Book Talk: Camp Lejeune Command: Commander's Notes 1992-1995 by Kenneth D. Dunn
The Marine Corps is known as an elite group of men and women in the United States and throughout the world. When we speak of the individuals who are courageously serving in the Marine Corps, we think of those who are not only strong mentally but are also of resilient emotional, mental, spiritual capacity. Within the ranks of these men of women who have endured the most challenging training and work are individuals who have their own stories. Beyond the tough exteriors, it is vital to learn how to be driven leaders and get to know what they are "made of."
Author and member of the Marine Corps, Lieutenant Colonel Kenneth Dunns, writes about his life as Artillery Battalion Commander at Camp Lejeune, . North Carolina, in his book, Camp Lejeune Command: Commander's Notes 1992-1995
In the Marine Corps, much of the operational and tactical success rests on the shoulders of the battalion and squadron commanders. They are the ones who lead those who are enlisted to succeed in each of the missions assigned to them. During his service in the Marine Corps, Dunns kept a journal of the professional and personal events of his tenure and how he feels about them.
It can be said that Camp Lejeune Command is written from a Black perspective. Dunns holds both the Black experience and the actual accounts of his leadership at the Marine Corps in these notes. As the recent conversations that we are having the world over teach us, these perspectives are essential to be amplified now more than ever.
In Camp Lejeune Command, Dunns also writes about his experiences as an individual and a family man serving in the Marine Corps. These perspectives are equally critical as the details of the job. It tells us about the "human" side of the experience, a lens that we civilians do not often get to see.
Camp Lejeune Command is an insightful book about the United States Marine Corps, leadership, duty, family, and individual stories.
Reviews and What Readers Say
" Great perspective on leaderships while simultaneously humanizing his experience as a Battalion Commander. Col Dunn gives you the unadulterated uncut experience through his eyes. "
— Brian, Amazon Reader's Review
" Terrific read! A Masterpiece!!Col Dunn delivers an unusually direct, truthful and intimate account of the responsibilities and challenges of command, marriage, fatherhood and life; especially those of a Senior Black Marine Officer and Dad. Remaining clear throughout this work are not only Ken’s leadership skills, but also his unique ability to incorporate them as an intricate part of his life in all areas of endeavor. Ken’s work is an intellectual, cognitive expression of life and command as it unfolds around him. This book will make you think. I marveled at how he motivated himself every day as he stove for perfection, effectiveness and success.Col Dunn’s leadership skills transcend those of just a Battalion Commander. He also bakes them into his roles as a husband and father. Proof of these shows in his 35+ year strong marriage, caring for his extended family, earning a PhD, and the exceptional success of his children. Remarkable achievements all.This book is not just for Marine Officers or Black Marine Officers. It is also for Officer’s wives and the children of Marine Officers. They all must know what their husbands and fathers endure, worry about and celebrate.A true leader is one who leads himself/herself when alone. Col Kenneth D. Dunn is a TRUE Leader in every sense. He represents that which is defined by the term MARINE! "
— John C. Bruno, Amazon Reader's Review
" From his Great, Great, Grandfather who served in the Civil War to Dunn's Rules that fill the final two pages of Camp LeJeune Command, Col Ken Dunn has provided useful and inspirational lessons on leadership and command that should be reflected upon by all who aspire to the challenge. Well done, Col...very well done! Your Shipmate, RADM S.M. Harris, USN (Retired)."
— S. Harris, Amazon Reader's Review
" KD has done it! He takes you inside his career and let's you see it page by page. You truly see every glorious step of the way. If you have been there it allows you to say, "Yeah, I know exactly what he means!" and if you didn't serve, it allows you an insight into what it takes to have served in the Marine Corps and you will appreciate all those who did serve so much more! Thank you, KD!!"
— AlechBacker, Amazon Reader's Review
" This book is about USMC Col (ret) Ken Dunn's two years as the Battalion Commander of 5/10 Artillery Battalion in Camp Lejeune, NC. I found it very easy to read based on his conversational style of writing. Although I have read many books on leadership throughout my military career, I was impressed with his willingness to reflect the ‘human nature’ side of command. His transparency about professional and personally life joys and challenges is captivating. Ken keeps you engaged from page to page as you learn more about his story. Though some will want to dismiss his personal accounts concerning the struggles of a minority Marine officer, the truth must be known and used as lessons learned in America's quest for discovering strength in diversity. The book's intended audience is service members; however military family members will appreciate the insights of the work/family balance struggles that commander’s face."
— B. Fam Amazon Reader's Review
Review by K Manis
Disclosure: This article is a personal endorsement of the professional reviewer. The BookWalker is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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Kenneth D. Dunn is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. Gaduafrom the U. S. Naval Academy in 1974, he was commissioned Second Lieutenant and served in the U. S. Marine Corps for 30 years, retiring in July 2004. He served as an artillery officer and commanded 5th Battalion, 10th Marines, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, 1993-95, and Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, Virginia, 1998-2000. From 2001-2003, he served as the Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Okinawa, Japan.
In retirement, Dr. Dunn has worked as a civilian analyst at Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps. He now serves in the Manpower Plans and Policy Division, Manpower, and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters, U. S. Marine Corps.
Dr. Dunn earned two master's degrees: one in Human Resources Management from Pepperdine University (1978), the other in National Security Strategy from the National Defense University (1996), as well as a Doctor of Education degree from Nova Southeastern University (2008). He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College (1987) and the National War College (1996). Dr. Dunn also served as an instructor at Amphibious Warfare School (1984-86) and as Professor of Military Strategy and Land Combat Systems, Industrial College of the Armed Forces, National Defense University (1996-98).
His present position is the Director, Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, which is an outreach effort to showcase Marine Corps Leadership to select, diverse colleges and universities in the United States. Leadership seminars have been conducted in Atlanta, St. Louis, Orlando, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Houston, Richmond, and Seattle. In 2012, Dr. Dunn began and continues to work as an Adjunct Professor, Marine Corps University, teaching Command and Staff College students. In 2018, Dr. Dunn developed an elective for Command and Staff College, "Marine Corps Great Leaders: Montford Point Forward." He subsequently prepared that same course for the College of Distance Education and Training in 2019 for on-line distribution.
He is a life member of the U. S. Naval Academy Alumni Association, the Marine Corps Association, the National Naval Officers Association, and the Montford Point Marine Association.
Dr. Dunn is married to the former Connie Brandford of Annapolis, Maryland. They have three children and two grandchildren, all of whom live in Northern Virginia.He enjoys reading, writing, American history, sports, coaching, and family-related activities. In the January 2006 edition of the Marine Corps Gazette and Marine Corps Total Force System: The Gold Standard in the June 2010 edition, he published an article, Predeployment Training Lessons.Dr. Dunn published his first book, Camp Lejeune Command: Commander's Notes 1992 – 1995, in May 2015.Dr. Dunn was inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame, Boys and Girls Clubs of America in May 2011.