Representative Earl G. Jaques Jr. (D)
After graduating from William Penn High School, Earl enlisted in the Delaware Air National Guard, where he served his state and country for more than 36 years. He rose through the ranks in numerous key leadership positions, culminating as the full-time Chief of Staff at the Delaware Air National Guard Headquarters. In this position, he acted on behalf of the Adjutant General in the administration, training and operation of all Air National Guard (ANG) units within the state. He also served as the principal representative and spokesperson for the Delaware Air National Guard and as the senior manager for major statewide programs that were conducted under the Department of Military Affairs. In 1996, he assumed the additional position as the Delaware National Guard Legislative Liaison Officer and authored numerous pieces of legislation that were enacted into law.
Earl is most proud of the DNG Education Assistance Program, which provides 100% college tuition to in-state colleges and universities for all National Guard members. This became a benchmark for all National Guard units across the country. In 2003, Earl retired at the rank of Colonel and received the highest non-combat award - Department of Defense Legion of Merit, as well as the State of Delaware Conspicuous Service Cross with Gold Star. In May 2011, he was promoted to Brigadier General, thereby becoming only the second General of the Delaware Militia to be a sitting member of the Delaware House of Representatives.
In November 2008, Earl was elected to his first term in the House of Representatives for the 27th District. He is currently chair of the House Education and Veteran Affairs committees, and serves on the Joint Finance Committee and Appropriations Committee. As chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Committee, he continually authors numerous pieces of legislation to assist veterans and National Guard personnel, including: establishing the Delaware Veterans Trust Fund to provide assistance to veterans in need; upgrading the DNG Education Program to include Master degrees; enabling the DNG Counterdrug unit to receive equitable share funding; assisting in the establishment of OEF, ODS and OIF license plates; and sponsoring the Veterans' Opportunity Tax Credit to employers for hiring veterans. Earl's passion for military and veteran issues was recognized by the Council of State Governments and he was appointed as their first ever Veterans Task Force chair. In addition, Earl has been an advocate for Animal Welfare and was the House sponsor of legislation to give animal control back to the state.
Representative Jaques has received numerous awards from various organizations to include: Humane Society of the United States, Delaware State Education Association, Delaware MS Society, Charter School Network, National Guard Association of Delaware, and became an Honorary Member of the Delaware City Fire Company. He is a 2018 recipient of the Charles Dick Medal of Merit from the National Guard Association of the United States. Recently, he was appointed as a member of the prestigious Southern Regional Education Board. In 2013, Earl was inducted into the Robert Kirkwood Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolutions with ancestors who fought in the battles of Bunker Hill, Saratoga, and White Plains and also participated in the Boston Tea Party.
Representative Jaques has been married to the former Carole Smith of New Castle for 49 years. They have two grown children and three grandchildren.