The Namesake For Task Force George: Memories Of Jason George (USMA ’94) From A Gold Star Mother And His Beast Squadmate

Candy Mason


Candy Mason’s son, Jason George, graduated from West Point in 1994. In high school, Jason played saxophone in the jazz band and participated in a variety of sports, including baseball, tennis, and football (he was a place kicker). He was also active in scouting and was an intern at NASA. Having long been interested in military service, he received a nomination to USMA on his first attempt but not an appointment. He attended Cal State Bakersfield before finally obtaining an appointment, and he arrived at West Point in 1990. Candy remembers Jason returning home for Christmas his plebe year, and realizing she had “sent a boy and got a man.” Jason branched engineers and was assigned to Fort Riley, Fort Hood, and Fort Stewart. After leaving the Army in 2002, he attended business school at the University of Michigan before taking a job in Chicago. In 2008 he joined the National Guard, serving as a West Point liaison in the Chicago area before deploying to Iraq in 2009. Candy recalls the last email she received from Jason and seeing a news story on television about three soldiers being killed in Iraq. She remembers sensing that something was wrong before she was notified that Jason, whom she considered her best friend, was one of the three soldiers who had lost their lives on May 21, 2009. Jason’s remains were returned to the United States, and he was buried at the National Cemetery in Bakersfield, California. His service and sacrifice have been recognized through a VFW chapter named in his honor, his inclusion in a gallery exhibit entitled “Portrait of a Warrior,” a memorial foundation and scholarship, among other tributes bearing his name. In 2023, cadet field training at USMA was designated “Task Force George” in his honor. During the interview, Candy is joined by Ted Williams, USMA ’94, who was in Jason’s Beast squad. They formed a close friendship, with Jason attending Williams family tailgates. Ted remembers receiving a call from a mutual friend at the Pentagon, Brett Sylvia (USMA ‘94), who told him Jason was on the Killed in Action list. Ted reached out to a group of friends, and Brett eventually escorted Jason’s remains on the flight home. Candy and Ted both describe Jason as kind and giving, calling him “The Great Communicator” who loved life and lived it to the fullest.


conflicts Iraq War
topics Gold Star Families Leadership Teamwork Camaraderie West Point History GWOT Global War on Terror War on Terror
interviewer David Siry
date 23 June 2023


name Candy Mason
institution (Jason George) USMA
graduation year 1994
service Engineer
specialty Gold Star Mother and Ted WIlliams USMA 94
service dates 1994 2009