Lt. Colonel to speak at Veterans Day ceremonies
By Robin Scott
Dalhart area residents will be honored with guest speaker and Parade Marshal on November 11th for the Veterans Day Parade and celebration. Lt. Col. Doug Johnson, Rear Commander for the 41st Fires Brigade, Fort Hood has graciously agreed to speak this year at Memorial Park following the parade.
Lt. Col. Johnson is originally from Eupora, Mississippi, a small town not unlike Dalhart. He began his 22-year career when he enlisted in the Mississippi Army National Guard on the very day he turned 17. He completed Basic Combat Training at Fort McClellan, Alabama between his junior and senior years of high school. He then served for the next five years in a variety of positions including number one cannoneer, Assistant Howitzer Gunner, and Howitzer Gunner. He also attended college while servicing, and after five years of enlisted service, he graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Regular Army Commission as a Field Artillery Officer.
Lt. Col. Johnson’s active duty career began at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he served in a variety of Field Artillery leadership positions in 1-12 FA before being assigned to Camp Garry Owen Korea as a Squadron Fire Support Officer for 4-7 CAV. Upon completion of his duties in Korea, he returned to Fort Sill where he served as Assistant S3 for 2-18 FA and then as Commander of Bravo Battery, 2-5 FA. Later, he served as Battalion Executive Officer and Operations Officer for 1-290 FA, a training support battalion that provided training and evaluation support for numerous National Guard Artillery units throughout Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Lt. Col. Johnson’s aspirations didn’t end there, however, as he attended the Command and General Staff Officer College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas before deploying for his first tour in Iraq with the 4th Infantry Division Artillery during OIF 1. When he returned from OIF 1, he was assigned to 4-42 FA as Battalion S3. He deployed to Iraq a second time during OIF 05-07 where he served as the Battalion Executive Officer for 4-42 FA and later as Assessments Chief for MND-B. Following redeployment to Fort Hood he was assigned as Fire Support Coordinator for 4th Fires Brigade, which subsequently re-flagged to 41st Fires Brigade, where he currently serves as the Rear Commander for the 41st Fires Brigade, which recently began a 15-month deployment to Iraq.
Lt. Col. Johnson and wife, Laura Morales Johnson, have two sons. Laura, a Californian by birth, has traveled the country with Johnson. Their eldest son proudly serves in the United States Air Force at Buckley Air Base in Colorado as a signal intelligence analyst. Their youngest son began his freshman year at Belton High School this fall. Dalhart area residents welcome Lt. Col. Johnson as Parade Marshall for the 2009 Veterans Day Parade!