After two years of serving as commander of the 2nd Recruiting Brigade, Col. Jason Kerr is preparing to step into a new assignment.
Kerr will take over as the chief of staff for the Assured Position, Navigation and Timing/Space Cross-Functional Team later this month. As he approaches the end of his tenure as the 2nd Recruiting Brigade commander, he reflected on the lessons he learned throughout his two years at Redstone Arsenal. The common denominator in Kerr’s great experience at Redstone? The people.
“There are a lot of great people, a lot of great organizations that are here on Redstone that have been hugely supportive of Army recruiting and our efforts,” he said.
Army recruiting faced a unique challenge when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the world less than a year into Kerr’s assignment at Redstone Arsenal. However, despite the difficulties brought on by the pandemic, the mission of Army recruiting was not deterred.
“A lot of organizations came to a halt, but not for Army recruiting,” Kerr said. “Army recruiting never stopped.” After a few months of virtual recruiting, the 2nd Recruiting Brigade quickly resumed in-person operations, albeit with new protocols from the Department of the Army and the Department of Defense.
The pandemic was not the only challenge Kerr faced while leading the
brigade. 2020 brought about “civil unrest, vast changes in our economy, and chaos in our political spectrum,” Kerr said, but the mission of Army recruiting continued.
Even without those complicating factors, “Army recruiting is one of the most challenging missions in the United States Army,” Kerr said. He would know – in his 25-year career, he has served in a handful of different positions, from battalion chemical officer, 1-77 Armor Battalion and Platoon Leader, 12th Chemical Company in the 1st Infantry Division to aide-de-camp to the commander of International Security Assistance Force and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan to military assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), among several others.
Kerr has deployed in the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan and has received dozens of awards and decorations throughout his career, including: the Bronze Star Medal; Defense Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster; Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters; Army Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster; National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Combat Action Badge; Army Staff Identification Badge; and Recruiter Badge, among others.
As he looks forward to taking on a new role with APNT/Space, Kerr plans to bring along the lessons he’s learned from a quarter-decade of Army service.
“It’s a new opportunity to take what I’ve learned from my many years of experience in the Army and successfully completing brigade command, going on into a different organization and continuing to serve there,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s always all about leadership. Leadership is what matters and what makes a difference.”
Kerr also wanted to highlight the accomplishments of the brigade as a whole, emphasizing the importance of the accomplishments of all the people under his command, from Soldiers to civilians to family members. He hopes his leadership left a lasting impact on the people he led.
“If nothing else, if the people are better today than where we were two years ago, then I think we’ve accomplished something.”