A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Lieutenant Colonel Dan Coombes was commissioned into the Marine Corps in June 1988, upon his graduation from Auburn University. After initial training, his first active duty assignment was with Marine Wing Communications Squadron 28, 2d Marine Aircraft Wing, serving as a platoon commander. He deployed to Southwest Asia from December 1990 to May 1991 in support of Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. In 1992, he was transferred to the 3d Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan, where he served as Communications Officer, 3d Combat Engineer Battalion. He was ordered to Marine Forces Reserve in New Orleans in 1993, and served as a Plans Officer, Aide-de-Camp, and Protocol Officer. He transferred to the Marine Corps Reserve in 1996.
As a reserve officer, he was assigned to 3d Battalion, 23d Marines for six years, serving as Communications Officer, Company Executive Officer, Company Commander and Assistant Operations Officer. In 2002 he was selected to attend the resident course at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. From 2003 to 2009, he served consecutive tours at Headquarters, Marine Corps. From 2009 to 2012, he was assigned to the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned and deployed to Afghanistan twice in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He joined the Marine Air Ground Task Force Staff Training Program in June 2013. He retired on June 1, 2015.
In civilian life, Lieutenant Colonel Coombes is the President and Founder of Connecting File, LLC, an executive recruiting firm located in Chattanooga. Connecting File provides full-service recruiting support for clients in the hospitality industry in eastern Tennessee, and for contractors supporting the Department of Defense worldwide. Previously, he was a Vice President with Leidos from 2003 to 2017, and a Program Manager with Lockheed Martin from 1997 to 2003.
Lieutenant Colonel Coombes is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, the Amphibious Warfare School, the Reserve Infantry Officer Course and the Communication Officers Course. His decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (2), Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medal (2), Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and various other service, campaign, and foreign awards. He was also a Green Belt-Instructor in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Business (Finance) – Magna Cum Laude from Auburn University, a Masters of Military Studies from Marine Corps University, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Maryland.
Lieutenant Colonel Coombes is engaged to Renee Martin of Chattanooga. He has one son, Harrison Livingston Joseph Coombes, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics at the University of Florida.
Lieutenant Colonel Coombes served as an officer in the Marines for 27 years, and for the last 18 years of that he was concurrently in the Reserves and managing multiple programs for two large business defense contractors. This work primarily involved recruiting and providing skilled, cleared personnel to various customers across the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community. In this role, he was responsible for all aspects of cost, schedule, and performance.
Connecting File, LLC, is a market partner with ResourceOne, International. ResourceOne has been a leader in the hospitality, retail and entertainment recruiting industry since 1998. In addition to working with hospitality clients, we provide outsourced recruiting support to small business defense contractors.
Like the modern battlefield, the current job market is full of chaos and disorder. To be successful, a recruiter must be a good leader. Recruiters should lead their candidates to positions for which they are qualified (your next great job), and which set them up for success in their career. They must also lead their clients to a strategy that satisfies their staffing needs (your next great hire). The key is to balance the needs of the company with the skills of the candidates available.
In the locker room after coaching the St. Louis Rams to a win in Super Bowl XXXIV, Dick Vermeil told his players and fellow coaches that the basic principles needed to win are to “surround yourself with good people, and work hard, and be unselfish, and care, and don’t be afraid to say ‘I love you’ and ‘I appreciate it.’” That is every bit as true for all business leaders, especially recruiters.
In every leadership role I have held, I have been surrounded by good people. Any success I have enjoyed along the way has been the result of hard work, both by me and, even more so, by those around me, including employees, supporting staff, and now job candidates.