Milwaukee Fire Honor Guard Deputy Commander Brent R Jones will be working his last day in the fire house tomorrow!! Let's all wish him a happy retirement and a great send off Sunday am into retirement!
Many think he is a legend ...we do and.... well even Milwaukee Chief Lipski had a some to say about him and here it is:
Prior to serving Milwaukee, Lieutenant Jones served our country in the United States Marine Corps, enlisting June 17, 1991, and graduating September 11, 1992. Sadly, following an injury, he was released from service February 24, 1993.
Brent joined the Milwaukee Fire Department on March 6, 2000. Following recruit class, he was assigned to E1. After a valiant attempt at attaining his paramedic licensure, he was assigned to a series of engine companies (E8, E9, and E20), before joining the Heavy Urban Rescue Team and being assigned to E12 and T11. On July 27, 2008, FF Jones was promoted to the rank of Heavy Equipment Operator, assigned to RE22, E6, E1, and E38. On March 20, 2011, HEO Jones became LT Jones, serving out of RE33, RE16, and RE22 before being assigned to E9 and E24. LT Jones then served as a recruit instructor at the Fire Academy from March 1, 2015, to December 4, 2016. Following this duty, he served on E36, E13, and now E22, from which he will be walking out at 0800hrs on Sunday, April 16, 2023.
LT Jones’ service extended far beyond his time on field companies, the HURT, and as a fire instructor. With only six months in the field following his recruit graduation, he joined the Honor Guard, quickly assuming duties as one of the drill masters and subsequently assuming the role of Honor Guard Commander in 2004. After a decade of exemplary service as Honor Guard Commander, LT Jones stepped down in 2014. This coincided with him taking on the role of Commander of the Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin (PFFW) Honor Guard. Never one to stay away too long, LT Jones returned to the Milwaukee Firefighters Honor Guard as the Deputy Commander in 2018, retaining that position to present day.
There is not a single member of the Milwaukee Fire Department who has not personally witnessed LT Jones’ work, either in person or in witnessing the Honor Guard’s top-class capabilities at recruit graduation ceremonies, fallen firefighter memorial ceremonies, 9/11 ceremonies, flag posting ceremonies, or any of the hundreds of retiree, active member, or line-of-duty-death (LODD) funeral ceremonies that he has orchestrated. It cannot be overstated; LT Jones’ singular contributions to the Milwaukee Firefighters Honor Guard elevated it far beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. His meticulous attention to detail, military bearing, and direct manner compelled Honor Guard members to follow him. Both current Honor Guard Commander, LT Matt Bryant, and I agree, “he taught us how to do this better than anybody ever had.” More importantly, he always emphasized that anything we did as an Honor Guard was to support and honor the families of the fallen. Simply top notch!
As if that record of service was not enough, LT Jones served at the national level as well, making his first pilgrimage to Colorado Springs in 2002 as an IAFF Fallen Firefighter Memorial Honor Guard Member. Never one to avoid additional responsibilities, Jones assumed the role of Deputy Commander (Raise Team) in 2005, serving in that capacity until 2014, after which it was requested that he become one of two Deputy Commanders of the IAFF Honor Guard. Of course, Jones accepted and still serves in this capacity to this day.
The stack of letters in the Honor Guards files and in LT Jones’ personnel file illuminate the tremendous impact he has had on fire departments (AND police departments) across the United States, the friends and families of the fallen, and strangers who were simply touched by his efforts. LT Jones has become the ‘guy to call’ when there is a LODD anywhere – rapidly figuring out how to begin pulling all of the logistics together to run a dignified and respectful funeral ceremony. As LT Bryant remarks, “there is not a single person who does a better job at making sure our fallen brothers or sisters receive a proper sendoff.”
Thank you Chief Lipski for this message!!
Milwaukee Professional Firefighters Association
Milwaukee Fire Department
IAFF 5th District
Wisconsin Fire and EMS Memorial Funeral Guard
Wisconsin Fire & EMS Memorial
Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin
Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Honor Guard
Milwaukee Honor Guard Clinic
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