Brig. Gen. Lisa Doumont ’95, a senior ranking officer in the U.S. Armed Forces, holds an associate in nursing from Shenandoah and is in her second year of study in the university’s organizational leadership doctoral program. In addition to her course load, Doumont serves as the assistant surgeon general for mobilization readiness and reserve affairs with the Office of the Surgeon General in Falls Church, Virginia, and she is dual-hatted as the deputy commanding general with the Army Reserve Medical Command in Tampa, Florida. In her civilian life, Doumont most recently worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Winchester, Virginia.
A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Doumont lost her father at a young age. Despite this tragedy, she gained inspiration from her mother, who returned to nursing school while raising a family as a single parent. “In life you can’t really say much after that point,” said Doumont. “When your mother decides to go back to nursing school at 52, you have no excuse to not do something placed in front of you.” The “can-do” attitude Doumont learned from her mother is something she has applied to her educational and career pursuits.
Upon graduating from Old Dominion University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps, Doumont received a regular Army commission as a second lieutenant in the medical service corps. She served in various leadership and staff positions until joining the United States Army Reserve in 1993. Joining the reserves allowed Doumont to continue serving in the Army while having the flexibility to pursue a civilian career and raise a family. Besides the hardship of having to be away from family at times, Doumont considers her career in the Army a succession of opportunities.
One such opportunity came in 2014, while Doumont was serving as medical commander in Kuwait. While there, building tensions between the U.S. and the terrorist organization ISIS prompted the U.S. to re-enter Iraq. Due to her close proximity to the conflict and experience rendering similar services in Iraq in 2011, Doumont had the opportunity to lead the health system efforts.
“I was sitting in Kuwait, and then all this stuff happens, and I got to go back into Iraq and establish the health service support footprint,” she said. “I mean that is luck. Who gets to do that? I get to say that I re-established joint health service in Iraq.”
Doumont attributes her success to a combination of luck and constant preparation. “Part of the reason I am here today is because of luck,” she said. “You never know when opportunities are coming, so you have to be ready.”
Although Doumont attributes some of her success to luck, another huge factor is having the desire and discipline to be as ready as possible for the role you are playing. When Doumont was presented with the opportunity to attend Shenandoah and work toward a doctorate in organizational leadership, she had no excuse to not take advantage of the opportunity.
“If you have the opportunity to better yourself, then that is it…a doctorate in organizational leadership makes me better at what I am doing in the Army right now.”
Doumont’s advice to people considering service in the military is to “do it now, do it in the Army and do it while you are young, because you don’t get to go back.” Unlike other career paths, individuals considering careers in the military have a limited window of eligibility. Options like the reserves allow individuals to serve, but to also maintain a civilian career and family. Doumont’s second piece of advice is to be prepared, whether that is through furthering education or experience, for where you want the future to take you. “You never know when luck will offer you opportunities, so you have to be ready,” she said.
Doumont and her husband of 27 years, Joe, have three sons: 1st Lt. Patrick Doumont (USA), 1st Lt. Nicholas Doumont (USAF) and 2nd Lt. Andrew Doumont (USA). When not busy with the Army, Doumont’s family keeps her on her toes. In the coming year Nicholas and his wife are expecting Doumont’s first grandchild, and Patrick and Andrew are both engaged to be married.