Assistant Commandant

Col Mark Jones - Assistant Commandant

Col. Mark S. Jones

Colonel Mark S. Jones currently serves as the Assistant Commandant, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and the Commander, 517th Training Group, Presidio of Monterey, California. In this capacity, Colonel Jones directs language training for 34,000 Department of Defense personnel annually in 89 languages at 29 sites worldwide. He also oversees 1,800 faculty members and 250 joint- service staff providing language training, proficiency testing, and curriculum to train successful linguists. As the 517th Training Group Commander, Colonel Jones leads two Air Force squadrons composed of 1,200 Airmen, the majority of whom are Air Force Cryptologic Linguist trainees.

Col Jones was commissioned through the United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps at Sacramento State University, California in 1998. Following Intelligence Officer School, he has held leadership positions in a variety of intelligence roles within fighter squadrons, intelligence squadrons, and Air Operations Centers. Col Jones has participated in Operations NORTHERN WATCH, JOINT FORGE, JOINT GUARD, ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM, FREEDOM’S SENTINEL, and INHERENT RESOLVE. He has commanded at the flight and squadron level. Col Jones is also cross- trained as an Air Force Foreign Area Officer for the Middle East, executing policy development and security cooperation efforts at U.S. Central Command and the Joint Staff. Prior to his current position, Col Jones served as the Chief, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Operations and Analysis Division, Headquarters Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.


  • 1998 Bachelor of Arts, History, University of California at Davis, CA
  • 2004 Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, AL
  • 2006 Master of Arts in International Relations, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
  • 2008 Air Command and Staff College (non-residence)
  • 2009 Master of Arts, Regional Security Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA 2010 Defense Language Institute, Modern Standard Arabic, Monterey, CA
  • 2015 Air War College (non-residence)
  • 2018 Joint Professional Military Education II, Joint Warfighting School, Norfolk, VA


  1. June 1998 – April 1999, Assistant Regional Director of Admissions, Sacramento State University, AFROTC Detachment 88, Sacramento, CA
  2. April 1999 – December 1999, Student, USAF Intelligence Officer School, Goodfellow AFB, TX
  3. December 1999 – June 2001, Chief, Target Intelligence, 31st Operations Support Squadron, Aviano Air Base, Italy
  4. June 2001 – December 2002, Chief, Intelligence, 510th Fighter Squadron, Aviano AB, Italy
  5. January 2003 – December 2003, Chief, Current Operations, 303d Intelligence Squadron, Osan AB, Republic of Korea
  6. January 2004 – February 2006, Flight Commander, 32d Air Intelligence Squadron, Ramstein AB, Germany
  7. February 2006 – September 2008, Chief, ISR Operations and Planning, U.S. Northern Command/North American Aerospace Defense Command, Peterson AFB, CO
  8. September 2008 – September 2009, Student, U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA
  9. October 2009 – November 2010, Student, Defense Language Institute, Monterey, CA
  10. December 2010 – April 2012, Desk Officer for Lebanon/Syria, U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, FL
  11. April 2012 – May 2013, Desk Officer for Jordan/Syria, U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, FL
  12. May 2013 – June 2014, Executive Officer to Director, Strategy, Plans and Policy (J5), U.S. Central Command, MacDill AFB, FL
  13. June 2014 – June 2016, Commander, 402d Intelligence Squadron, and Deputy Chief of Operations, European Cryptologic Center, Darmstadt, Germany
  14. July 2016 – July 2017, Deputy Director, Directorate of Intelligence (A2), U.S. Air Force Central Command, Al Udeid AB, Qatar
  15. July 2017 – July 2019, Iraq/Syria Branch Chief, Joint Staff (J5), Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  16. July 2019 – June 2020, Deputy Director for Intelligence, National Military Command Center, Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  17. July 2020 – August 2022, Chief, ISR Division, 613th Air Operations Center, Joint Base Pearl Harbor- Hickam, HI
  18. August 2022 – June 2023, Chief, ISR Operations and Analysis Division, Directorate of Intelligence (A2), Pacific Air Forces, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI
  19. June 2023 – Present, AssistantCommandant, Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and Commander, 517th Training Group, Presidio of Monterey, CA