by Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham
36th Wing Public Affairs
5/10/2013 - ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- A Medal of Honor recipient toured Andersen Air Force Base, and spoke to members of Andersen's Top Three, May 3.
Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Don Jenkins, one of the 85 living Medal of
Honor recipients, spoke to approximately 40 senior NCOs about his
experiences as a young soldier and expressed his opinion on being a
During his speech, Jenkins spoke about leading younger Airmen, and their tendencies to change and grow, especially during war.
"I was young in the military once, and things can change fast," Jenkins
said. "I'm the only private first class to get an Article 15 at 10 a.m.
one day, and less than 24 hours later be put in for the Congressional
Medal of Honor by my leadership for my actions in Vietnam."
Jenkins also discussed how it is a supervisor's responsibility to be
someone to their subordinates want to emulate as they progress in their
"As a leader, you have to not only be an example of good leadership, but
instill those values in your Airmen. Respect them, take care of your
Airmen, talk to them," he said. "Because with the way the world is
changing, you could go a lot of places with them. Someday you might go
to war with those very Airmen and they just might pull you out of a
Jenkins joined the Army from Nashville, Tenn. and began serving as a
private first class in Company A, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment,
9th Infantry Division.
According to his citation, during a firefight on Jan. 6, 1969, in Kien
Phong Province, Republic of Vietnam, Jenkins repeatedly exposed himself
to hostile fire to engage the enemy. Despite being wounded himself, he
was able to resupply his ammunition, obtain new weapons and make several
trips through intense fire to rescue other wounded Soldiers.
"The importance of Mr. Jenkins' visit speaks for itself," said Chief
Master Sgt. Dave Martin, 36th Medical Group superintendent. "He is
living history and a great role model for all enlisted members. I
learned many things about leadership never change. Leadership is about
knowing your people and situation and not being afraid of doing what
needs to be done."