Sergeant Jackson: Soldier, Instructor, Friend

By: Isaiah Holmes (Sophomore)

“You learn how to work as a team, kind of a village type living. I can’t just say I’m worried about myself.”

Sergeant Tyrone Jackson is a JROTC instructor at Senn High School who served in the US Army for twenty years and six months, where he had a variety of jobs. He never got deployed to war, but he spent time doing veterinary work and inspecting food.

Jackson grew up admiring the U.S Army due to the fact that his father was in the U.S Air Force. He graduated high school at 17 years old and immediately knew that he didn’t want to go to college, so that gave him even more of a reason to join the Army.

When talking to SSG Jackson he mentioned that the Army required him to go to college.

“I got in the military and found out, to progress in the military and advance up the ranks you need a college education. I immediately enrolled in college courses while I was in military, one course every eight weeks.”

When asked about his steps to getting in the army here’s what he had to say, “At first I was trying to join the Coast Guard, but they have limited availability, so their recruiters were not out. Then I was going to join the Air Force, like my father, but they do their recruiting, and when I said I was going to join, their recruiting was already set, so the Army, they were wide open for recruiting.”

Through Jackson’s career in the army he never saw the “heat of battle” so to speak, but in his MOS (Military Occupational Skill) he was a veterinary inspector, and he worked with a lot of civilian corporations like the FAD, the CEA, and the USDA.

On a typical day SSG Jackson would, “get up go to a buyers market, buy food, whether it was produce or animals.¨

Then, once it arrived to the warehouse, he would, ¨inspect and then once I inspected it and have it loaded up on trucks,¨ and once he did that, ¨it  would go out to other military facilities and college campuses and it go out to certain job corps.¨

This was Jackson’s main job, working with animals and civilians, but eventually he was moved to Germany.

¨I did not like living in Germany, and I lived in one of the better spots. I’m just a true American.¨

When asked if the food made it any better for him he said no.

¨They didn’t have the basic things like a slurpee, so I missed that little stuff, because you know their food has a different taste and they keep it a different way than the US. Other than that it was okay; it was a little different.¨

He said the closest McDonald’s or KFC was 20 miles away.

In the army there’s a lot of people telling you what to do. When asking Jackson about his mischief here’s what he had to say.

He worked at the gun range cleaning guns and the night before he set up tents for family night and he was tried and wanted to see his family but his CO had different plans.

“Section chief called me and said where were you yesterday, I said I was at detail, you can check and ask whatever right. She’s like no, I am talking about when you got back, and I was like yeah it’s like four forty…. And she said you could’ve helped break down the tents and I just lost it saying you’re crazy.  Y’all out here having fun all day and I’m working all day. Y’all want me to come break down. Y’all fun.”

SSG Jackson didn’t have to do much work for his fast mouth and temper, all he had to do was play basketball.

Over the course of his military life Jackson met one person who truly showed him what it means to be a leader. His name was Allen.

“He basically helped me a lot in leadership because he basically let me run everything within our detachment.”

The military has influenced Jackson’s fast eating habits, his way of folding clothes, and his laid back way of running his class.

According to Jackson what he wants students to get out of JROTC is, “Our program is based on leadership our classes are based on leadership, I allow the student or the cadet to make choices for themselves.”

SSG Jackson is a man of valor and is one whom students should look to for guidance throughout high school.

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