By: CPT. Brad E. Bailey, HHD PAO
COLUMBIA, SC: South Carolina State Guard (SCSG) Commander MG Thomas Mullikin presided over the retirement of COL Don Jenkins who stepped down as Commander of Special Operations Command at a ceremony held at the Olympia Armory in Columbia on August 4th. COL Jenkins was presented with a Saber by MG Mullikin recognizing his dedication and years of service to the State of South Carolina.
COL Jenkins is a 1971 Graduate of the United States Naval Academy and has served in the State Guard for 9-years in various capacities, including time with the Provost Marshal Detachment under then Special Operations Commander and current Deputy Commander BG Leon Lott.
COL Jenkins began his military career right out of Annapolis when he was selected for the submarine service. He served on the USS Ray (SSN 653), a Sturgeon-class attack submarine for 3-years and another 3-years as 3rd officer aboard the USS James K. Polk (SSBN 645), a Benjamin Franklin class fleet ballistic missile submarine. In 1978 COL Jenkins left active service and in 1986 began his 30-year stint guiding Naval Academy applicants through the admissions process as a Blue and Gold Officer for the State of South Carolina. He stepped down from that position in November 2017.
In his civilian career, COL Jenkins has worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, served as a factory automation consultant, and operated his own technical manufacturing company which he sold to a Fortune 500 company in 2001. In 2003, he formed Leaders Advantage, a boutique consultancy focused on developing future business and technical leaders around the world. For the past eight years, COL Jenkins has also found time to serve as a Reserve Deputy with the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.
COL Jenkins has been married to Teresa Jenkins (née Perry), a former Cryptologic Technician for the Navy, since 1976. His wife of 42-years is both a military wife and sailor and according to COL Jenkins she has seen it all. The couple are the proud parents of a daughter who is attending college at Midland Tech, and a son who is a 2005 Naval Academy Graduate and combat Marine who served 7-years in Iraq, North Africa, and Cuba. He currently serves as a Special Agent with the FBI.
COL Jenkins praised his time with the State Guard explaining that the organization “affords young men and women, as well as seasoned professionals, who want to contribute in a military matter an opportunity to serve the greater good and also pursue all sorts of avenues for professional development and networking.” He also said that young people especially should be more involved because the future of the organization is limitless and the contacts you gain can open lots of doors. “We have a brotherhood and sisterhood here that is profound and I will miss this…I will forever be a a different person for having served along side South Carolina’s finest. May God Bless you, your families and the wonderful state of South Carolina. I salute you.”
As far as his retirement is concerned, COL Jenkins said he plans to spend more time with his family and enjoying the new pool he and wife recently built in their backyard. “It’s time for me to come home and make time for us to start our ‘Stay-cation’ and spend our days enjoying the great State of South Carolina.”
We Salute You COL Jenkins!
SCSG Commander MG Thomas Mullikin presided over the retirement of COL Don Jenkins who stepped down as Commander of Special Operations Command at a ceremony held at the Olympia Armory in Columbia on August 4th. COL Jenkins was presented with a Saber by MG Mullikin recognizing his dedication and 9-years of service to the State of South Carolina
Posted by S.C. State Guard on Monday, August 6, 2018