Centennial SRO Shares Military Experiences with Students

Jun 02, 2014

SRO JonesMemorial Day is a time of reflection and a time to visit with veterans about their service and their experiences. Throughout Frisco ISD, veterans are contributing in many ways - as teachers, bus drivers, coaches and more.

Centennial High School students have a new appreciation for the experiences of Student Resource Officer Avery Jones, who spoke to students about his military career and time at Guantanamo Bay (GTMO).

Jones entered the military after high school and spent 27 years serving in the Army. He retired as a Command Sergeant Major. Most of his career was spent in assignments as a military police officer. He served in Iraq, Italy, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Korea and Panama, and stateside in Virginia, Washington D.C., Alabama and Texas. In Iraq, he was in a unit that was charged with security for Saddam Hussein. After Iraq, he says he didn’t mind going to Cuba.

At GTMO, CSM Jones was the Senior Noncommissioned Officer for the Joint Detention Group and did not have much direct contact with the detainees there. His job was to keep the guards focused on doing their job and doing it well by following rules and regulations.

He is still doing that same thing today but with Centennial High School students – working with them to help them see that following rules can prevent life-changing mistakes.

While at GTMO, he worked with soldiers in what could be a confining and difficult assignment – how some students may see life in high school. In an article he wrote for a military publication called The Wire, he greeted new GTMO guards from the Puerto Rico National Guard with some words of advice. Some of his recommendations for life within strict confines of GTMO could be easily apply to high school students with a few adjustments. They included:

  • “Be physically and mentally tough every day.” 
  • “Be available and willing to listen to your fellow Trooper’s concerns.”
  • “Challenge yourself every day to become a better Soldier.”
  • “Think outside the box and take care of each other.”

Officer Jones spent five years as a patrolman as he transitioned out of military life. But as an SRO, he still calls on many of the skills he learned in dealing with soldiers over the years.

“As an SRO, I try to affect kids’ lives before they get into trouble,” he said. “I encourage them not to make mistakes that ruin the rest of their lives.”

In GTMO, he constantly reminded soldiers to remain disciplined and follow regulations.

His mission is the same for the students at Centennial High School.