Veteran Voices: Sgt. Maj. of the Army Jack Tilley, U.S. Army (Retired)

12th Sergeant Major of the Army Jack Tilley, U.S. Army (Retired) military service spans over 36 years – with service in Vietnam through the start of the Global War on Terror. In March of 2022, he joined us to share some of his reflections on service in Vietnam, his experiences as a Sergeant Major of the Army and how service continues to drive him to make an impact on our transitioning military community and their families.

Tilley is currently featured in the nationally acclaimed book, The Twenty-Year War, which is the basis for our latest exhibition, The Twenty-Year War: Our Next Greatest Generation.

A native of Vancouver, Washington, Jack was sworn in as the 12th Sergeant Major of the Army on June 23, 2000 and served until January 15, 2004. A career soldier, he had held many leadership positions within the Department of the Army and Unified Command environments. As Sergeant Major of the Army, Tilley served as the Army Chief of Staff’s personal advisor on all enlisted-related matters, particularly in areas affecting soldier training and quality of life. He devoted the majority of his time to traveling throughout the Army observing training, and talking to soldiers and their families.

He sits on a wide variety of councils and boards that make decisions affecting enlisted soldiers and their families. A Vietnam War veteran, Jack Tilley has held a variety of important leadership positions throughout his 34 year career including tank commander, section leader, drill sergeant, platoon sergeant, senior instructor, operations sergeant, first sergeant and command sergeant major. His military education includes the First Sergeants Course and the Sergeants Major Academy.

Among his numerous awards and decorations include the Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Bronze Star with V Device, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals.After retirement, Jack continued his advocacy for all service members. He is co-chairman of the American Freedom Foundation, a 501(c)3 public benefit corporation. The American Freedom Foundation was organized to honor veterans of America’s armed forces, to raise money and awareness for various veterans’ organizations with special emphasis directed to welfare and educational issues facing those wounded in action, and soldiers killed in action during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has worked tirelessly with the organization managing the annual fund-raising benefit concerts with top named entertainment.

In addition, he is a board member of the Army Retirement Council (ARC) and special advisor for the Wounded Warriors advisory council board. His goal is to raise public awareness and support for military service members and veterans.

Jack has also become a successful management consultant, working with top Fortune 500 companies on a variety of projects and programs that are unique to the military community. He is President/CEO of JTilley Inc., and is part-owner of Oakgrove Technologies.

Uplifting Veterans through Physical Fitness [Rally Point]

We were in California for our August Rally Point with Nate Boyer, co-founder of Merging Vets & Players (MVP). Boyer is a U.S. Army Green Beret Veteran and former NFL player for the Seattle Seahawks. He shares his life journey and the challenges faced by Veterans and former professional athletes when they no longer have their teams. The power of MVP is bringing Veterans and players together to unlock the potential for their next life mission through physical fitness and peer-to-peer support.

Nate Boyer is featured in our current exhibition, The Twenty-Year War: Our Next Greatest Generation.

Nate Boyer is what many would deem a renaissance man. The former active-duty Green Beret is also a world traveler, a philanthropist and community leader, and a professional athlete as a former member of the Seattle Seahawks.

After joining the US Army in 2005, Boyer earned the coveted Green Beret in December, 2006. He was stationed in Okinawa throughout most of 2007 with 1st Special Forces Group. In April of 2008, Nate was deployed with ODA 0324 10th Special Forces Group to Iraq and served his tour of duty until January of 2009. He then served tours in Afghanistan from April-August, 2013 (Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan) and from April-August, 2014 (ODA 3116 3rd Special Forces Group). In addition to his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Boyer completed a number of JCET (Joint Command Exchange Training) Missions to Israel (2009), Bulgaria (2011), and Greece (2012).

A five-year player for the Texas Longhorns, Boyer served as the No. 1 long snapper on PAT/FG’s his last three seasons and also handled punt-snapping duties during 2013-14. He played in 39 career games. In 2012 Boyer received the Disney Spirit Award at the ESPN College Football Awards, which is given to the most inspirational figure in college football. In 2013 the National Football Foundation awarded him with the coveted Legacy Award. He was named to the 2014 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, which recognizes players whose charitable involvement and community service contributions stand out among all other student-athletes; was a three-time first-team Academic All-Big 12 choice (2012-14); and was first-team Capitol One Academic All-American in 2013. Boyer was named 2012-13 Big 12 Sportsperson of the Year and in 2012 became the first-ever recipient of the Armed Forces Merit Award presented by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA). In January of 2015, he played in the Medal of Honor Bowl in Charleston, SC.

Boyer has embarked on a wealth of colorful adventures and life-changing experiences: he has backpacked solo throughout much of Europe and Central America, worked for a year on a fishing boat in San Diego, gone fly fishing in Kamchatka in Russia, worked as a big brother and mentor for children diagnosed with Autism, and volunteered at Refugee Camps in the Darfur region of Sudan/Chad border. Recently he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro with a wounded veteran to raise money for clean water wells in Tanzania.

Boyer’s belief that “Anything is Possible” has served him well throughout his life and has made him especially fit to speak about finding one’s passions and living with purpose for other people. Nate’s can-do attitude is contagious and his inspirational story resounds with any audience; students, veterans, businesspersons, athletes and people from all walks of like can take something away from his unique story.

Transition Talks: Chris and Angie Baker

Take a look behind the scenes of The Twenty-Year War: Our Next Greatest Generation. Hear from Chris and Angie Baker, two U.S. Navy Veterans, on their challenges and triumphs transitioning from active duty.

Transition Talks: Christine Schwartz

Take a look behind the scenes of The Twenty-Year War: Our Next Greatest Generation. Hear from Christine Schwartz, a U.S. Army Veteran, on her challenges and triumphs transitioning from active duty.

This four-part series, hosted by authors Tom Amenta and Dan Blakeley, invites the audience to hear from featured Veterans from the book and exhibition to tell the story of transition, in their words, what they have learned, what challenges they faced head on, and what they can offer to other Veterans going through it now.

This Transition Talk will air on our social media channels on Tuesday, August 9. Join us on Facebook or YouTube.

Transition Talks: Sophie Hilaire

Take a look behind the scenes of The Twenty-Year War: Our Next Greatest Generation. Hear from Sophie Hilaire, a U.S. Army Veteran, on her challenges and triumphs transitioning from active duty.

This 4-part series, hosted by authors Tom Amenta and Dan Blakeley, will invite the audience to hear from featured Veterans from the book and exhibition to tell the story of transition, in their words, what they have learned, what challenges they faced head on, and what they can offer to other Veterans going through it now.

This Transition Talk will air on our social media channels on Tuesday, June 14. Join us on Facebook or YouTube.

Transition Talks: Chris and Angie Baker

Take a look behind the scenes of The Twenty-Year War: Our Next Greatest Generation. Hear from Chris and Angie Baker, two U.S. Navy Veterans, on their challenges and triumphs transitioning from active duty.

This 4-part series, hosted by authors Tom Amenta and Dan Blakeley, will invite the audience to hear from featured Veterans from the book and exhibition to tell the story of transition, in their words, what they have learned, what challenges they faced head on, and what they can offer to other Veterans going through it now.

This Transition Talk will air on our social media channels on Tuesday, May 10. Join us on Facebook or YouTube.

Beyond the Exhibit: The Artist Behind ‘The Twenty-Year War’

Discover the journey behind the portraits of The Twenty-Year War: Our Next Greatest Generation with artist, Beau Simmons. Join us to hear an exclusive, first-hand account of the creation of this body of work, including the artist’s road trip of 16,000 miles traveled in just 4 months to capture the stories of featured Veterans.

WEDS-SUN 10 A.M. - 5 P.M.
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