Duty, honor and country. Those were the ideals that General of the Army Douglas MacArthur stood for and Eighth Army sees the general's legacy alive and well in Capt. Franklin Wright and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Marcus Dunmore. The two were selected as Eighth Army's nominees for the prestigious General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award in a ceremony at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, Dec. 5.
The award is presented annually to an outstanding captain or chief warrant officer two in the U.S. Army. Twelve finalists consisting of eight company grade officers and four CW2s were selected from units across the Korean peninsula after being nominated by their commanders and faced a rigorous selection board where their military expertise and bearing were assessed.
In the end, the board of leaders selected Wright and Dunmore as best of the best for Eighth Army. They will now compete at the U.S. Army Pacific level, and if selected, will then compete at the Dept. of the Army level with the ultimate winner presented at the Pentagon later.
Wright is a company commander in the United Nations Command Security Battalion at the Joint Security Area. He said he is humbled to be one of the Eighth Army nominees and attributes his selection to his Soldiers and mentors.
“It really does mean a lot to me, but at the same time it’s really thanks to the Soldiers that I have commanded, which has given me experience with the opportunity to lead them,” said Wright. “I think humility is a really important trait for a leader to have. It’s really important to be humble, transparent and honest with the Soldiers below you and the leaders above you. It’s really thanks to everybody around me.”
Dunmore is an air missile defense technician with the 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade. He oversees maintenance programs and advises senior commanders on the capabilities of their weapons systems. He described the selection board as grueling and thought he would not be selected.
“It definitely was a challenge, it’s not a board you can leave feeling confident,” Dunmore said. “It’s an extreme honor. I’m truly humbled by this opportunity. All the nominees were equally deserving and I’m very grateful the board chose me. I was just as honest I could be with the questions asked, just being genuine.”
Wright and Dunmore received a certificate of achievement, the Army Achievement Medal, a personalized copy of a General MacArthur DVD and the Eighth Army commander’s coin presented personally by Lt. Gen. Bill Burleson, Eighth Army commanding general.
Wright says he grew up a “military brat,” but calls his hometown Dallas, Texas. Dunmore claims Boston, Mass., as his hometown. Both have been serving in South Korea since 2020 and expressed their appreciation for their time in the Land of the Morning Calm.
“It’s a hidden gem here in Korea,” Wright said. “It’s a place to grow and thrive with a lot of opportunities across the peninsula."