Donald L. Porter, born in Norfolk County, Virginia, in 1945, graduated from Norfolk State University in 1967. He also holds a Master of Arts from Webster University. Commissioned through the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, Porter turned down opportunities to play professional football, choosing instead to serve his country. As an infantry officer, he served as a platoon leader and company commander in the 3/506th Infantry Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (Airmobile), in South Vietnam. He also served in the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
His career as an Ordnance officer began with the completion of the Ordnance Officer Advanced Course in 1974, followed by a series of important assignments in the maintenance and logistics fields. He was materiel officer and company commander in the 19th Maintenance Battalion, 3rd Support Command, Germany. He served as executive officer of the 17th Maintenance Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas, and commanded the 71st Maintenance Battalion in Germany. e was Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff for Materiel in the 2nd Support Command in Germany, and would serve again in that command during Operation Desert Storm as Assistant Chief of Staff for Security, Plans, and Operations.
Colonel Porter also served at the Ordnance Center and School (OC&S) at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, where he was Director, Command and Staff Department, from 1991 to 1993, and Chief of Staff from 1994 to 1995. From 1995 to 1999, he served at Fort Bragg as Assistant Chief of Staff, G4, and Chief of Staff of the 1st Support Command, and then commanded the XVIII Airborne Corps Materiel Management Center. During Operation Uphold Democracy in Haiti, he served as Chief of Staff (Forward) of the Joint Logistics Support Command. In 1999, after thirty years of distinguished service, Colonel Porter retired.