"Why are they speaking Russian at an Army Base inside the US?" I thought to myself as I stood in in line to register my vehicle for base access to Sierra Army Depot. Two Russian speaking contract drivers waited as all the employees had priority. "This was a recession. Certainly American drivers can pick up hauls on and off the depot. Can somebody call security?" I said to myself on that bright early morning day on Monday, August 12, 2013.
The explanation the Depot employees provided me was that this is how they do things on the depot. They they asked me for my license, registration and proof of insurance. Then I went to my Newcomer brief.
|John Dingman supervises NSE (Non-Standard Equipment)|
|Dingman was the founding members of the |
Non-Standard Equipment Program.
The Inspector General reluctantly announced that they were conducting at least one investigations on the Depot. And only with lackluster flourish did he encourage us to report problems on the Depot. The official lecturers acknowledged the nepotism and the need to hire veterans to change the culture on the depot. I would later find out the need for veterans was lip service. You were a nobody if you weren't married, divorced, dating or related to someone on the Depot - the more the merrier. The two tribes - veterans against the family - would war. The family would always win. If you can't beat them join them.
I befriended a young woman named Elizabeth Barton who works as a packer at Organizational Clothing & Individual Equipment (OCIE).
|NSE Warehouse 301 is where Devon Biggs' thefts occurred.|
She related the following story about her supervisors. After telling the story, I repeatedly asked her to tell me the name of this supervisor. She never did. She was afraid - scared. I later found out that this man's name was John Dingman.
How do you go from a GS-03 to a GS-13 in ten years?
Answer: Get on the depot. Ride Harleys and deal cocaine.
John Dingman always wears long sleeve collared shirts and ties. Despite his handlebar biker mustache, Dingman keeps a very professional appearance. There are rumors that underneath that shirt are Nazi and White Supremacist tattoos. My eyes just about jumped out of my head when I heard White Supremacy. I was almost 40 years old at the time. I saw white-on-black racism only once in my life. It was something we did not tolerate in the Army. But I was in out of the Army and in Northern California. Two members of the Klu Klux Klan did burn a cross in front of a Catholic Church in Lassen County:
An investigation by the FBI revealed “the Peckerwoods are known as a white supremacist gang whose membership includes white youths with loose ties to white power gangs in and out of prison, in addition to skinhead gangs. Peckerwood gangs are largely located throughout the state of California,” according to the criminal complaint. (source: Lassen County Times)
|John Dingman has been working with NSE since 2003.|
Joe Henderson (Dingman's direct supervisor), Bruce Hamilton (the Mission Manager, Henderson's boss) and Don Olson (the top civilian on the depot) all agreed to give Dingman a month of administrative leave, to move and promote him after the incident. She told me that anecdote as a cautionary tale and that if I did not learn the lesson of that riddle I would not long last on Sierra.
|Since 2009, the Army has shipped over 40,000 |
containers of Non Standard Equipment to
John A. Dingman. (source: Lori McDonald)
My sources also report that Sierra Army Depot fired Dingman for time fraud and once for drugs only to re-hire him a month and a half later with henchman Archie Zapanta. Cronies Jason Tongs and Josh Chandler got scared straight and clean. Apparently Chandler afterward gained weight and looked more healthy.
My sources inside the depot say the Dingman and Zapanta are currently on Administrative Leave. Some say for time card fraud, others for being drunk on duty, others for reasons unknown. His neighbors report that he has been involved in a fight where he was beaten up very badly. They say his wife is also leaving him. It is not known if this exile is permanent or a temporary retreat.
|LTC Robert Slosson|
Sierra Army Depot