FORT LEE, Va. -- Name: Larry Watson

Hometown: Chattahoochee, Fla.

Length of federal service: Retired in 2003 as a colonel in the Army. Has worked at Fort Lee for 19 years and in his current position for 11 years.

Job title: Course director for the Logistics Assistance Program, Army Logistics University

Job duties: “I make coordination with Army Material Command and all of the Life Cycle Management entities to ensure their personnel who are assigned to the program are up-to-date on policies, emerging doctrine and any new elements that need to be fed into the operational force that will assist them in achieving readiness. I also organize two courses – an operational one that gives the knowledge, skills and ability to logistics assistance representatives, and a senior manager course that indoctrinates new leaders into the competencies needed to lead those individuals.”

What did you do in the military? “I was a quartermaster officer. I led petroleum operations in all of the major theaters, throughout CONUS from the East-to-West Coast, Korea, Germany, and I had a culminating assignment in Italy. After that, I came to CASCOM where I served as a TRADOC system manager, building the Army from its analog systems into digital processes and applications.”

What do you love most about your job? “Being able to make a difference between the very top where policy, procedures, guidance and emerging trends are being shaped to the worker levels where the application is taking place.”

What do you consider your greatest achievement? “Being a good father. I have four children and three grandchildren.”

Do you volunteer? “There are a lot of organizations in this area that support people, students and military – current and former. I’ve served as vice president of the Military Officers Association of America, and on its scholarship board through which hundreds of thousands of dollars have been given to children in military families. I’ve served as a leadership mentor for junior ROTC programs at schools in several surrounding counties and cities. I’m president of a motorcycle ministry that is about encouraging men to be men and not just stereotypical males. I also serve as an ombudsman for individuals being rehabilitated, helping them with writing, preparing resumes and life training. At Fort Lee, I’m a vice president of the federal employees’ union.”

Why do you volunteer? “It’s needed. There’s a saying that goes something like ‘it is a true mentor who plants a seed in the heat of life that will grow a tree under which he may never enjoy the shade.’ That means, I see the need. I may not benefit from it personally, but someone else may benefit from the enduring lesson or value of what gets passed on”

Were you surprised that you were nominated and earned one of the awards from the Civilian Welfare Fund for your volunteering? “I am a behind-the-scenes kind of guy. I like to say I’m in the intellectual witness protection program. I had someone asking me about the different volunteer stuff because they knew me as a minister and Sunday school teacher and they said ‘don’t you think you should be recognized?’ I told them I don’t do it for recognition, I do it because I enjoy it and it doesn’t interrupt my hobbies, which are watching Jeopardy and sleeping. I gave them a rundown and they used it for the submission.”

Define what you mean by intellectual witness protection? “I’m not one of those O-6s you see labeling their walls so everyone recognizes their authority. I like being ordinary. It lets me be a regular person because when you start attaching titles to people, it starts to build invisible barriers not created by yourself, but by people’s blanket expectations of what the title is. I would rather be considered as my who and not my what.”

Where would you most like to live? “In my hometown. I’m headed back that way. I’ve bought 6.8 acres of land. It’s on the very outskirts of town. The closest fire hydrant is over a mile away, but I don’t care about that. It’s a nice piece of land. That’s going to be my retirement. I don’t see myself as static, but I’ve always been anchored to my hometown.”

Do you have any pet peeves? “People looking for an argument and not a conversation. I don’t like arguments. I have a very strong belief base, but I don’t argue.”

Which historical figure do you appreciate or look to for guidance? “Truth be told, it’s people who impacted my life personally. I can look to historical figures like Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr. and others, but when I seek comfort for getting through things, I look to my mother and older brother. My brother has passed. He was in the military. I idolized him. When I was by myself at a younger age and struggling through life’s decision path, I was kind of like Robin in thinking what would my brother do and how would it reflect on my mother? They were the two guiding posts.”

What is your greatest extravagance? “Motorcycle riding and Jeopardy. I don’t talk to my grandchildren between 7:25-8:05 p.m. so I can put my mind into Jeopardy and then tell (my Amazon) Alexa ‘Let’s Play Jeopardy’ and respond to the six questions she gives.”

What do you expect from your leaders? “Honesty and courage. Honesty because it lets me know how I have to perform within the organization. Don’t give me the impression the ship is going to float when it is taking on too much water. Beyond that, they must have the courage to look at me and tell me if I’m performing right or wrong.”

What is something people would be surprised to know about you? “That I’m a poet and romantic.”

What are your future aspirations? “I would like to use my talents for the betterment of the world. In today’s environment, you meet (people) who have given up and think it won’t be any better. They lose hope or they just don’t care. I would like to be somewhere in between to restore the hope and get individuals to see the strength in themselves. A lot of individuals are content with ‘it’s never going to get better, it’s always been like this.’ I always say that everything is impossible until somebody does it. Be that somebody who makes the impossible ordinary.”