Army ROTC cadet Jewell Jones was elected to the Michigan House of Representa-tives Nov. 8, becoming the youngest state legislator at age 21.
Jones’ district includes his hometown of Inkster, Michigan, and nearby cities of Westland, Dearborn Heights, Livonia and Garden City.
“As a caucus, we’re fortunate to have him on our team bringing a fresh, young perspective to matters such as education policy, community development and government accountability,” said Sam Singh, fellow Michigan Democratic representative. “I look forward to working with him and watching him expand his leadership in the years to come. He honed his leadership skills by serving his community, his church and the Army ROTC.”
Currently, Jones is double majoring in political science and business as a cadet at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He also serves as the cadet battalion public affairs officer.
Expected to graduate in April, Jones hopes to serve as a military intelligence officer with the Michigan National Guard and “couple that with some foreign affairs or public affairs,” Jones said.
Two years ago, Jones campaigned for state Sen. David Knezek, D-Dearborn Heights. He met with a local councilman from Inkster, about running for city council, and would later enter the race and win. At age 20, Jones became the youngest resident elected to the Inkster City council.
As a state representative, Jones votes on legislation and works to deliver resources to the communities in his district and advocates for the citizens that he represents.
“Jewell is a wonderful asset to our state,” said Yousef Rabhi of the House Appropriations Committee. “His positive demeanor and youthful enthusiasm will continue to be a strength to any organization he is part of. I have seen Jewell crossing party lines and building bridges where others would see walls. He is truly a coalition builder and has a great future ahead.”
Jones is a Simultaneous Membership Program participant, which means he drills with a unit of the Michigan National Guard while at the same time serving as an ROTC student. He drills with the 210th Military Police Battalion in Taylor, Michigan
“He ranks among the top cadets in the University of Michigan ROTC senior class,” said Lt. Col. Walter Cummings, professor of military science. “Cadet Jones has keen insight in the role of civil-military operations, and I’m sure he considers the aspects of his decisions as a policymaker on his fellow Michiganders and National Guardsmen.”
Jones attended Army JROTC at John Glenn High School, Westland, Michigan, and graduated in 2013. He went on to enter the ROTC program at the University of Michigan-Dearborn in the fall of 2013.
“My focus is to develop my military knowledge and tactics,” Jones said. “I love serving in the military.”
Jones said he admires “something about everyone.” He believes that everyone has something to offer and learn from. He advises anyone considering the military as a career to ask questions and keep in mind that the Army offers many opportunities.
“Make sure you find something that you’re passionate about that can also benefit you in your civilian capacity,” Jones said. “Know that you’re joining an organization that places you directly in front of the eyes of the nation. Do what is in the best interest of the people.”
He hopes someday to serve as a bridge between the military, community and government.
“I believe the opportunity for real change is evident, and if all units of the community work together, from organizations and businesses to our faith leaders and service members, the condition of society will benefit greatly,” Jones said.
In addition to his other duties, Jones finds time to serve as a senior deacon at his church.
Fellow cadet Bryan Jones said that Jewell is one of the most charismatic individuals that he has ever met.
“He can walk into any situation and gain respect from his peers,” Jones said. “He always has a positive outlook on all situations. Jewell represents what we all should strive for both as a Soldier and a member of our community.”
Jewell said his motto is: “Change your thinking; change your life.” n