Saturday, July 11, 2015
Classiest Guy I ever worked for
Colonel James F. Dunn, Jr.
As you are no longer with us, I am choosing to address you with some familiarity that I would have never attempted in the past. So here goes Jim.
I have a few observations, thoughts and questions for you.
Jim. You were then and remain so today; the “classiest guy” I ever worked for or with. Your ability to demand respect through you actions alone was matched only by your ability as a proven leader.
Because of the position you held, you received our missions long before we ever learned of them. You observed and consumed the facts and sauntered down to meet, brief and address the situation with us. I remember many times we deployed to solve a problem that was trusted to only you and your chosen team to solve. Snow disasters, floods, chemical train derailments and even immigration detainment//processing camps—the size or type of problem did not matter—the problem was ours to solve.
You would gather us and lay out the situation, usually starting off this way: “There has been a… We’re gonna sorta go there and do what we do… Brother Hatfield will provide you with details later. Get your gear and get ready!”
Jim, it always struck me funny the way you “sorta do what we do” and depended on us to follow through.
46th Support Group (Corps)
Early on, I wondered how you chose that accompanied you on these mission critical undertakings. Some that you picked, I never would have felt appropriate for the task. About the time of our third deployment, I figured you out Jim. I kept it to myself, but finally shared with Major West later after you had left the command. Sometimes these guys/gals were essential to the mission and other times they needed guidance or the challenge to reach their potential. I had originally thought they might have been being final tested for separation.
I soon realized what our future entailed. If you selected them to go, Jim, and they did a good job; you selected them every time thereafter, didn’t you Jim? If you selected them to go, Jim, and they didn’t do such a good job, you repeatedly selected them until they did a good job, Rule #1 above then applied. Right Jim?
I spent almost a full year working as your #2 and Go-Guy and enjoyed almost every minute of that time. Whether it was the Ohios: Akron, Cleveland, Columbus or Toledo; New York City or Boston; Johnstown or Ashville or even that partial summer we spent at Fort Story on Virginia Beach. I always wondered just where I fit in your process, having been selected every time until we both had permanently departed the command. It was always my pleasure.
I sure hope Rule #1 applied to me, Jim!