Command Sgt. Maj. Jon B. Worley, a Lebanon County resident, has been chosen as the ninth senior enlisted adviser for the Pennsylvania National Guard.
This position is the most senior noncommissioned officer in the Guard, according to a release. Worley will advise the adjutant general and serve as a link between the adjutant general and the thousands of enlisted Guardsmen and women under his command.
He succeeds Command Sgt. Maj. Harry Buchanan III.
Prior to this, Worley was the command sergeant major for the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.
He retired in December 2020 from his full-time job as chief of Fort Indiantown Gap Police Department.
“One of the challenges that I see is broadening my knowledge of the Pennsylvania Air Guard,” Worley said in the release. “Coming from the state command sergeant major’s position, I feel I have a strong handle on Army National Guard issues. […] Fortunately, I have a strong working relationship with Command Chief Master Sgt. Paul Frisco Jr., the state command chief of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.”
Worley also reflected, in an emailed statement to LebTown, on the Guard’s vital humanitarian role: “In addition to our role as a combat force, the National Guard is capable of performing many other types of missions. From responding to severe weather like hurricanes and snowstorms, to providing support to long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, we stand ready to complete any mission we’re called upon to do. As the National Guard’s motto says, we’re ‘Always ready, always there.’”
Since Worley assumed his new role, the release said, he has been working with Maj. Gen. Mark J. Schindler, acting adjutant general of Pennsylvania, on the priorities of Worley’s position.
“This means medical readiness, mental and physical well-being, and it also includes recruiting and retention,” he said.
A native of North Carolina, Worley began his military career at Fort Bragg in 1985. He joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1989, as an intelligence analyst with the 28th Division Support Command, after leaving military service.
Among the leadership positions he has held are command sergeant major of the 628th Aviation Support Battalion, command sergeant major of the 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion, and command sergeant major of the 55th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade.
“These assignments gave me a broader picture of the Pennsylvania National Guard,” Worley said in the release.
He said he will also continue to develop the noncommissioned officer corps.
“The NCO corps needs to get back to the basics of leadership,” Worley said. “The Army’s initiative of ‘This Is My Squad’ is a great way to focus on that. It is an Army initiative, but the ability to better know your subordinates has an application for both Army and Air. We need to find the strengths in our teammates and make sure everyone feels like they belong and can contribute.”
Worley’s been awarded numerous medals, including a Bronze Star, a Meritorious Service Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, an Army Commendation Medal with three Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters and an Army Achievement Medal with two Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters.
He holds a bachelor’s from Excelsior College and lives in Fredericksburg with his wife, Lori.
He has two grown daughters, two stepchildren and a granddaughter, Adelynn.
A storied history
The Pennsylvania National Guard has roots going back to 1747, when Ben Franklin created the Associators in Philadelphia. “Having overcome the long pacifist tradition of Pennsylvania’s founding Quakers […] Franklin led approximately 600 ‘gentlemen and merchants’ of Philadelphia in signing the ‘Articles of Association’ to provide for a common defense against Indian raiders and French privateers,” according to the Guard’s website.
These “Associators” — today’s 111th Infantry Regiment and 103d Brigade Engineer Battalion — are recognized as the Guard’s foundation.
Today, Pennsylvania’s is one of the largest and one of the most deployed state National Guards in the country, having been deployed worldwide more than 35,000 times since Sept. 11.
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