Major Jerry A. Headley (US Army, Retired) is a past president of the Judges Athletic Association, a recipient of the JAA Eddie Manuel and Ancil Gray Awards and a member of the Hunter Maddex Hall of Fame. He is also Handley’s most highly decorated veteran.
Major Headley began his military career as a junior in high school when he enlisted in the Virginia Army National Guard as a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 116th Infantry. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps upon graduation. Following his discharge from the Marine Corps, he reentered the Virginia Army National Guard and was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School program as a Second Lieutenant, Armor.
On 18 January 1968, 1st Lieutenant Headley volunteered and reentered active duty with an assignment to Fort Knox, Kentucky. He volunteered and deployed to Vietnam in May 1968 and was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division. He served as a Platoon Leader and Troop Commander of B Troop.
He graduated with honors from The University of Tampa in 1970 under the U.S. Army’s Bootstrap Program. He retired from active service in August 1984.
After military retirement, Major Headley was employed as the Deputy Chief, Readiness Division, National Guard Bureau, Pentagon. His office was directly responsible for coordinating the mobilization of over 62,000 Army National Guard members and 398 units in support of Operation Desert Storm. He retired from the National Guard Bureau in July 1995.
Major Headley’s military awards include 5 Silver Stars, our nation’s third highest award for valor; 3 Bronze Stars, 2 for Valor; the Legion of Merit; 3 Purple Hearts; 3 Meritorious Service Medals; Air Medal; Army Commendation Medal; USMC Good Conduct Medal; the Army General Staff Badge and numerous other Service Medals. His civilian awards include the Department of the Army Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, National Guard Bureau Civilian and Eagle Service Awards.
He was invested as a Distinguished Member of the 4th Cavalry Regiment in June 1992. Major Headley received the U.S. Cavalry and Armor Association Gold Medal of the Order of Saint George in May 2008 for his service to the Armor and Cavalry community.
Major Headley remains active at Handley. He currently heads the school’s archives committee and is responsible for the placement of the centennial markers along the walkways on the lower campus.