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Illinois Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Terry Jones II was posthumously inducted into the U.S. Army Transportation Corps Hall of Fame (HOF) at Fort Lee, Virginia, July 29.
Jones, who died June 13, 2021 as a result of injuries sustained when he was struck by a driver who swerved into his motorcycle’s path, was among 21 Soldiers inducted as part of the 2022 Hall of Fame class.
“As a Soldier and leader, Sergeant First Class Jones stood out from the crowd,” said Lt. Col. Michael Barton, commander, 232nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, based in Springfield and a former commander of the 1644th Transportation Company, based in Rock Falls, who had served with Jones. “He always had a ‘can-do’ attitude who placed his Soldiers and the mission above his own needs.”
“The people we recognize today represent the best of the best of the Transportation Corps,” said Col. Beth A. Behn, the U.S. Army’s 33rd Chief of Transportation. “Their loyalty, dedication and accomplishments have left an indelible mark on the presence and future of our Corps. They’ll soon be added to an already incredible list of Hall of Fame members to whom we collectively owe a debt of gratitude for our passion.”
Behn recognized the HOF inductees as legends.
“You are transportation legends,” she said. “Whether you embrace it or not you are. From shaping our Corps and creating a vision for the future, you did that both during times of conflict and during times of peace.”
Jones, who was 33 at the time of his death, enlisted in the Illinois Army National Guard as a junior in high school, and served his entire 15-year career in the 1644th Transportation Company. He deployed twice to Iraq, including once with his father, then Staff Sgt. Terry Jones, Sr., in 2011-2012.
Jones was activated during COVID response operations and was serving as the non-commissioned officer in charge of the Aurora, Illinois, vaccination site, when he died. Jones was employed by the Illinois Department of Transportation in Morrison, Illinois, in the highway maintenance department prior to his death.
Jones is survived by his wife, Amy, daughters, Cadence and Evelyn, his mother, Teresa, and father Terry, along with other relatives. His wife, daughters, and father accepted the award on his behalf.
“He was certainly a one in a million, and from a commander’s perspective, I would take a thousand just like him,” Barton said. “He had a big smile and an infectious boisterous laugh. In all the years I worked with him, I don’t think I ever heard him make a single complaint.”
Behn thanked the families of the inductees for their commitment and support throughout the years.
“Thank you to the families here today. Thank you for being a part of this, but most importantly thank you for what you’ve done over your many years of service to the nation,” Behn said. “None of us can do what we do without your support.”
Jones was recognized as one of two posthumous inductees.
In part, Jones’ induction biography read, “he served two tours overseas, including one with his father and volunteered for additional duties within his unit. He was a dedicated leader, friend, and non-commissioned officer. His impact to the organization will be felt for years to come.”
Maj. Gen. (ret.) Steve Farmen, the senior member of the 2022 HOF class, spoke on behalf of the class, calling the list a “who’s who list of transportation leaders who have founded, shaped and set in motion the vision of evolution which has sustained the Transportation Corps.”
Farmen acknowledged the families and friends of the inductees in the audience.
“I want to acknowledge all the families and friends of the inductees present, for all the contributions, support and sacrifices you have made to propel us to a point like this,” he said.
He recognized the family and friends of Jones in attendance.
“To the family and friends of Sgt. 1st Class Terry Jones, a special tip of the cap,” he said.
Farmen went on to congratulate his fellow class of inductees and those who are future members of the Transportation Corps.
“We all contributed in part to spearhead history,” he said. “We are professionals, both military and civilian. You are a war fighter supporting war fighters. You will make history and be part of a long legacy and heritage of excellence. Someone is counting on you to move, to deliver, and to be at the spearhead of change. Have the vision and courage to move the force forward.”
The Transportation Corps Regimental HOF recognizes individuals who served the Corps with distinction. The program maintains and enhances the legacy of the Transportation Corps and promotes cohesiveness and esprit de corps.
“Sgt. 1st Class Jones’ induction falls right in line with the tenets of the program,” Barton said. “The Transportation Corps is known as the spearhead of logistics and the Corps’ motto is ‘nothing happens until something moves’. Sgt. 1st Class Jones firmly believed in that motto and was cognizant of the impact the Transportation Corps had across the Army.”
Barton said Jones was proud to be a motor transport operator and instill that same pride in his Soldiers.
The process to be inducted into the HOF changed in 2022. Barton said prior to this year, Soldiers were inducted into the HOF through a board process, but there was no submission to the board. in 2022, the Office of the Chief of Transportation changed the process to allow submissions from across the Army. This allowed Jones’ command to submit a nomination packet to honor his contributions to the Transportation Corps.
“Sgt. 1st Class Jones’ legacy within the Transportation Corps lives on in the many Soldiers he trained and served with,” Barton said.