21st TSC SGM retires from Army

by Staff Sgt. Tramel S. Garrett
21st TSC Public Affairs

Soldiers, civilians and family members of the 21st Theater Sustainment Command gathered at the gym on Kleber Kaserne here Feb. 24 for a retirement ceremony to celebrate the 26-year career of the command’s retention sergeant major.

Sgt. Maj. Elisabeth A. Jones, the command career counselor for the 21st TSC, started her career in the Army immediately after college under the “Be All You Can Be” campaign.

Enlisting with a degree, she quickly found herself promoted to sergeant. Jones was very proud of becoming a leader but wanted more. She wanted a bigger challenge.
According to Sergeant Major Jones, she began to work as a retention noncommissioned officer, and this struck a chord. The positive effect she had on Soldiers and their families made her more passionate, which led to her decision to become a career counselor.

Sergeant Major Jones, who has served more than 26 years, said she knows the key to success.

“Work hard and take care of Soldiers and their families,” she said.

Taking care of Soldiers wasn’t Sergeant Major Jones’ only focus. She also had the challenge of being a single mother while enduring tough, demanding nights as a student and long days as a professional Soldier and career counselor.

As a result, Sergeant Major Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Concordia College and a Master of Science degree in counseling psychology from the University of Central Texas.

“It sounds glamorous, but it was tough. My daughter and I paid the price,” Sergeant Major Jones said. “I explained to her what had to be done to get promoted and make a better life for the both of us.”

After her promotion to sergeant major, she deployed to Afghanistan. Upon her arrival, her operations sergeant escorted her into a heavily fortified building to meet her command sergeant major. All of a sudden a Soldier yelled “at ease” and she snapped to parade rest like everyone else. Her operations NCO leaned in and whispered, “sergeant major that’s for you.” After an awkward pause, she shouted a hearty “carry on,” officially kicking off the next phase of her career as a sergeant major.

“I have had a blast in my career. I believe in the 21st TSC. It has been my family and lifeline,” Sergeant Major Jones said. “It has given me so many opportunities and gifts. My daughter and I have been blessed in so many ways.”

“Our patch is made up of two millstones. In the center of it is the millrind itself — the iron piece that keeps the millstones together. (Sergeant Major Jones) has been the iron that kept our Soldiers together and our units filled with the best qualified Soldiers,” said Command Sgt. Maj. James E. Spencer, the 21st TSC’s command sergeant major, during Sergeant Major Jones’ retirement ceremony.