U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video
Fact Sheet

Diyala, Iraq
March 14, 2007

Jones Takes Helm of Diyala Reconstruction Team

(FOB WARHORSE, Iraq) - John Jones was finishing up twenty-seven years as a Foreign Service officer with the State Department last year when he volunteered to make a radical change. Instead of heading off to an embassy for a plum position anywhere in the world - he volunteered to come to the muddy, dusty and dangerous province of Diyala, Iraq. Jones says "I selected Diyala because I knew it was going be a difficult place, but felt also that I had the ability with my experience as a Foreign Service officer, which is really needed."

Foreign Service Officer John JonesA graduate of the National War College, six years in the U.S. Army reserves, and time at embassies all over the world have prepared this Pittsburg native for leading the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) for Diyala Province. The PRT is a joint effort between the State Department and the Defense Department to help rebuild Iraq. Military civil affairs teams and experts from the U.S. Agency of International Development, and other federal agencies are coming together in provinces all across this country to help Iraqis. "We have a chance to, one, quell the violence, and then put in an infrastructure that would be everlasting for the people of this province." said Jones.

Living out of forward operating base WARHORSE, he has immersed himself in learning the intricacies of one of the most complex provinces in Iraq. Iraq's sectarian divisions are clear and distinct in an area known as a "microcosm of Iraq." In a recent visit to the provincial government center it was clear that some leaders were more focused on political maneuvering and double dealing than uniting against a common enemy and helping all the people of Diyala Province. That sobering knowledge is weighted against a capable, experienced PRT team, a dynamic U.S. Army brigade, and stories of hope.

John Jones and othersJones was also able to meet an elected provincial leader who provided that ray of hope "I met a lady that I will remember for the rest of my life - she is a former teacher, who has had violence in her own family - but she realized that the provincial council needed to have a quorum. So she came in to the government building, slept on the floor, by herself all night, with a firearm, to make sure there was a quorum. So those are the kind of people we meet out here, and those are the kind of people we need to help. And I think as long as we have that kind of person in this society, then this is not a failure, because you will lay something like a foundation for those people to build on."

__________________
For more information, please contact Adriel Domenech at domenechac@state.gov. Story and photos by Adriel Domenech, U.S. Department of State, Public Affairs GO Team.



  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.