NEWS | May 3, 2018

Meet your Guard: Sgt. First Class Mark Jones

Army Mountain Warfare School

Name: Sgt. 1st Class Mark D. Jones
Military Specialty: 11B Infantryman
Years of Service: 17
Unit: Army Mountain Warfare School Jericho, VT
Hometown: Allentown, PA
Current Town: Milton, VT
High School/Graduation Year: 2000
College/Graduation: Muhlenberg College 
Marathons Completed: Unknown, lots of training runs (Marathons), Ultras (More than a Marathon), and Multi-Day events (Unknown distances)

Q. Why did you join the National Guard?
A. I joined the United States Marine Corps right after high school, in 2000. When I got out, in 2004, I went to College and needed to pay for school. Conveniently, I met a National Guard recruiter who I made the right deal with and have been in ever since. 

Q. What do you do in the Vermont National Guard?
A. I work in the S-3 shop, basically a utility guy, at the Army Mountain Warfare School.

Q. How do you train for marathons?
A. Strength, Speed, LSD (Long Slow Distance), and Crossfit.

Q. Why do you run marathons?
A. It all began when I woke up and needed to change my life. It shifted to, “I do it for them” Meaning, I do it for those who do not have the luxury of feeling pain any more. 

Q. What drew you to running for the National Guard team?
A. I was presented with the option, while in Pennsylvania. Of course, I jumped on it. At the time, I was mostly a road runner and triathlete. Vermont was a little more difficult in finding information, but offered an additional spot on the Team since I did not get the initial email for registration/selection.

Q. How does it feel to represent the National Guard while running in the marathon?
A. I love being around all the Teams that come to Nebraska, with the intent on qualifying for the All Guard Team. Representing the National Guard provides the little push to not quit and do my best, while representing my Country

Q. Have you finished any other marathons? How many, where, which ones?
A. Many finished, Unknown, lots of training runs (Marathons), Ultras (More than a Marathon), and Multi-Day events (Unknown distances)

Q. What do you do for civilian work?
A. Currently, working Active-Duty Operational Support, but have personal training certifications. 

Q. What do you think is the greatest benefit of being in the National Guard?
A. Being able to train pretty freely and have opportunities to attend Guard sports programs supported. 

Q. What is your most memorable military moment?
A. Way too many and do not want to go on the negative side of things, but Bataan Memorial Death March was an amazing opportunity, provided by Pennsylvania National Guard. Basically, we camped out the night before and had a really good performance that was acknowledged all the way up our chain of command. Physical performance recognition is a rare acknowledgement given in the Guard. 

Q. How long have you lived in Vermont?
A. 5 years off/on

Q. What is your favorite aspect of living or working where you do?
A. Where I live and work, both provide great training opportunities. 

Q. What has surprised you about the Vermont National Guard?
A. How long it has taken to have the opportunity to try out for the Marathon Team. 

Q. What is your favorite part about serving in the Vermont National Guard?
A. My training grounds

Q. How many push-ups did you get on your last physical fitness test?
A. 91