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Press Release | Feb. 22, 2024

FEATURE RELEASE: Coast Guard creator makes waves in sneaker design

Petty Officer Second Class Kenneth Jones presents his own custom created sneaker from an online competition in Norfolk, Virginia, Nov. 29, 2023.

Petty Officer Second Class Kenneth Jones presents his own custom created sneaker from an online competition in Norfolk, Virginia, Nov. 29, 2023. “By VA 4 VA Thank You” reads on the inside tongue of Petty Officer Second Class Kenneth Jones custom created sneaker in Norfolk, Virginia, Nov. 29, 2023. Details of the famous Statue of Neptune from Virginia Beach, his custom title, the 757 area code for Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake cover the insole of Petty Officer Second Class Jones' created sneaker in Norfolk, Virginia, Nov. 29, 2023.


Kenneth Jones is a man who shows up – for his family, his community, and his country. 

Stationed at the Atlantic Area Communications Command Center in Norfolk, Virginia, Petty Officer Jones and his team help save lives at sea by delivering rapid, reliable, and secure communications operations to Coast Guard operational commanders, joint and interagency partners, civilian organizations, and the maritime public.  

Jones is a Yeoman, responsible for the management of personnel records, pay and entitlements, promotions, and overall specialization of human resources within the Coast Guard. In his personal life, Jones is equally committed to serving his family, building meaningful connections within his community, and pursuing his passion for sneakers and fashion. 

Jones comes from a Naval background. His father served for over 20 years in the Navy, primarily on submarines.  His father was often gone for long periods of time, deployed and unable to connect back to his family at home. Jones said that when he joined the Coast Guard nine years ago, he didn’t want to be an absent dad – he wanted to have a career that supported his family – allowed him the flexibility to pursue his ambition for clothing design.  

Jones enlisted into the Coast Guard because he and his wife, who had recently separated from the Navy, were expecting their first baby. Jones knew he needed to make a commitment to something to keep his family safe and secure. He was currently in college but knew that life was requiring more of him. Originally, he wanted to join the Air Force but, once he did more research, he decided to join the Coast Guard.  

“I liked what the Coast Guard stood for. We save lives, help within our local communities, and we really make a difference that not many get an opportunity to see,” said Jones.  

Having lived in Virginia his entire life, Jones said the Coast Guard also gave him the opportunity to see different parts of the country, learn new things, and broaden his horizons on life. 

“I’d lived in Virginia since I was in the first grade,” said Jones. “I’ve always loved fashion and having moved around during my service, I’ve had the opportunity to see different places, how people dress, and it has been enlightening to me - it’s expanded my view of different cultures and locations across the country.” 

Jones said his time in the Coast Guard has allowed him to build friendships and relationships with people across the country, and inspired him to take his eye for fashion to the next level.  

 “I’m working on a clothing/sneaker line called KINDM and it’s my dream to be in the fashion industry full time.” 

Jones said the name KINDM comes from a combination of kin and personal kingdom. He said his strong ties to the Virginia Beach area allows him to draw many of his influences from various artists and musicians - such as Pharrell, Pusha T, and Missy Elliot - who also call Virginia Beach home. 

He said KINDM is based on a community of people. “Kinfolk, family, friends. It’s a kingdom, that makes you, you. It’s about the people around you that build it together,” he said.  

Jones values family, service to his country, and his community as his primary tenets of who he is, and his custom-made sneaker displays his upbringings in a sense that he truly understands.  

Jones recently entered a pair of his personally-designed sneakers into a national design contest, placing in Top 10 with his life-and-service-inspired design.  

Jones’ said his custom sneaker represents the ocean, including the famous Statue of Neptune from Virginia Beach. Jones included personal details, inside of the tongue is printed “By VA 4 VA Thank You” as an appreciation to anyone who owns the sneaker and represents the area.  

“People in the Coast Guard reached out to me when my sneaker went viral,” said Jones. “They were telling me they would buy my sneaker!” 

Jones is currently trying to get out of his comfort zone and grow his online presence in the fashion community. He said he loves getting his message out to the world which is that anyone can balance a career of service and lifesaving with personal passion and a family-first mind-set.  

“There are so many job opportunities in the Coast Guard that can set you up for success in the future,” Jones said. 

He acknowledged it isn’t always easy, but anyone willing to show up and put in the work can make their dreams come true. 

“One of my favorite quotes is from Steve Martin: ‘be so good that they can’t ignore you,’ which is something I think a lot about,” he said. 

“At my job, in the Coast Guard communication center or at home with my family and fashion, I want to be someone who shows up – who sticks it out and gives it everything I have.” 

"Success comes from pushing those boundaries, that’s the type of energy that drives me,” he said. 

- USCG -