MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, GA -- A Marine who was been stationed at MCLB Albany for five years bid farewell to fellow Marines. Jones departed Tuesday leaving lasting impressions on the lives he touched.
Sgt. Reginald C. Jones is leaving Albany for a Marine recruiting station in Raleigh, N.C., where he will work in supply. Jones has been stationed in Albany since July 1997 and has been involved with many base activities. He is also well known among base personnel because he served as the senior drill instructor for the Albany Young Marines Program, the president of the Single Marines Program and by his individual help to others.
"Just about everyone knows who he is," said Sgt. Marsha Stokes, supply admin/operations clerk, Financial Management Branch, Supply Chain Management Center. "He is great with people. He takes the time to get to know people and finds time to ask them how they are. He genuinely cares for the many people he knows and always leaves a good impression wherever he goes."
According to Stokes, who has known him for a year, Jones is very personal when he deals with people. He is outgoing and always tries to put a smile on the face of whomever he is talking to.
Jones volunteered his time for the Young Marines Program because he said he enjoys working with children. He likes being a positive role model for children. He feels every Marine should help sculpt America's youth into tomorrow's leaders.
Being the senior drill instructor meant being in charge of approximately 100 children. But being a big brother and mentor for children is something that just comes natural for Jones. He always made sure the young Marines were taken care of and had a good time. But when needed, Jones wasn't timid about disciplining them. He was known to put on his "mean face" to correct the children, but minutes later he was smiling and joking with them, said Stokes.
"He instilled a lot of good things in those kids," said Stokes. "He taught them to keep their heads up and to be proud of who they are. The kids loved him and he was a good mentor to them."
As the president of the Single Marine Program here, Jones was responsible for coordinating all the SMP events and raising money to support the group. When he first arrived here he volunteered for many SMP events and was one of the group's key volunteers. Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Waltz, base sergeant major, recognized Jones' dedication to the SMP and appointed him to head the organization in 2001.
Jones admits he did not expect to become the SMP president, but he accepted the position and the challenging responsibilities that accompanied it. One thing he has learned from being in charge and dealing with Marines was the importance of setting deadlines. When planning trips and events and requesting Marines to volunteer for various projects, he realized he had to set deadlines for Marines to keep things operating smoothly.
During his tenure as the president of the SMP, Jones tried to set up events and trips Marines wanted, he said, because he wanted to give Marines what they deserved.
"Don't do things because you want to make yourself look good," said Jones, preaching what he practices. "But do them because you genuinely want to."
On numerous occasions volunteers from the SMP did an extraordinary job when helping build homes with the Flint River Habitat for Humanity. To show his gratitude Jones bought the volunteers lunch with his own money. He was not obligated to give the Marines anything, but he felt it was the right thing to do because they worked so hard.
Being stationed at MCLB Albany has also given Jones a different outlook on how to conduct business with people, he said. He dealt with parents of Young Marines, local business and community leaders, teachers and children. Having worked with and effectively communicated with people in the civilian community has helped benefit him if he transitions into the civilian workforce.
When dealing with people, no matter
who they are, Jones encourages Marines to always be respectful and professional, he said. If someone ever needs assistance, Marines should be ready to help because the roles might reverse in the future.
"You might not need that person's help now, but later on down the road you might," said Jones. "You never want to burn your bridges."
As Jones departs Albany, he said he enjoyed his time here but regrets he never took advantage of his surroundings. Most of the staff here encourage Marines to attend college while here, something Jones did not do. He encourages Marines not to follow in his footsteps and to work constantly to improve themselves, whether attending college classes or taking advantage of other educational opportunities.
"MCLB Albany is one of the few places in the Corps where Marines are encouraged to take college courses and have time to attend them," said Jones.
Jones said he is going to miss Albany and the many friends he has made, but he is glad for the opportunity to be stationed here.
With Jones departing Albany, Stokes said she and his many friends will miss him. People will miss his ear-to-ear grin, and his charismatic ways, but she feels people will mostly miss Jones being his outgoing self.
"There is not one word that can sum up or describe Jones," said Stokes. "Think of all the good words possible, and that's him."