Spotlight on Galveston District's Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Montgomery
June 23, 2011
When the opportunity arose to work in Iraq as the senior
advisor to the 373rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
commander, Command Sgt. Maj. Donald Montgomery
jumped at the chance, knowing that his leadership abilities
could really make a difference on the front lines.
From the moment he began his career in 1982, serving at Fort
Campbell, Ky., as a marina support technician, Montgomery sought
progressively challenging leadership positions that led him to
achieve the highest enlisted rank in the military and prepared him
for more than a dozen mobilizations within the United States and
four overseas tours of duty.
"In 1986, when I became a noncommissioned officer, my focus
was and remains to this day - the wellness of my Soldiers and their
families," said Montgomery. "While in Iraq, I had the chance to not
only serve as the senior advisor responsible for updating the battalion
commander on all military decisions, I was the senior NCO
in charge of written policies, force protection training, and overall
wellness of 1,200 Soldiers."
As the senior enlisted leader at the Victory Base Complex,
Montgomery often accompanied his troops on air and ground
battlefield circulations throughout Baghdad, Iraq, and Kuwait to ensure
their needs were met and morale remained high--a voluntary
self tasking that cost him severe injuries.
About one month into a seven-month deployment, Montgomery
sustained combat-related injuries while conducting a mission
in Iraq. Instead of returning home, he chose to stay and continue
to lead his unit, working an average of 14 hours a day in a hostile
environment while he attempted to heal from injuries that made it
painful to sit for more than five minutes at a time.
Upon completion of his tour in Iraq in August 2010, Montgomery
was assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit and began physical
therapy to expedite his recovery. By January 2011, he was reassigned
to the Community Based Warrior Transition Unit in Little
Rock, Ark., and volunteered to become a member of the Wounded
In June 2011, Montgomery was temporarily transferred to the
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Galveston District to assist with the
district's Anti-Terrorism Program.
"I knew it was a blessing to be able to combine my years
of military experience and education within such a wonderful
organization," said Montgomery. "The program has benefited
me by giving me time to fully heal and recover from my injuries,
reintegrate, and has allowed me time to reach some personal goals
that I set for myself that were pushed back due to my dedication to
the United States Army."
Montgomery's primary responsibilities at the district include
working as the anti-terrorism planning officer, physical security
officer assistant, and supporting the Emergency Management
Team with the Family Readiness Program.
"The recent upgrade in our district's Anti-Terrorism Program
required us to obtain an additional staff member," said District Security
Manager Michael Flynn. "Under the direction and support
of our commander, I immediately began the search for a wounded
warrior with the necessary technical expertise for this position."
According to Montgomery, the CBTU has a strong partnership
with the Corps as well as other government, public and private
businesses throughout the country and successfully helps to pair
Soldiers with compatible skills and knowledge with private sector
employers to form internships at no cost to the company.
"As a retired military officer who also deployed after 9/11, I
fully support the Wounded Warrior Project," said Flynn. "I feel
that allowing injured military personnel the opportunity to be productive
and help organizations like the Galveston District while in
rehabilitation is a great win for everyone."
Though Montgomery does not know how long he will remain
with the Corps, as it is contingent upon his recovery, he stated that
he is appreciative of the Galveston District's leadership and the
entire Corps family for the warm welcome he has received.
The Wounded Warrior Project, founded in 2002 to provide
comfort items to wounded service members, has since grown into
a complete rehabilitative effort to assist warriors as they recover
and transition back to civilian life.
For more information about this program, log on to http://