The United States Army Brotherhood of Tankers (USABOT) stood united in a poignant and heartwarming moment as they helped fulfill a final wish for Jay Tinsley, a dedicated Abrams armored crewman battling Stage 4 cancer of the stomach.  With his time limited, Jay’s desire to fire one last gunnery in his  cherished Abrams tank. That wish became a reality, thanks to the compassionate efforts of the Armor Center at Fort Moore,(Fort Benning) Georgia.

Colonel Kranc of the 3/16th Cavalry and Lieutenant Colonel Courtney Dean, Point of Contact for the 1-16 Cavalry, along with their dedicated staff, orchestrated the seemingly impossible mission to grant Jay’s last wishes. The collaborative efforts of the Armor Center ensured Jay was outfitted in the latest gear worn by 19K Armored Crewmen. Under the guidance of senior master gunners, he received reorientation on a tank crew simulator, paving the way for his dream to come true.

Jay Tinsley was then transported to the MPRC firing range, where he climbed aboard an M1A2sep3 Abrams main battle tank. Positioned behind the Cadillacs in the Gunner Station, Jay experienced the exhilaration of firing tank rounds and the coaxial machine gun. It was a moment of sheer triumph and fulfillment for Jay, providing a respite from the challenges of his health.

As Jay stepped off the firing line, a heartfelt gathering ensued, presided over by 9th Battalion “HellCat” Battalion Commander,  Ron Kimmel and his wife Karen.  In recognition of Jay’s unwavering dedication, Commander Kimmel presented him with an honorary lifetime membership in the United States Army Brotherhood of Tankers.  This gesture, extended on behalf of David Nich, the National Commander of USABOT, is a token of our expressed and deep appreciation for Jay’s service and camaraderie within the Armor Brotherhood.

Furthermore, Jay Tinsley was bestowed the prestigious honor of knighthood into the Order of St. George, marked by the presentation of a Black Medallion. This distinction underscored Jay’s exceptional contribution and camaraderie, symbolizing the bond that unites all tankers.

The United States Army Brotherhood of Tankers remains committed to supporting its members and honoring their legacies. In this heartfelt gesture, USABOT, in collaboration with the Armor Center, brought joy to a dedicated Abrams armored crewman in his final days, exemplifying the spirit of camaraderie and compassion that defines the Brotherhood.

Stay on the Tank.

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