New York Army National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Jenks, a Millerton, N.Y. resident passes the torch after more than four decades of service
LATHAM, N.Y. (07/07/2023) New York Army National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Jenks, a Millerton, N.Y. resident with nearly 42 years of service, turned over his responsibilities as the state senior enlisted leader in a ceremony at the National Guard headquarters here in Latham, N.Y. July 6, 2023 as he retires from military service later this year.
As the state command sergeant major, Jenks was the top senior enlisted advisor to the adjutant general for the service, training, readiness of more than 18,000 Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and New York Guard state defense force volunteers who make up New York State military forces.
“For more than four decades, it has been my privilege and absolute honor to have been an American Soldier, wearing the uniform of the United States Army for this great nation,” Jenks said. “It’s been awesome to be able to say, “I’m an American Soldier.””
He served as the adjutant general’s personal advisor for all enlisted-related issues, particularly those affecting training and quality of life. He traveled throughout the state observing training and talking to troops and their families.
Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General for the State of New York, presided over the ceremony in which Jenks passed the flag of the New York National Guard headquarters over to Command Sgt. Maj. Corey Cush, of Mount Vernon, N.Y.
Cush comes to the Joint Force Headquarters following his service as the Command Sergeant Major for the Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters since October 2018.
“The past three years have been one of constant service for the New York National Guard and our State Defense Forces,” Shields said. “Through it all, Command Sergeant Major Jenks has helped steer our organization through many challenges as well as our successes. All the while, Command Sergeant Major Jenks was focused on our people.”
In his remarks, Jenks stressed the importance of leadership and its impact on the force.
“Teddy Roosevelt once said that “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care,” Jenks said.
During the ceremony, Shields presented Jenks with the U.S. Army Legion of Merit, the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal and a New York State flag flown over the state capital in Albany to honor his service.
Command Sergeant Major Robert Jenks entered the United States Army on June 26, 1981. He served in multiple Light and Airborne Infantry units on active duty at home and overseas, then entered the New York Army National Guard in May 1986.
Jenks served in combat arms positions and assignments of increasing responsibility, including Infantry Scout Team Leader in Charlie Troop, 101st Cavalry Squadron, Detachment Sergeant for the 42nd Infantry Division Long Range Surveillance Detachment, Scout Platoon Sergeant 1st Battalion, 121st Mechanized Infantry Regiment, Infantry Platoon Sergeant and then First Sergeant, 3rd Battalion, 172nd Mountain Infantry Regiment, and First Sergeant in the 1st Battalion, 105th Infantry Regiment.
Jenks was promoted to Command Sergeant Major in July 1999 and assigned as the senior enlisted leader for the 106th Regional Training Institute with additional senior enlisted positions with the 1st Battalion, 104th Infantry, the 26th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the Kabul Military Training Center Soldier Training Brigade in Afghanistan, the 51st Troop Command, the NATO led Kosovo Force, 42nd Infantry Division, the 53rd Digital Liaison Detachment and finally in his current position as the Senior Enlisted Leader New York National Guard Joint Force Headquarters.
“For the past two decades since 9/11, the Guard has transformed itself from a strategic reserve to an operational force,” Jenks said. “The New York National Guard and its formations are well trained, more ready and highly motivated than at anytime in the New York National Guard history.”
As the state Senior Enlisted Leader for the past three years, Jenks has overseen missions across the state and around the globe, including training and exchanges with the New York National Guard’s State Partners, Brazil and South Africa.
“The New York National Guard has deployed units from division, brigades, wings, battalions and detachments and individuals to theaters around the world for combat operations with resounding success,” he said. “The Guard has also answered the call on the home front, from Super Storm Sandy here in New York to Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana to a pandemic that had our state and nation in its grip for more than two years, to Washington, DC for security missions and now the asylum support mission in New York City. The New York National Guard has heeded the call to service without fail at home and abroad,” he said.
Jenks is a retired Fire Fighter and resides with his wife Molly and two daughters in Millerton, New York.
- Command Sergeant Major Robert Jenks (right) stands with his wife Molly and Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York (left) after being presented with a with a New York State flag which was flown over the capital in Albany. The flag was presented to Jenks in honor of his service as the New York State Senior Enlisted Advisor during a Change of Responsibility ceremony, held at New York National Guard Headquarters in Latham, July 6, 2023. CSM Jenks was also presented the Legion of Merit for his exceptional meritorious service for over 41 years and the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal.: http://app.readmedia.com/news/
- The incoming (Cush, left) and outgoing (Jenks, right) New York National Guard Senior Enlisted Leaders pose for a photo during a Change of Responsibility ceremony at the New York National Guard Headquarters in Latham on July 6, 2023. Command Sergeant Major Corey Cush (left) is coming from the 42nd (Rainbow) Division, where he has been assigned as the division Command Sergeant Major since October 2018. Command Sergeant Major Robert Jenks (right) has over 41 years of military service, and will retire later this year.: http://app.readmedia.com/news/