The Dorchester Heritage Center invites residents to learn more about local veterans such as retired Army Lt. Col. Harriet Holman who, in addition to her duties on the Dorchester County Council, serves on the Board of Trustees of the Dorchester Heritage Center.
Born in Mobile, Alabama, after graduation from high school, Holman attended Wiley College, in Marshall Texas, when she decided to join the military following the footsteps of her father and older brothers.
Holman started her military career in August 1980. Her first duty station was Ft. Campbell, Kentucky, with the 101st Airborne Division, where she was assigned to work as a still photographer.
After leaving the Army, she went back to college and received a political science degree from Jackson State University. She graduated cum laude and was in the top 10 percent of her ROTC class. After graduation she re-entered the Army as a second lieutenant with the Adjutant General Corps.
She was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas in the 3rd Signal Brigade, 3 Fin Corp, and the 546th PSB, as a Detachment Commander. From there she was deployed to Somalia. Later assignments included Korea as the Strength Manger Officer, Ft Irwin, Ca as the Installation Adjutant General and the Assistant Chief of Staff. From California she found herself assigned to Ft Gillem, Georgia as a Personnel and Readiness Commander to the Reserve. As the Commander of the Atlanta Military Entrance Processing Station she distinguished herself by processing more than 23,500 Medical examination applicants and more than 35,300 Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery tests.
At Ft McPherson, Georgia, Holman was assigned as the Installation Personnel Chief. There she was handpicked to serve as the Repatriation and Family Affairs officer in Washington, DC. “This last assignment was one of the most prestigious assignments I had the honor to serve as we continued to provide information to family members of servicemembers that did not come home from all wars past” Holman said. “We were committed to leaving no man behind”.
The trajectory of this assignment quickly changed as the United States transitioned from peace time to war time with the tragedy of 9/11. With this tragic event, all individuals on the plane and the Pentagon were deemed missing in action, which called for Holman to be the focal point for the Army for all individuals missing at the Pentagon during this event. Holman worked 60 consecutive days with almost double the workload to coordinate relief from a variety of non-government agencies and delivered time-sensitive information to the Casualty Assistant Officer’s (CAO) for the families benefit. She worked in conjunction with mortuary affairs and the DNA lab to ensure that all individuals killed within the Pentagon attack were identified and received proper burial.
As the war progressed, Holman also worked with the Prisoners of War in 2003. At the beginning of the war, Holman worked with Operation Iraqi Freedom to fully manage the myriad casualty assistance and personnel actions for 20 soldiers, who whereabouts were unknown in the early beginnings of war. In this new theater of operation, Holman devised the operation plan and formulated procedures to manage MIA/POW during the war. With Holman’s help, working with different agencies, each prisoner of war was able to return to the United States soil safely to Fort Hood, Texas.
Holman’s many military awards include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal (6th award), Army Commendation Medal (3rd award), Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal (2nd) Army Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korean Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd award).
Holman retired from the United States Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. Following retirement from the United States Army, Holman moved to Reevesville, SC and continued her matriculation at Claflin University and earned her master’s in business administration. She is an active member of Shady Grove United Methodist Church. She has also served as the St. George Rotary Club President from 2016-2017 and an active member of the local DAV chapter. She is also a part of the Advisory Board of McDougall Correctional Institution and the Veteran’s Unit, supporter of the Alzheimer’s Family Support Services. Holman also volunteers with the DADS Program with Dorchester School District 4 Schools and has been a past chairman of Town of St. George Christmas Parade Committee. She is also the founder and sponsor of Annual Veterans’ Day Dinner and Celebration for Dorchester County since 2016.
Currently, Holman serves as the councilwoman for Dorchester County Council District 1. She said she truly believes that no circumstance can stop someone from making a positive difference through service.
It is the Dorchester Heritage Center’s great fortune to have Holman Holman also on its Board of Trustees and we thank her for her service.
About this series
The Dorchester Heritage Center opened its Veteran’s Exhibit on Memorial Day 2018.
That exhibit is dedicated in honor of all our local veterans, especially those who gave their lives in the service our country.
If you have a story to share regarding any local veterans, please contact us so we may document and preserve it for future.
The Dorchester Heritage Center is located at 101 Ridge St., St. George, SC 29477. Contact the center at 843-931- 1021.