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Fort Carson Mountaineer

Iron Horse Strong — Soldier deploys to serve others

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel talks to 1st Lt. Zacharie Dumont, a Joint Visitors Bureau action officer for Regional Command – South, during his visit to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, Dec. 8.

Story and photo by Sgt. Antony Lee

International Security Assistance Force, Regional Command – South

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — 1st Lt. Zacharie Dumont had just finished his time as a platoon leader at Fort Carson, where he arrived in 2011, when he received a phone call from the director of Fort Carson Executive Services.

The director asked Dumont if he was ready for his interview for a job with Executive Services — a job in which he would help coordinate visits to Fort Carson by distinguished guests.

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 was selected for the job — gaining experience he would 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 to do essentially the same job. He arrived at Kandahar Airfield in July 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 — both military and civilian leaders — to include Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and National Security Adviser Susan Rice.

“We manage, plan and execute for all distinguished visitors that come through (RC – South),” he said. “We ensure their intent is met.”

In the process, Dumont is doing something he says is important to him: serving 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 in the Army rather than being commissioned. 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 ROTC at the University of North Georgia to enlist,” he said, adding that after a heart-to-heart discussion with his father he decided to attend college.

It is a decision Dumont said he is glad he made.

Dumont is enjoying his time serving in Afghanistan as a JVB action officer. 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 this summer.

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