NASW Foundation National
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Norma Gray "Cindy" Jones
Norma Gray Jones was the US Navy's first African American female social work officer. She served for 21 years as a Navy Commander where her work altered Navy social practices and policies. Her efforts included establishing new programs for entry level Navy social workers and implementing Family Advocacy treatment programs worldwide. She held several program management positions to include, Deputy Directory Fleet and Family Support Programs and the Director of Research for the Fleet and Family Support Programs in Millington, TN. She established new billets for Navy social workers in Diego Garcia, and Bahrain.
CDR Jones served as Director of Behavioral Health Services at the Naval Hospital, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, focusing primarily on the “Children Soldiers” population and assisting political prisoners and refugees. Her last position on active duty was, Director of Social Work Department at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA.
Jones spent over 30 years in various senior-level positions for the Navy. She was commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade in the Medical Service Corps and rose to the rank of Commander.
Jones began her military career in San Diego, CA and was then transferred to Adak, Alaska as part of a two-person mental health team, working with military families and family violence issues. The WIC program she established there was used until the base closing in 1996.
Jones served as Regional Family Advocacy Representative in London, England, served five major naval bases, and established a position for a naval psychiatrist in the UK, which was a first. She also served as a consultant and trainer to the US Embassies in London and Paris on matters related to family violence. In addition, Jones served individual clients in London.
When she returned to the U.S. in 1992, Jones was instrumental in conducting research on treatment modalities to combat family violence while stationed at San Diego Naval Base. As a result of this work, she was invited to earn her PhD.
Jones co-facilitated CSWE's Veterans Social Work Education Task Force which led to the development of the CSWE’s Military Social Work Practice Standards. While in Norfolk she served on the YWCA’s Board of Directors. During this period she served as Associate Professor and Director of the PhD Program at Norfolk State University. She also worked with the female athletes to promote educational development and interpersonal skills.
Jones retired from Ethelyn Strong School of Social Work in Norfolk, VA in 2010. Currently she is Clinical Associate Social Work Professor, Fayetteville State University Military Social Work Program, Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
Jones received her PhD in Social Work in 2001 from Norfolk State University and her MSW in 1975 from West Virginia University. She received her BS in Sociology in 1973 from Bennett College, in Greensboro, NC.
Significant Achievements and Awards
2009 Outstanding Alumnae Bennett College, Tidewater Chapter
2005 NASW Social Work Pioneer
1995 Alumnae Achievement Award, Bennett College
1993 U.S. Navy Social Worker of the Year
1979 and 1986 Outstanding Young Women of America
1980 Who’s Who of American Women
Navy Awards and Decorations
2004 Joint Service Commendation Medal
1995 and 2005 Meritorious Service Medal
Navy Commendation Medal with three gold stars
Navy Achievement Medal, with one gold star
NASW Leadership Positions
1990-92 President, of International Chapter of National Association of Social Workers
1989-90 President, British Chapter of NASW, London England
1990-91 Secretary, of British Chapter of NASW
1979-83 North Carolina NASW, Board of Directors,
Grady, B. and Jones, N.G. (2013). Caring for the Child Soldiers of Guantanamo, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, (ed) Norma G. Jones, Taylor and Francis, London.
Jones, N.G. (2013) Social and Behavioral Health in the Military, Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment, (ed) Norma G. Jones, Taylor and Francis London.
Jones, N.G. and Harris, J.J. (2011) "African Americans and genetic research, risk versus benefit: Implications for the profession of social work" Social Work in Public Health, 26, 380-391.
CSWE White Paper, "Focus and Needs of Social Work Education in Meeting the Requirements of Today’s Veterans" (with Peter Vaughan), May 2009.
Harris, J. and Jones, NG (2007). "African American military service members and their families: A different environment" in Human Behavior in the Social Environment (Letha Lee See, ed.). Haworth Press:NY.
Jones, NG (2003). "A study of the influence of protective factors as a resource to African American males in traditional batterers' interventions." Journal of Health and Social Policy, 16, 169-183.
Jones was the keynote speaker at the “Current Issues Facing Women in the Military” and a facilitator at the APM’s Council on Social Work Education Conference in San Antonio, TX, in November 2009. She has presented nationally and internationally on military social work practice, women in the military, and children soldiers.