“CHALLENGES is a book by one of the foremost experts on life as a Marine officer in peace and war, on Capitol Hill, and finally working through Washington’s complex defense sector industry. Harry Jenkins remains one of the sought-after voices of advice for those navigating all three sectors. This book is a ‘must-read’ for everyone, but especially Field Grade officers and above.” —General James L. Jones USMC (Ret), 32nd Commandant of the Marine Corps, former Commander US European Command and Supreme Allied Commander Europe, and the US National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama.
“People read because they enjoy a good story or seek one to inform, learn, and educate themselves in areas in which they may not be familiar. CHALLENGES serves that interest and need. In it, Harry Jenkins shares his journey—the thoughts and thinking that shaped it—from the decision to join the service, through marriage and starting a family while pursuing a career in the Marine Corps, his rise to Major General and into the private sector and defense industry as a senior executive. Many of the accounts and experiences occur in times of significant events in our nation’s history and offer a personal perspective that gives the reader context. Stories matter and Harry Jenkins has given us a good one about how challenges can strengthen, direct, shape, and teach us.” —General Richard ‘Butch’ Neal USMC (Ret), former Assistant Commandant of The Marine Corps, author of What Now Lieutenant? Leadership Forged from Events in Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Beyond. [Added to the USMC Commandant’s Reading List in 2019]
“An entertaining and enlightening story of service to nation, family, and those in need. Readers will learn that overcoming challenges and leading in extremis builds the resilience and wisdom fundamental to success in all walks of life. Maj. Gen. Harry Jenkins tells his story that sheds light on some of the most important events and experiences in the past sixty years. But this is a story that inspires as well as informs. CHALLENGES is certain to encourage future generations to lead, overcome hardships, and reap the intangible rewards of service.” —H.R. McMaster, author of Dereliction of Duty and Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World.
About the Author
Jenkins graduated from San Jose State College with a B.A. degree in June 1960, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He also holds an M.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin (1972). He completed The Basic School the following year. He was then assigned to the 5th Marine Regiment and then the 9th Marine Regiment in Okinawa, Japan.
From 1962 to 1964, Jenkins was Executive Officer of the San Francisco Naval Shipyard. The following year, he became a senior instructor at the Mountain Warfare Training Center.
After studying amphibious warfare at the Officer Candidates School, Jenkins was deployed to serve in the Vietnam War with the 26th Marine Regiment. In 1969, he was assigned to the 1st Marine Division as Civil Affairs Officer.
After returning to the United States, Jenkins was named the Marine Officer instructor of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. From there he was stationed at Headquarters Marine Corps, where he eventually served in the Office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps.
In 1976, Jenkins was deployed to serve with the 9th Marine Regiment. The following year, he was assigned to the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and served in the National Military Command Center. After graduating from the Naval War College, Jenkins returned to Headquarters Marine Corps.
Jenkins was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division in 1984. In 1986, he became Chief of Staff of the Division. The following year, he was named Legislative Assistant to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. In 1988, he was given the additional duties of Director of Public Affairs.
In 1989, he was assigned to Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek. After serving in the Gulf War, Jenkins was named Assistant Chief of Staff of Command, Control, Communications and Computers of the Marine Corps in 1991. The following year, he served as Director, Expeditionary Warfare in the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations. Since retiring from the Marine Corps, he has served as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Marine Corps Association in addition to his career in industry.