News: Fort Carson soldier deploys to serve others
Story by Sgt. Antony Lee
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – First Lt. Zacharie Dumont had just finished his time as a platoon leader at Fort Carson, Colo., where he arrived in 2011, when he received a phone call from the director of Fort Carson executive services.
The director asked if he was ready for his interview for a job with the executive services – a job in which he would help coordinate visits by distinguished guests at Fort Carson.
The phone call was the first Dumont had heard about the interview. Although it was a surprise to him, Dumont went to the interview and eventually got the job - gaining experience he would later need for his first deployment.
“Part of life is you don’t know the seeds you sow, so you can just take each day and do the best you can,” he said. “The biggest life decisions can come up unexpectedly.”
Dumont later deployed to Afghanistan – where he had been itching to deploy to – to do essentially the same job. He arrived at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, in July 2013 with 4th Infantry Division and has since been working as a Joint Visitors Bureau action officer for Regional Command (South).
As a deployed action officer in southern Afghanistan, he has helped plan hundreds of visits by distinguished visitors, among both military and civilian leaders. Visits by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and National Security Advisor Susan Rice have been two of the biggest visits he helped plan and coordinate, he said.
“We manage, plan and execute for all distinguished visitors that come through RC(S),” he said. “We ensure their intent is met.”
In the process, Dumont, who is serving on his first deployment, is doing something he says is important to him: serve the U.S. through military service. It is something multiple generations of his family have done before him.
“One reason I joined the Army was to contribute to the legacy that both my family and those who have served before us left behind,” Dumont said. “In our society, there are few jobs in which selfless actions are what it’s all about. Being a soldier gives me the opportunity to serve others every day.”
Dumont was originally thinking about enlisting into the Army rather than commissioning. He was a young teenager when terrorists attacked America Sept. 11, 2001. When he became old enough to enlist, it was something he thought long and hard about doing.
“I wanted to get in the fight so bad I almost gave up a scholarship for Army [Reserve Officers' Training Corps] at the University of North Georgia to enlist,” he said, adding that after a heart-to-heart with his dad that he decided to attend college and do ROTC.
It is a decision he is glad he made, he said.
Dumont is enjoying his time serving in Afghanistan as a JVB action officer. On one occasion, during a visit he helped coordinate, he was in a helicopter that was hovering over the flight line at KAF. As the sun was setting, two jets took off from the flight line into the sunset, in full view of Dumont as he sat in the hovering helicopter, waiting to touch down.
“It was a display of military might mixed with the majesty of God’s creation,” he said.
Dumont, who became an infantry officer upon his commission in 2010, looks forward to finishing his first deployment with honor and returning home to Fort Carson in the summer of 2014.