ariz. (8/8/2012) - To Olympic athletes, bronze is the color of
could've, would've, should've.
In the military, bronze is the
color of honor, dedication, and sacrifice.
service members alive today can vouch for that. Chief Warrant
Officer-2 Jeffrey Thomas Jones II, Explosive Ordnance Disposal
officer-in-charge with Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, can.
Named Explosive Ordnance Disposal's Officer of the Year, Jones
received a Bronze Star with Combat V at a promotion ceremony held at
the Cannon Air Defense Complex in Yuma on Aug. 1. The medal was
awarded to Jones for his role as an EOD Section Chief with 1st
Battalion, 2d Marines, Regimental Combat Team 2, 1st Marine Division
(Forward), I Marine Expeditionary Force, from April, 2010 to
October, 2010, in Afghanistan. Then a master sergeant, Jones
personally completed a total of 96 EOD responses, disarmed 5
improvised explosive devices' by himself, and supervised four EOD
teams in a cumulative total of 343 incidents.
honor,” said Jones, days after being promoted in front a memorial
for 43 fallen EOD brothers-in-arms at the Combined Explosive
Ordnance Disposal building. “But these Marines here, these are the
ones that are the heroes. They made the ultimate sacrifice, “ added
Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Jones was no
stranger to hard work. Growing up in a rural farming community had
Jones baling hay at an early age in a close-knit family of eight.
The countryside of Columbus also found him fishing, hunting and
riding dirt bikes.
The grandson of a retired Army technical
sergeant and retired Army master
sergeant, Jones did not take the decision to serve his country
lightly. He was advised by his grandfathers about the weight of
military life and the other options available to him.
With a family to support, a 23-year -old Jones took to
"I wanted to join when I was younger,
but I had a good job. Five years down the road, I got laid
off," said Jones. "I was roofing houses, but winter time
came and I had a son and no way to support the family at
Jones would become the first Marine from
either side of the family. From the get-go, Jones was
attracted to infantry. He enlisted in July 1997 and hit the
ground running as an infantryman.
EOD first caught
Jones' attention as a young lance corporal during a 14-15
mile hump while training in the Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.
The program was not considering anyone below corporal at
the time. A few years down the road, as a marksmanship
instructor and block noncommissioned officer on the pistol
range at Quantico, VA., Jones went over and talked to EOD.
"I did a lateral move interview, they accepted me
and I haven't looked back since," said Jones. "I've been in
EOD just over 10 years."
With more than a decade's
worth of experience, Jones is conscious of the realities
that come with his responsibility as an EOD technician. In a
job where one is required to step into combat to locate,
disarm, and dispose of each hidden improvised explosive
device, Jones knows full well the dangers that come with the
“I have a lot of faith in my husband,”
said Kelly Jones, his wife and a native of Long Island, NY.
“I'm concerned that he's over there, but I know he knows
what he's doing.”
As a father of two, Robert and
Samantha, Jones does not let his position or his
accomplishments get in the way of crediting the Marines
around him and the Corps itself.
“In today's age,
with the IED threat, definitely EOD plays a big role in
that,” said Jones. “However, we're no more important than
motor transport because without trucks, we don't get gear.
Food services, we can't eat, we can't live, we can't fight."
Jones' role as EOD Section Leader led to the destruction
of 1,286 Net Explosive Weight of enemy ammunition and
explosives. Also serving as the directed telescope for the
battalion commander and operations officer, Jones ensured
“We don't do what we do
for the awards or the accolades. That's just a byproduct,”
said Jones. “We do it because we want to save lives of other
The 15-year-Marine is quick to put his
accomplishments in perspective.
“I have to thank my
junior Marines,” said Jones. “I wouldn't be where I'm at
without the Marines that work for me. No military officer or
leader is where they're at without the great Marines that
By USMC Lance Cpl. Uriel Avendano
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