Leo Louis Dunson Jr. (SGT Dunson) born July 2, 1985, in Oakland, CA is an American Recording Artist, Song Writer, and a U.S. Army Iraq Combat Veteran. He has recorded 7 albums under the name SGT Dunson : Soldier Music, To Hell and Back, American Soldier, War on the Home Front, God Bless America, From Boots to Books, and Life after the Military. His experiences in the military has primarily shaped the messages behind a significant amount of the music he’s recorded. Leo Dunson has received national media attention featured on CNN, Fox News, Huffington Post, Associated Press and others news media outlets for using his talents in recording music to help him coupe with PTSD rather than seeking traditional therapy.
Dunson went to basic training at Fort Benning, Georgia in September 2003 joining the U.S. Army Infantry. Basic Combat Training (BCT) consist of several weeks of intense training designed to hone your skills; teach you new skills, optimize your physical and mental performance. It will prepare you mentally, physically, and emotionally to be the best that you can be. After basic training (BCT) for Dunson’s MOS, he explained, Basic Training and AIT was all put together so you complete one when you complete the other(OUST). He continued saying that (AIT) Advanced Individual training briefly taught him what it would be like to be an infantry man. They briefly covered room clearing techniques (MOUT), a few Battle drills, individual Movements, a couple formations and a few more briefly covered Infantry tactics. After AIT he was off to his Duty Station in Fort Wainwright, Alaska. Where he was placed in the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 1st Battalion 17th Infantry Regiment, Bravo Company, 1st Platoon, 3rd Squad, Bravo Team. Upon his arrival to Wainwright, the unit was already aware of their soon departure to Iraq and had started to commence training for that purpose. Dunson trained with his unit for a year and a half, before being deployed to Iraq in August 2005. The 172nd Stryker Brigade along with Dunson was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The unit deployed to Mosul, Iraq. Duties of the unit during deployment included numerous patrol operations, searches for weapons caches, and counterinsurgency operations. Dunson was promoted to Sergeant in Country effective date 1 July 2006. The 172nd Stryker Brigade along with Dunson’s tour was to have ended on 27 July 2006, but the U.S. Army unexpectedly extended the deployment until the end of November 2006. During the extension, the unit was sent to Baghdad to quell growing sectarian violence concerns. The infamous extension of the deployment had happened after some of the units of the Brigade were already touched down at their home base of Fort Wainwright, AK, forcing them to fly back to staging areas in Iraq. The extension occurred after the unit’s regular 12-month tour was complete, making the deployment last for a total of 16 months. As a result of the unit’s action in Iraq, the brigade was awarded the Valorous Unit Award. The citation was signed by General George W. Casey, Jr. Dunson re-enlisted in Iraq completing his first full term of service. He also attended the Warrior Leader Course (WLC) previously called Professional Leadership Development Course (PLDC) in Fort Richardson, Alaska in September 2007. Dunson discharged out of the Military effective April 2008 Under Honorable Conditions.
Awards and Decorations:
Medals and ribbons:
- Army Commendation Medal
- Army Achievement Medal
- Army Good Conduct Medal
- National Defense Service Medal
- Iraq Campaign Medal
- Global War on Terrorism Service Medal
- NCO Professional Development Ribbon
- Army Service Ribbon
- Army Overseas Service Ribbon