Michael Jordan’s brother, James Jordan, ships out to Iraq; postpones his army retirement

Michael Jordan’s brother, James Jordan, ships out to Iraq; postpones his army retirement

Army Command Sgt. Maj. James R. Jordan has much in common with his younger brother, retired basketball star Michael Jordan.

He loves his job, believes in helping his team and expects maximum effort from those around him.

And like his brother, James Jordan likes to leave on his own terms. He has asked to stay in the Army for a year beyond his retirement date so that he can complete a full yearlong deployment to Iraq with other members of the 35th Signal Brigade.

“We are currently at war,” Jordan said before the unit shipped out at JET press time. “We are doing things, and it requires leaders to do certain things. That’s what I am, a leader.”

Under normal conditions, Jordan, 47, would wind down his Army career in the spring as he approached the 30-year mark, but he has no intention of getting on an airplane April 29 and coming home.

“That’s not the way you want to end a 30-year career,” Jordan told the Fayetteville Observe.

“People ask ‘Why?'” said Col. Bryan Ellis, the brigade commander. “The answer is, he is completely selfless. We all want to see it go well.”

Jordan, a noncommissioned officer with a shaved head and a wry sense of humor, stands 5-foot-7, while his younger brother, Michael, stands about 6-foot-6. The senior enlisted soldier in the brigade of 2,450 soldiers has kept a low profile at Fort Bragg.

“If you don’t believe in selfless service, you are not going to make it in this business,” said Jordan, the oldest person in the brigade.

He said some of his relatives don’t really know what he does.

“They know I’m in the Army. That’s about it,” he said. “My immediate family and my wife and kids are not extremely happy, but they are on the team. They said, ‘Daddy, do what you’ve got to do.'”

COPYRIGHT 2004 Johnson Publishing Co.

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