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NEWS | Jan. 5, 2017

Soldier Mentor for All-American Bowl exemplifies Army values

By Sgt. 1st Class Brent Powell 335th Signal Command (Theater)

SAN ANTONIO – When Sgt. 1st Class Jason L. Jenkins joined the U.S. Army Reserve in 2001 as a wired systems equipment repair specialist, he was simply looking to build his resume and had no idea where his life changing decision would eventually take him.
Now 16-years-later, what started off as a resume builder has turned into a very successful and noteworthy career.  Throughout the years, he has held numerous positions and job assignments ranging from instructor at the basic leaders course to recruiting positions across the northeast, but recently he has distinguished himself by rising to the top of his field and edging out more than 1200 of his peers.

Jenkins competed in and won the Secretary of the Army’s Career Counselor of the Year competition for 2016, not an easy task competing among more than a thousand tough competitors.

“Being recognized as the best is still humbling to me,” said Jenkins, a 33-year-old Brooklyn, New York native, who is currently serving as the operations noncommissioned officer for the 3rd Battalion, Army Reserve Careers Division. “I never let this award go to my head because I’m always learning, and I don’t claim to know everything.   I also constantly lean on my peers because they know things I don’t know and we help each other.  Overall, I’m humbled to represent such a great command.”

Jenkins’ success afforded him the opportunity to travel to San Antonio, where he is currently serving as a Soldier mentor for nearly 100 U.S. Army All-American Bowl athletes and more than 125 high-school All-American marching band members who are preparing for the All-American Bowl game Jan. 7 in the Alamodome.

“This assignment has been great,” said Jenkins.  “The players have a lot of personality and it has been fun getting to talk to them about what their lives are like outside of football.”

The week leading up to the bowl game is full of various events for the athletes and band members and it has kept Jenkins busy as well, but it’s something he has been enjoying.  “I’ve really enjoyed interacting with the other mentors here, and just speaking to all the students from the various parts of the country.  It is very rewarding.”

Jenkins plans to continue his career in the Army Reserve and hopes to one day attain the rank of first sergeant where he can lead and motivate junior Soldiers.

For now, he has a few words of advice for those who hope to have successful careers of their own, words that came from his first noncommissioned officer that still motivate him today.  “He told me that you are the master of your career, and that is something I didn’t understand until I became an NCO,” said Jenkins.  “You have to be the one to take ownership of what path you are on and what direction you want to go.”