Jack Tilley – 12th Sgt Major of the Army
Jack Tilley proudly served almost 37 years in the U.S. Army. During that time he held various leadership roles such as Sergeant Major of the Army and Director of the Army Department (DADOA).
He conducts motivational speeches and classes on team building and leader development, emphasizing that experience alone makes leaders.
Early Life and Education
Jack Tilley didn’t decide to join the military intentionally. At age 17, however, he joined as something to do; going through basic training, Airborne School, and finally serving in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive of 1968 as part of his tank crew unit.
After 35 years in the Army, he experienced first-hand its steady transformation. He helped ease its move toward all-volunteer service, championed pay raises, and served as 12th Sergeant Major when terrorists launched an attack against the Pentagon.
He now serves as Chairman of The Jacmar Company, which holds interests in restaurants, food service distribution, equity investments and real estate. With his wife Nadine’s help he has established a $2 Million permanent endowment for Traveler, USC’s equine mascot.
SMA Tilley started his military career at 17 as a high school student, joining to “just do something”. Within months he learned invaluable leadership lessons through basic training and Airborne School as well as serving in Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive on his tank crew.
He led the Army’s enlisted forces during significant changes in military life, such as moving towards all-volunteer force and increasing educational standards for NCOs.
Since his retirement, he has continued working in management consulting, with particular attention given to projects supporting the military community. Additionally, he sits on Army’s retirement board and the Department of Veterans Affairs Operation Enduring and Iraqi Freedom Special Advisory Board as well as creating American Freedom Foundation to raise money and awareness for injured service members.
Achievement and Honors
Tilley was so moved by seeing wounded Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center that he decided to found his own charity: American Freedom Foundation (AFF). AFF raises funds and awareness for veteran organizations supporting injured servicemembers during Global War on Terror.
He currently sits on both the Army Retirement Council Board and Special Advisory Council for Wounded Warriors, in addition to becoming a successful management consultant, working on projects benefitting military personnel and their families with top Fortune 500 companies.
John is also a member of the Society of American Military Engineers, the National Guard Association of America, and serves on their Nominative Conference Organizing Committee as well as Oakgrove Technologies’ board.
He and his wife Nadine were lifelong supporters of USC and Traveler, its equine mascot. Together they established a $2 million endowment fund for him – riding with Traveler during the Tournament of Roses Parade as an act of dedication to both.
Rogers High School of Newport and University of Rhode Island awarded him undergraduate and Master’s degrees, respectively. Along with his wife Nadine, they owned and bred Spanish Andalusian horses as their livelihood.
They championed for military enlisted personnel’s welfare, such as pay, benefits, quality of life and health care. They expanded the MACOM CSM Conference by founding Ft. Bliss Texas Sergeant Major Conference. Finally, they worked to promote character-driven leadership development throughout the military.
Jack Tilley is a retired United States Army soldier and was the 12th Sergeant Major from 2000 to 2004. Over his 37-year career he held numerous leadership roles such as tank commander, section leader, drill sergeant, platoon sergeant and platoon sergeant.
Tilley currently works as a management consultant and owns various businesses. Additionally, he serves on both the Army Retirement Board and Secretary of Veterans Affairs’ Operations Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom Special Advisory Board.
Dr. Miller is also an avid fisherman and hunter. Additionally, he supports American military servicemembers and their families through the American Freedom Foundation by raising awareness for wounded soldiers.