Originally created 05/13/05

Military Intelligence Brigade hall honors 'real leader'



The late Col. Jon "Jake" Jones probably would have been a tad uncomfortable about ceremonies in his memory at Fort Gordon on Thursday, family and colleagues said.

The former commander of the 513th Military Intelligence Brigade wasn't one to make a fuss, and even a week before his death, he continued to work as normally as he could despite his battle with brain cancer.

"He knew where he was going on this journey," said Maj. Gen. Jeff Kimmons, the commanding general of the Army's Intelligence and Security Command.

"And he was determined to play it out on his own terms."

The 513th's headquarters was renamed Jones Hall in Col. Jones' memory at the ceremony.

The Quincy, Calif., native died June 6, 2004 - the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of World War II - still in command of the 513th, awaiting change of command ceremonies for the brigade that summer.

His tenure at the 513th started in 2002. His unit's soldiers served in Afghanistan and in Iraq, performing intelligence duties, and received many awards.

"Col. Jones was an inspiration to all of us," said Col. David King, the current commander of the 513th, "and the dedication of this headquarters in his honor is a fitting token of respect for him."

Also in attendance at Thursday's ceremony were Col. Jones' wife of 23 years, Cynthia, and two children, Nicholas and Marlena, who helped unveil the bronze plaque with their father's likeness engraved.

"He was just an amazing man," Mrs. Jones said. "And that was an understatement.

"I didn't realize this until after he died," she said. "Twenty-three years of marriage, and he never complained. Ever."

Maj. Gen. Kimmons said that even toward the end of Col. Jones' life, the colonel's main priority was not himself.

"I could tell he was drifting. And he knew it, too," Maj. Gen. Kimmons said. "But our conversation was as per usual. It was all about his soldiers, not him.

"Real leaders worry about their people first," he said.

Reach Jeremy Craig at (706) 823-3409 or jeremy.craig@augustachronicle.com.