Story by John Higgins on 09/05/2019By John Higgins PEO IEW&S Public Affairs
In a packed conference room, members of Project Manager Electronic Warfare and Cyber (PM EW&C) gathered for a dedication to one of their own.
Willie C. Jackson, who retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 2 was Deputy Product Director for PM EW&C's Product Director, Electronic Attack, passed on July 28th, 2018 after battling cancer. He served in and out of uniform for 43 years. His mother, Evelyn Jackson, his widow Jennifer Jackson and his daughters Jenell and Latoya Jackson came to the dedication.
Col. Kevin Finch, Project Manager for EW&C, praised Jackson's resolve, achievements and some personal history before dedicating a conference room in Jackson's name.
Finch recounted Jackson's career and life, from when he first joined the Army in 1975 and as a field radio mechanic, where he was stationed in Germany. In 1988, he commissioned as a warrant office and two years later he deployed for Operation Desert Storm with the 101st Airborne. Jackson retired in 1995 and began his career in acquisition at Fort Gordon, Ga. There, after a career steeped in signal and electronics, Jackson would continue to serve his country, transitioning to the Global Positioning System Joint System Sustainment Management Office (JSSMO) at Robins AFB, GA. In 2006, Jackson served as the C4ISR Trailboss for the 82nd Airborne Division. He deployed to Afghanistan with the 82nd Airborne Division in 2007.
Among his many achievements, a true stand out is his is work on the Counter Radio Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare or CREW system, a system capable of rendering IED's inoperable, saving untold lives around the world. For his determination and focus, Jackson was awarded the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, which was presented to his family during the dedication ceremony.
Chris Addison, Product Director, Electronic Attack, who worked with Jackson, said "Willie was one of those rare persons that you have the pleasure of crossing paths with in your career that leaves an indelible impression that you will never forget."
"Always calm and collected, with a witty and timely sense of humor," said Addison. "Willie was a trusted advisor and wealth of knowledge when it came to the history and mission of the CREW program. He will always be remembered as a cherished part of the Product Director Electronic Attack family, whose accomplishments contributed greatly to the force protection of our Warfighters serving in combat, protecting them from the deadly consequences of an improvised explosive device detonation. He is truly missed, but never forgotten."
After the ceremony, Jennifer said that "it brought back bittersweet memories, of coming to the base, having lunch with him, coming over for different events. It was a pleasure to see he impacted so many people. I was happy to know he made a difference not only in our lives, but in other people's lives also."
Jackson's eldest daughter, had similar thoughts, saying "Today the ceremony was very beautiful and touching and I was just glad to see all the lives he has impacted. I just want to thank everyone for the ceremony today."
Jackson's youngest, Jenell, shared a similar sentiment to her sister. "Today made me feel extremely proud to know the contribution that my father made to his organization and to Soldiers abroad to keep them protected. It also made me feel good that although he's no longer with us, he fulfilled everyone's goal in life which is to make a mark in this world."