The 4th Battalion, 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) and Joint Base Lewis-McChord honored fallen Soldier Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jacob M. Sims during a memorial service at Lewis North Chapel Nov. 3.
Sims, 36, died Oct. 27 in Logar Province, Afghanistan, as a result of wounds sustained when he was involved in a helicopter crash. He was assigned to Alpha Company, 4-160th SOAR at JBLM and deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel — the last of countless deployments into combat, said Lt. Col. Michael Mannion, Sims’ battalion commander.
“He deployed every time his company needed him, meeting face-to-face with the enemy on multiple occasions, and performed heroically each time,” Mannion said. “He was always up front where the fighting was hard.”
Sims, known as “Jake” by his brothers in arms, was described as a devoted Soldier, committed officer and talented aviator whose heart and character personified the spirit of a special operator.
Major Scott Mattingly, Alpha company commander, said Sims was the definition of resilient — a strong, tough and durable Soldier who took challenges head on.
“He did not dismiss problems or look for ways to shirk responsibility, but found courage to win and overcome,” he said. “Jake was naturally a good person and a great teammate. He gave Alpha Company everything he had, and he always tried to do the right thing. I pray that that in the end, we are stronger because of the inspiration that Jake gave us.”
Although he was a very private person, Sims’ work ethic shined, said retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Jason Ford. The two spent hundreds of hours flying together, giving them ample time to talk and get to know one another, he said.
“When he did (talk about his kids), you could hear the obvious change in his voice and the way he spoke,” Ford said. “He had an obvious sense of pride in them. He loved his job, but I think his heart truly never left home.”
Ford said he flew with Sims more than any other person in his career, and called Sims his favorite right seater.
“While this loss feels insurmountably painful, I know that the ability to heal will come from our strength as a special operations family,” Mannion said. “We find ourselves tighter than ever.”
Sims was born in Oklahoma Aug. 13, 1981, and spent his youth in Alaska. He enlisted in the Army Aug. 12, 1999. Sims was a veteran of Operation Joint Guardian in Kosovo, numerous tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in Iraq, and Operations Enduring Freedom, Freedom’s Sentinel, and Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
He is survived by his wife, Alicia Marie, and his five children: Marrissa Nichole, Cheyenne Elizabeth, Gavin Michael, Grayson James and Harper Quinn.