The Southwestern Vermont Highland Games Committee is pleased to announce it has chosen Command Sergeant Major Vernon W. Dingman, III (US Army, Retired), as "Chieftain of the Games," to be held in East Dorset, Vermont May 15, 2004. CSM Dingman is the Commander of Liberty Post #1776, Scottish-American Military Society (SAMS) and also serves as the Northeast Region Councilor for the SAMS national organization executive council. The Scottish-American Military Society is a nationally chartered non-profit veterans organization, dedicated to the preservation and promotion of both Scottish and American Armed Forces customs and traditions.

Sergeant Major Dingman, known to most as "Vern" along with his wife Cathy, who has been a long time convener for Clan Donald, has four decades of US Army Service, and has served the Scottish heritage community throughout the northeast for three decades. Vern is probably best known for his role in organizing clans participation and serving as Color Guard for opening ceremonies at the vast majority of highland games throughout the northeast.

It is an honor for the Southwestern Vermont Highland Games to recognize Sergeant Major Dingman for his four decades of military service to his country, and decades of service to the Scottish heritage community.