A warranted honor
US Army recognizes Raytheon's Nathaniel Jones for career of service
In a long hallway at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, a new Air Defense Artillery Warrant Officer Wall of Honor plaque recognizes a former soldier for a lifetime of service in air and missile defense.
Retired Chief Warrant Officer Five Nathaniel Jones is the 10th inductee named on the U.S. Army ADA Branch Warrant Officer Wall of Honor. It's an honor that has circled around to find him; he came up with the idea for the Wall while serving as the third Chief Warrant Officer of the Air Defense Artillery Branch (CWOB). Being a warrant officer requires a high level of expertise in a specific field and calls for a special quality of leadership.
In that role, Jones was part of the Army’s technical foundation. Now, he’s doing the same for Raytheon, bringing his expertise to bear in his job working on integrated air and missile defense and mission support systems.
“I was raised to serve others – it is my ‘why’,” said Jones, who works in the company’s Integrated Defense Systems business on a next-generation radar called the Lower Tier Air and Missile Defense Sensor, or LTAMDS.
Unlike those who are commissioned, warrant officers spend their careers mastering one field, giving commanders and organizations highly specialized experts to call on whenever needed. This experience often means an instant level of mutual respect from Jones’ government customers.
“Nate is highly trusted and respected by our U.S. Army and international air defense customers,” said Ralph Acaba, vice president of Raytheon’s Program Management Excellence. “When he enters the room with our customers, anywhere in the world, he immediately commands their trust and respect because they know he fully understands and can relate to their needs and challenges.”
His friends and fellow soldiers once described him as a “walking recruitment poster” for the Army as he rose through the ranks. He deployed worldwide with the Patriot system in 1991, beginning with his assignment with 3/43 ADA Battalion, also known as “the Original Scud Busters.”
He went on to excel in bigger roles, such as red team leader for the 94th Army Air and Missile Defense Command, senior air defense advisor to the Kuwaiti Air Force, and U.S. representative to the NATO Low-Level Ground Based Air Defense Standardization Board.
He was also the first warrant officer to earn Leadership and Strategy and Defense Policy Development certificates from the U.S. Army War College, and one of the first to graduate from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College.
“Nate has pioneered the expanse and influence of the ADA warrant officer through multiple operational, multinational, and international assignments normally reserved for senior ranking officers,” said Eric Maule, a chief warrant officer five in the Army’s Air Defense Artillery Branch.
Then Jones went from only ever wanting to be a soldier to working for a company composed of “veterans run by veterans.” He says he’s proud that it includes the Raytheon CEO and his business president.
Today, he uses his battlefield knowledge and experience to brainstorm with engineers about advanced technical concepts. He also serves as the executive director of the Air Defense Artillery Association.
“The future battlefield is going to be much faster," Jones said, "with the pace of combat eclipsing human decision-making.”