During his 40 years of learning from, leading, teaching and mentoring both soldiers and cadets, retired Sgt. Maj. James Yarbrough has performed his duties with one thing in mind: A leader's work is never about personal gain.
"As a leader, it can never be about you," Yarbrough said. "As a leader, it's always about caring for your subordinates. You learn as a young non-commissioned officer that you have to take care of your soldiers. If you take care of your soldiers, then the soldiers will take care of you as a leader."
Yarbrough is an Army instructor for the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at Eisenhower High School. He took that position in 1998 upon retiring from the United States Army. His military career began when he was drafted out of college in 1972, and he served 25 years as a military policeman.
"I was born and raised in Texas," he said. "I was one of the last individuals to be caught up in that lottery draft system. At that point they were not sending draftees to Vietnam."
His career took him and his family to Fort Ord, Calif.; Fort Lewis, Wash.; Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bliss, Texas; Germany; Korea; and finally to Fort Sill, where he served as the senior enlisted member of the post's military police and the enlisted advisor to the provost marshal.