Command Sgt. Maj. Jennifer A. Shoats was born in Seale, Alabama. In July 1997, during her senior year at Temecula (California) Valley High School, she enlisted in the U.S. Army. Following basic combat training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, she graduated advanced individual training at Fort Gordon, Georgia as a Multi-Channel Transmission System Installer/Maintainer (25Q).
From 1998 to 2002 she was assigned as a line of sight operator in C Co. 50th Signal Battalion, 35th Signal Brigade, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. While stationed at Fort Bragg she also held the position of unit supply sergeant. From 2002-2003 she was assigned as the battalion postal NCOIC for Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 122nd Signal Battalion, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Red Cloud, Korea. From 2003-2005 she was assigned as a transmissions section sergeant for C Co., 501st Signal Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Kentucky. While with the 101st she completed a deployment based in Mosul, Iraq. The 501st Signal BN was disbanded and reconfigured after its first tour of duty in Iraq, and she was re-assigned to A Co., 501st Special Troops Battalion.
Shoats was Department of the Army selected for recruiting duty in November 2005. Following graduation of the Army Recruiter Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, she was assigned to the Sioux Falls Recruiting Station, Dakota Recruiting District, Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion as a detailed recruiter.
Shoats’ assignments in Recruiting Command include: station commander for the Dickinson Recruiting Station, Dakota Recruiting District, station commander for the Saint Cloud Recruiting Station, Brainerd Recruiting Company, Minneapolis Recruiting Battalion, station commander for the Lufkin Recruiting Station, Tyler Recruiting Company, Houston Recruiting Battalion, first sergeant for the Greater Kansas City Recruiting Company, Kansas City Recruiting Battalion, first sergeant for the Johnson City Recruiting Company, Nashville Recruiting Battalion, and operations sergeant major, Great Lakes Recruiting Battalion.
Shoats’ military education includes: Basic Leaders Course (2001), Advanced Leaders Course (2004), Basic Army Recruiter Course (2005), Telecommunication System Chief (25W) Senior Leaders Course (2007), Station Commander’s Course (2009), Equal Opportunity Leaders Course (2010), Unit Victim Advocate/SHARP Course (2011), Recruiting Company Commander First Sergeant Course (2014), and is a graduate of the United States Army Sergeants Major Academy (USASMA) Non-Resident Class 44 (2019).
Shoats holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Franklin University (2012, Magna Cum Laude) and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Grantham University (2016, w/distinction).
Shoats’ awards include the Meritorious Unit Award, Army Superior Unit Award (1 OLC), Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal (8 OLC), Army Achievement Medal (2 OLC), Army Good Conduct Medal (2 Silver knots), National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon (Numeral 5), Army Service Ribbon, and Overseas Service Ribbon. Command Sgt. Maj. Shoats is also a recipient of the Gold Army Recruiter Badge with 3 sapphires and the Recruiting Ring.
Shoats is married and has two children.