Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Dennis P. Donegan, Jr. U.S. Army Special Forces Regiment. USA

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Dennis P. Donegan, Jr. U.S. Army Special Forces Regiment.

We discuss today with Lieutenant Colonel Donegan. For his exemplary service at the Department of State he was awarded the State Department Superior Honor Award.

Lieutenant Colonel Donegan, what influenced your decision to become a career member of the United States military?

For me it was always a calling. I was always fascinated with all things military, militaria and military history.

Can you tell us about some of the sacrifices you have made in life to dedicate yourself, to the military?

I joined the Army the day after my 17th birthday in 1983 and retired a month before my 49th birthday in 2015. I don’t look at it as sacrifices that I made, sure I was married young, like many soldiers do, and divorced; but l lived all over the world, saw and experienced so many wonderful things and I received three degrees so far all paid for by the Army.

What has been your most rewarding experience in the military?

Getting to serve with and lead Americas’ brightest and best men and women. The caliber of our Soldiers is second to none.

Lieutenant Colonel Donegan, you are a member of the US Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame lnductee Class of 2022. How does it feel to be recognized for your work and service by being inducted into the Hall of Fame?

I find it very humbling. I have had such a blessed career, sometime I have to pinch myself to see if I am awake and this is all true.

Looking over your civilian education history, you have a very diverse education background. It includes archaeology, culinary arts, global security, and history. What led to your diverse education choices?

I love history. My maternal grandmother was college educated and she lived to within months of her 105th birthday. She was very globally focused and I believe that she was a major influence in my educational decisions. Archaeology and history are interconnected and during my travels to Petra, The Great Wall of China and The Pyramids I found an affection for archaeology and artifacts. Global Security comes with my profession.

You have been deployed in various conflicts over the course of your career. What was the most difficult deployment you experienced?

One of my deployments to Afghanistan was very difficult as we lost two great Green Berets and I had to escort their remains, along with a young Soldier from the 25th lnfantry Division who was killed in a separate engagement on the same day.

Lieutenant Colonel Donegan, you worked for the Department of State as the Senior Special Operations Coordinator. How did that role compare to your past military experience and was it position you preferred than previous military roles?

Working at State Department Is extremely different from the Department of Defense. But I was able to integrate State Department personnel into the Special Operations Commands and also have more interagency engagements. It turned out to be one of the most rewarding jobs I had. I also worked on the lnteragency Personal Recovery Working Group, where we were responsible for tracking and trying to repatriate American citizens that were kidnapped or taken hostage abroad. It was very rewarding indeed.

What is next for your career after entering the US Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame?

I am working with nonprofit Veteran Organizations helping to raise awareness for Post Traumatic Stress (PTS).

How is a day in your life?

I am currently in the process of selling my home and buying another.  I am also working on an event called Fight fer Veterans 2022, This is hopefully become an annual event to raise awareness and money for Veteran owned nonprofit organizations. #FIGHTFORVETERANNS2022

What is something most people don’t know about you?

When inspired I write poetry.

What makes you smile?

Kind people and a smile in my direction will always get me to smile.

If you had the power to change just one thing in the world, what would it be?

End all wars.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I look forward to the next chapter of my life. Moving in a positive direction, filled with love and laughter and my Soulmate, Cindy.

Lieutenant Colonel Donegan, Awards and Decorations:

The Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Joint Service Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal with Valor “V” device and six oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Army Achievement Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Good Conduct Medal with three knots, National Defense Service Medal with bronze service star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal with bronze campaign star, Kosovo Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign stars, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with bronze campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze campaign stars, War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, NATO Medal with bronze campaign star, NCO Professional Development Ribbon with number two, Overseas Service Ribbon with number five, the Army Service Ribbon, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Valorous Unit Award, the Meritorious Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster and the Army Superior Unit Award with oak leaf cluster. 

The Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Expert Infantryman’s Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Air Assault Badge, Special Operations Diver Badge, Special Forces Tab, Ranger Tab, The Order of Saint Maurice, foreign jump wings to include Jordanian, Tunisian, Norwegian, Dutch, German, Australian, Australian SASR, SAS, USMC and Laotian.

Time Magazine Person of the Year, 2003 (US Soldier).

US Army Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame Inductee. Class of 2022.





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