Fallen Soldier Honored at GED Plus Program Ceremony
(October 27, 2010)
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Oct. 25, 2010) -- It was a day for
celebration of new beginnings and solemn remembrance of
those who gave all during a dedication ceremony for the
military's only GED credentialing program and new,
state-of-the-art building complex, Thursday, Oct. 21.
Lacey Jordan spoke to a crowd of more than four hundred
about her late husband, Sgt. Jeffrey W. Jordan, who
graduated from the GED Plus Program after joining the
Georgia Army National Guard on Sept. 11, 2006.
“Jeffrey was young, strong, intelligent and extremely
determined to build a good life for his family,” said Ms.
Jordan. “The GED Plus Program was a chance for him to make a
new start. It was an opportunity for Jeffrey to be picked up
and placed on a level playing field. In the Army National
Guard, Jeffrey found out that it didn't matter what walk of
life you came from, he recognized that the only limits were
the ones you placed on yourself.”
Sgt. Jordan attended the National Guard GED Plus Program
from November 28 through Dec. 13, 2006. He later graduated
from basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. and advanced
individual training at Fort Gordon, Ga. where became
qualified as a Radio Operator Maintainer and Multichannel
Transmission System Operator.
In June 2007, Jeffrey and Lacey met at a party and began
dating. His family stated that he often referred to her as
his “Barbie Doll” and was eager to introduce her. The two
fell in love and were married three months later, Sept. 22,
2007. When he learned that he would become a father, Sgt.
Jordan cried tears of joy. Their son, Tailor Jeffrey Jordan,
was born June 4, 2008.
Not long after Tailor was born, Jordan's unit was alerted
for deployment and began pre-mobilization training at Camp
Shelby, Miss. and Camp Ripley, Minn. He flew to Afghanistan,
April 10, 2009 and was assigned to Task Force Phoenix at
Camp Blackhorse with the Georgia Army National Guard's 1st
Battalion, 108th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target
Acquisition Squadron, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team from
With tears, and no dry eyes in the audience, Ms. Jordan
spoke about the man whom she loved and misses every day.
“Jeffrey was a loving husband and a wonderful father, and he
is greatly missed,” said Ms. Jordan, glancing at her son
asleep in his grandmother's arms. “Jeffrey was killed on his
son's first birthday, which makes it very, very hard to
ensure that Tailor will know and understand how great his
father truly was.”
Jordan, along with two of his crew members, was killed when
Taliban militants detonated an improvised explosive device
under his Humvee. His team was conducting a patrol in the
Kapisa province of Afghanistan.
“This honor that you are bestowing on Jeffrey
this morning will serve to show Tailor just how
wonderful a man and how great a Soldier his
father was,” Ms. Jordan said. “I look forward in
time to the day that I can bring Tailor to this
place and show him this building named in his
father's honor. I know that Tailor would be as
proud of his father then as I am now.”
Standing at parade rest with hands locked behind
their backs, 311 Warriors stood in the rear of
the audience during the dedication ceremony.
Army National Guard Acting Director, Maj. Gen.
Raymond W. Carpenter, hosted the event and
stated the program is mutually beneficial to the
new recruits, the nation, and greatly needed for
“The purpose of this program is to give
Ms. Lacey Jordan unveils the new building sign bearing the name of her late husband Sgt. Jeffrey W. Jordan, Oct. 21, 2010 at Camp Robinson In North Little Rock, Ark. U.S. Army Photo by Spc. Tyson Shields
soldiers, like [these] a second chance,” said Carpenter.
“This is not just for the individuals that we have in the
back. We are also vitally concerned that these men and women
have the opportunity to contribute to our organization, that
they have the opportunity to apply their talents to service
in this nation's military to protect the citizens of this
country. We are looking for bright, intelligent, young
patriots to serve in this nation's military.”
Retired Lt. Gen.Clyde A. Vaughn, former director of the Army
National Guard, was also honored when the National Guard dedicated
the program in his name. The Lt. Gen. Clyde A. Vaughn GED Plus
Program was a vision of Vaughn which he considered one piece of a
larger educational initiative to help solve critical issues facing
America. In September 2005, a Department of Defense Directive, and
subsequent National Guard Bureau ARH Policy Memo, authorized the
establishment of the GED Plus Program. This establishment allowed
the ARNG to recruit, train, and retain quality applicants who would
otherwise be ineligible for service. This was a new and untapped
recruiting source that would also contribute to American Society by
putting citizen-Soldiers back in the community with a GED, military
training, and a job skill.
Vaughn told the audience that the benefits are real, but so are the
sacrifices that each recruit makes when they raise their right hand.
“It's not all a social program because at the end of the day, you
ask these people to do what is the most solemn of all things, to
pledge to support and defend the Constitution of the United States
against all enemies, foreign and domestic,” said Vaughn. “And then
we will honor all those and their families who make the supreme
The GED Plus Program's Commandant, Lt. Col. Mary K. Maguire, said
the program continues to grow leaps and bounds showing quantifiable
“Our through-put continues to increase,” said Maguire. “We tested
2,791 Warriors with 2,752 passing which is the most in the history
of the program for one year. During this last year, we have
maintained an astonishing 98.5 percent pass rate.”
Since the beginning of the program, the GED Plus Program has tested
10,182 Warriors with 9,217 passing the GED test. The overall GED
Plus success rate is 90.5 percent compared to the 71 percent
Maguire said the success of the program has helped to foster a
partnership with the U.S. Army Accessions Command who recently
closed the U.S. Army Preparatory School for GED Students at Ft.
Jackson, S.C. The Army Preparatory School was a pilot program which
began in 2008. Army Accessions Command is scheduled to send recruits
to the GED Plus Program during FY 2011.
“This year will bring a new challenge when we increase the through
put to 3,000 ARNG Warriors and incorporate 500 Active Army Warriors
within our ranks,” Maguire said.
Carpenter told representatives from the U.S. Army Accessions Command
that he looked forward to partnering with the active duty Army and
Army Reserve components.
“We are going to partner with U.S. Army Accessions Command, and they
are going to be a part of the GED Plus Program,” Carpenter said.
“That really is a testament to where we have come in the Army.”
The Sgt. Jeffrey W. Jordan GED Plus Complex was completed in June
2010 at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock, Ark. The 90,000
square-foot complex was designed to ensure efficiency in time,
money, and Warrior movements. As a “green building,” it features
efficient building materials, smart lighting, computer regulated
temperatures, and water conserving appliances.
The complex features 22 classrooms, 12 barracks, faculty and staff
offices, and a dining facility that also converts to an auditorium.
The building also houses a small medical clinic with a supervising
physician and additional medical staff to provide any necessary
medical treatment. Maguire said they will be breaking ground soon on
the addition of a physical training dome in the rear of the complex
next to the quarter mile track.
By Army Capt. Kyle Key
National Guard Patriot Academy
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