Serving in the military was something that Command Sgt. Maj. Clark Dimery Sr. had wanted to do since childhood.
Perhaps it was his great-great-grandfather, William Shields, who led him to his 30-year career.
"When I saw the photo, my chest was bursting with pride. I was continuing the legacy of serving my country," said Command Sgt. Maj. Dimery, Fort Gordon's garrison command sergeant major, who recently learned of his great-great-grandfather's military career.
While attending a family reunion in Texas this summer, Command Sgt. Maj. Dimery met a historian for the Fort Clark Historical Society in Brackettville, who sought out family members and told them about their ancestors.
Shields served with a unit called the Detachment of Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts (today known as the Black Seminole Scouts) from January 1887 to September 1908.
The unit arrived at Fort Clark around 1870 and was disbanded in 1914. The scouts fought alongside members of the 9th Calvary, 10th Calvary, 24th Infantry and 25th Infantry, also known as Buffalo Soldiers.
For about a decade, the unit was under the command of Lt. John L. Bullis of the 24th Infantry. He later became a general.
"The Seminole-Negro Indian Scouts fought valiantly for the United States and were one of the toughest units in the Army. They were selected for their frontier tracking skills, superior marksmanship and first-rate horsemanship," according to a history page on the Texas Parks and Wildlife Web site, www.twpd.state.tx.us. "They were honest, tough, daring, excellent hunters, splendid fighters and a highly mobile strike force. In a time of wild and untamed frontiers, the Seminole Scouts earned an unprecedented reputation for bravery and impressive frontier combat."
Four of the scouts received the Medal of Honor.