By Ms. Cynthia RiversWomack (USAREC)
First Sgt. Jonathan Jackson has been with Army Recruiting Command since 2001, cutting his recruiting teeth in the Houston Battalion as a recruiter and then recruiting station commander. In 2004, on his way back to serving in his primary military occupational specialty (MOS), Jackson received a fax that stated he was involuntarily converted to MOS 79R, Army Recruiter.
It was then that his recruiting journey truly began. His next assignments in the Phoenix Battalion, as recruiter, station commander, first sergeant and master trainer helped cultivate and solidify his recruiting mantle. In 2010, Jackson, his wife, Rayshelle, and their three children, now ages 14, 10 and 5, moved to Jacksonville, Fla., to work for the Jacksonville Recruiting Battalion, where he took command of Jacksonville South Recruiting Station. Then, in 2011, Jackson was tapped as Gainesville Company’s first sergeant.
Looking back over his Army and recruiting career, Jackson’s selection as USAREC’s First Sergeant of the Year is no accident. His work ethic and philosophy of taking care of Soldiers are key components to his leadership success.
“First sergeants don’t have to go to competition but it’s good to see E8s competing to show Soldiers that we can still soldier.” His philosophy is, “It’s all about the Soldiers.”
Jackson’s Top Three Axioms and Four Keys to Success:
Develop leaders of tomorrow
When you impart knowledge and respect you will get it back
Keys to Success:
Establish a standard
Make sure subordinates understand the standard
Take care of the Soldier: personally and professionally
Enforce the standard
“The most important thing is training future leaders. When you develop Soldiers, you develop tomorrow’s leaders not only in Army recruiting but also for the mainstream Army.”
Winning the competition for USAREC’s First Sergeant of the Year was a surprise for Jackson, and it’s a win he does not take lightly. In his Army recruiting career he’s received honors for achieving success as Top RA Recruiter, Top Station Commander and having a Top Station. But the title of USAREC’s Top TOP is most humbling, he said.
“I went to USAREC’s board to show my Soldiers that their hard work is not going unnoticed. You get promoted off the backs of Soldiers. Soldiers get you to those positions and I want to tell them thank you. It’s all for them,” he said.