Vet in the Fight: J.D. Zumwalt
Veterans represent an American strategic resource in these times of danger to the Republic, every bit as important as our Instruments of National Power … Diplomacy, Information, the Military and the Economy … DIME for short. To these we add a ‘V’ for Veterans, or DIME-V. Veterans are an untapped instrument of power, one with great potential to bring much needed Duty, Honor, Country and Competence to public office.
From time to time we’ll highlight the efforts of Vets in the Fight from your hometowns who still live by their military oaths, and who continue the mission to secure and sustain Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. They are our citizen soldier point of the spear.
Today we feature John D. Zumwalt Jr. (JD to his friends), who hails from Carthage, North Carolina. JD ran for NC state representative in 2016, and came dangerously close to defeating a four-term incumbent. JD hosts Zumwalt Zone, broadcast weekdays across the Sandhills of North Carolina on WEEB 990/FM 97.3 Radio.
JD retired from the US Army after 20 years. He spent three years as a Military Policeman with service in Viet Nam. During a 16 year break in service he was a Houston Police officer – Assigned to the Houston Tactical Squad – The predecessor to the modern day SWAT.
Between tours on active duty he also worked as a tugboat deckhand and pilot working the inter-coastal canal from South Texas to Mississippi, then serving as a firefighter at the Port of Houston – working his way up to Fireboat Pilot.
Returning to the Army in 1986 his military career resumed serving another seventeen years in Special Operations units, three years with the 75th Ranger Regiment, and seven years serving on ODAs while in 5th Special Forces Group. He attended and graduated from the “Q” course at the age of 40. His last seven years in the military were served in operations at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
After retiring, Zumwalt served six months on the first IED Field Team in Iraq, in 2003.
He was one of the original 7 members of the Improvised Explosive Device Task Force. This team morphed into the Joint IED Defeat Organization and later branched again into the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG). JD is a plank holder of that organization.
He continued to serve in the Asymmetric Warfare Group as a member of a Field Team and the Training Advisory Team, advising deploying military personnel on IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
He served as the Asymmetric Warfare Group’s liaison to all federal, state and agencies. He also served as the supervisor for SAG - composed of former federal, state, and municipal law enforcement agents tasked with identifying and mitigating enemy vulnerabilities and identifying asymmetric threats
His expertise includes Vehicle Borne IEDs, suicide bombers, roadside IEDs, coordinated IED attacks, and flammable liquid IEDs, based on personal experience gathered from Field Team on-site investigations. He spent years speaking at law enforcement seminars on IEDs and how they might affect the United States.
Like most members of the military he has deployed all over the world, including Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. His decorations include the CIB, Jumpmaster wings and HALO Wings as well as two Bronze stars – One with a V device for Valor.