1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

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42L5V
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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by 42L5V »

Funny you mention the exploding shit story. We burned shit with diesel in DS/DS - although we weren't able to drink and smoke shit, while burining shit. One dude, the Chaplian's assistant, used gasoline instead of diesel. It would have been funny, except the fire quickly found it's way to the can, creating a 5 gallon molotov cocktail ready to blow. Of course, he panicked and threw the can down and ran. The only thing that kept the can from becoming a grenade was that we kicked sand in it and covered the hole to deprive the oxygen.

Shit doesn't burn very well with diesel. Requires a lot of stirring... One of the truly unique smells known to mankind.
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al_2ndWolfhounds
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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

42L5V wrote:Funny you mention the exploding shit story. We burned shit with diesel in DS/DS - although we weren't able to drink and smoke shit, while burining shit. One dude, the Chaplian's assistant, used gasoline instead of diesel. It would have been funny, except the fire quickly found it's way to the can, creating a 5 gallon molotov cocktail ready to blow. Of course, he panicked and threw the can down and ran. The only thing that kept the can from becoming a grenade was that we kicked sand in it and covered the hole to deprive the oxygen.

Shit doesn't burn very well with diesel. Requires a lot of stirring... One of the truly unique smells known to mankind.
Now that you mention it I believe the the proper proportions for burning shit in Vietnam was one part kerosene, one part diesel to two parts shit.
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

I spent one year of my time at Ft Knox as a Basic Training Company Commander, some real strange things can happen and be observed when you have 240 individuals that 13 Drill sergeants are trying to mold into passable Basic Trainees.

During my very first cycle through one DI gets permission from the 1SG to talk to me and asked for the Top to come in too. With a very serious face he said he was expecting big trouble when we give the trainees there first overnight pass. 1SG chimes in and says it always happens you let stupid kids out for the first time they get a few beers into them and they think with their hand to hand training they can whip anybody.

DI says no it worse than that, its one of the trainees civilian occupation and he is from Louisville just up the road. I had to ask, What is so bad about what he did before he came into the Army? With a worried look on his face he says "he's a PIMP".

Ok, I had to bring the young man in and advise him what would not be allowed. All the way through he was yes sir, no sir agreeing with all my rules. He had to stay in the army or have a long conversation with a judge that was holding a decision over his head. He did ask if it was OK if the girls came on post to visit him. I told him if he graduated he could invite family and friends to the ceremony. He had a very exuberant, some what slutty but nice eye candy cheering section.

Hope this got a chuckle or two.
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

My 1st Battalion Commander in Vietnam was a good CO but was very self-righteous. It was not unusual for him to go on tirades especially when it came to STD's amongst the troops. The shit really hit the fan when nearly 90% of the officers and enlisted at the BN FSB ended up with a massive case of crabs. He was threatening every officer with Article 15's if they were so infested.

During a staff meeting our BN Surgeon tried to tell him that the toilet facilities we had were the cause. He explained that we were sitting on ammo crates that had holes cut out with no nice shiny smooth toilet seats, an ideal situation for transfer of the crawly little things. The CO didn't believe him, said if that was so why didn't he have them, Surgeon asked are you sure? (See last two paragraphs, I really think the Doc was enjoying this) He then told him that since the Commander had his own latrine that only staff officers used that it would only be a matter of time before one of them used one of the other latrines and passed it along through the staff's latrine.

We never did find out whether or not he ended up with them but I know several of his staff that did. Within two days the little critters had been passed on to our two other bases and we never heard another peep about that problem.

This biggest problem we had with this infestation was that if you weren't one of the first into the aid station for the crawly soap you ended up having to use kerosene. Hey, don't laugh it works.

By the way this is the same Surgeon I have talked about previously. He joined the Air Force with a 4 year Contract after medical school so he wouldn't get drafted for 2 years by the Army. Six months into his 4 year Air Force commitment he was detailed to the Army due to shortage of Doctors in the Army. He was a good Doc but had a real attitude, I think he enjoyed giving our CO a little shit.

The troops always thought it was funny that when treating them for jungle/swamp rot he would tell them to keep the affected area dry until it cleared. He would then apologize and tell them that he could not give them a medical profile to stay out of the swamps and rice paddies. Apparently in his first week in the Battalion he had given close to 70% of the grunt's profiles and had his ass 6 ways to Sunday and ordered that unless a part was about to fall off their would be no more profiles for jungle rot.
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

Its been a while so here is another.

All of you young officers need to really appreciate the professional NCOs that are there to "HELP" you along.

In an earlier post on this thread I regaled you with my arrival in Vietnam, here is the tale of being introduced to the NCOs of my new Rifle Platoon.
This is SFC Spain he is your Platoon Sergeant, this is SSG ______ your 1st Squad Leader, this is SSG ______ your 2nd Squad Leader and this is Sgt _____ your 3rd Squad Leader. (There was always a shortage of NCO' so we ran with three Squads each with a M-60 added into it.) The next statement out of my Company Commander was; they all have less than TWO days before their departure back to the States so you need to discuss with them who in the Platoon can best replace them, I have no NCO's to transfer into the Platoon. In my discussion with these four NCOs I learned that the best choice for my Platoon Sergeant would be....... SP4 Joe Peace, they also made recommendations of three other SP4s to be my three Squad Leaders. I then spent the next six months working with these fine young men in the key roles in of our Platoon. Before I was reassigned I managed to get Joe promoted to SSG and the three Squad Leaders to SGT. We went through a lot together and I would not trade them out for any others but I will admit that it would have been a lot easier on all of us if at least one of us had more experience. I was a 20 year old Rifle Platoon Leader with 2 years of service. All of my Non-Coms were 22 or under and all had less than 16 months of service.

So, any and all you of young Officers be thankful for and pay heed to those you are lucky enough to lead. I did and we saw our share of combat with no one KIA. I have to admit that the experience in Ranger School of being in the middle of shit and being told you are now the Patrol Leader figure out where you are and finish the mission did help.

Very few of us who served in Vietnam had the opportunity to either deploy or return with our units. We were replacements in a long line of replacements. This cost many people their lives.Within the current Army you will normally have the gift of training with and learning from each other before deployment. You are a Professional Army of Volunteers with a central core of leaders at all levels. I pray every night for all of you; praying that you are well led and that you will come home safe, for those of you who have come home safely I thank God and my thoughts and prayers are always there for those who didn't.
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by Jim »

Al's last post hit home. I was a SP4 with just over a year in the Army when I got to Viet-Nam. I was initially made a team leader, and shortly became a squad leader. I got promoted to SGT when I had seven months in-country (22 months in the army). Looking back, I was marginally effective -- but by comparison to my peers, not bad. Yeah, unit rotation is much more effective than individual replacement.
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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

In actuality only having my SP4's running things wasn't so bad. My platoon size usually ranged from a low of 13 to a high of 24 operational. The size made command and control a bit easier. No matter what our size it never affected the missions we were given. Most of our activities were platoon ops with a few company or multi-company thrown in occasionally.

One the most unusual platoon ops we had was during a joint American and Vietnamese Regular unit effort as part of the Viet-Namization of the War.. We had to link up with them and do a sweep along a side road from Highway One. Imagine my surprise when a whole Vietnamese Battalion showed up to do the sweep with us. During coordination with the Vietnamese Battalion Commander it was determined that he with his forces would take one side of the road and we would sweep on the other. That's right, he and his 400+ men on one side and me and my 14 or 15 on the other. My instructions to my platoon were short and to the point; if any firing starts on the other side they were to get down and stay down, if we were to initiate any combat they were to get to the ground before firing. During that op there were two fire fights, both on the other side of the road. Enemy killed or wounded...none found. South Vietnamese wounded...4. My guys never saw anything and no casualties. In our area of III Corps most roads were raised by two to three feet due to the rice paddies on either side and for passability during the Monsoon season. That little bit of road height and the rice paddy dikes provided the cover we needed.

When I reported back in to my CO he was as surprised as I was at the size of the Vietnamese force. After that our Battalion TOC was tasked to inquire the size of the force in future joint Ops. I thought that was already part of their responsibility and made the mistake of asking my Company Commander how in the hell could they had not thought that was part of their job? Unfortunately I didn't see my Battalion CO walking up behind me as I asked the question. Nothing was said at the time but two weeks later I had a new job; Liaison Officer to the District Chief with responsibility of coordinating all joint operations in the District. This is a good example of emphasizing a problem and then becoming part of the solution even if I didn't volunteer for it.

There were operations that we participated in with South Vietnamese forces that did go well. My general impression was that most of the soldiers wanted to perform but in many cases their leaders were politically connected and did not always lead well.
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

My Battalion AO was an area that was the closest point of Cambodia to Saigon. It was bordered on the west from the northern corner of the Angel's Wing to the southern corner. It extended from these two points almost directly east across the Vam Co Dong river. About 25% of our AO was on the west side of a river that was anywhere between 20 to 50 feet deep. We normally covered the west side of the river by air assault or amphibious operations with the Navy.

At times we actually had Patrol Bases on the west side of the river, they were all named Diamond ranging from I - IV. They were normally torn down and moved in the same day, not any easy task. On one particular evening we had one of our ambush patrols about 500 meters just east of the Cambodian Border. Sit-Reps were normal every hour until at a little after 0200 a whispered Sit-Rep came in "Be aware but not overly aware, someone is playing with our claymores" then off in the direction of the ambush patrol we hear several explosions and then a continuation of the Sit-Rep "not anymore...moving ambush". How is that for cool head? I have another funny story I will relate about that same SFC Platoon Sergeant in my next update.
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

As stated by me earlier in this thread my unit in Viet Nam had few career NCO's. One E-8 First Sergeant, one SFC Platoon Sergeant with all others being E5 or E6 Sergeants that had less than two years in service.

A few nights after the playing with Claymore situation on of my men came to get me; he had spotted motion in front of his bunker position. Using a starlight scope I saw a continuous flashing just the other side of a rice paddy dike to our front. It wasn't much of a tartet and we couldn't tell what it was. We had sustained a few attacks at that location over the last few weeks so I called upon that same Sergeant to come over to our position and take out the target. As a member of the Army Marksmanship Unit at Ft. Benning he had an issued M-14, glass beeded stock finely tuned and having its own scope system and Starlight. This took less than three minutes. As he was acquiring his sight picture the subject stood up putting his pants back up while a lady of the night was doing the same. The SFC looks up at me and says"it would have been an Ass shot,,I can still wing his ass and teach him a lesson". My answer was "no he has to be on point tomorrow ".

The young man who had been with the "Boom-Boom Girl" walked point for three days and was required to always be within sight range if his squad leader at all times or he could take a trip to LBJ. (Long Bihn Jail). He straightened out and gave up his night sojourns. I close as I can figure the angle of the shot he should have ended up with a horizontal crack to go with his vertical.

No one wanted to go to LBJ, they actually made small stones from larger stones there. The big problem with time in LBJ is that it did not count as part of your one year deployment; so if you got six months your one year tour became one normal year in addition to their jail time.
Last edited by al_2ndWolfhounds on May 10th, 2010, 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by K.Ingraham »

Al, this thread is brilliant. Some bits are humorous, some poignant and all worth reading and learning from.
Keep 'em up.
When you run out of actual experiences, start lying. :)
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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past.

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

K.Ingraham wrote:Al, this thread is brilliant. Some bits are humorous, some poignant and all worth reading and learning from.
Keep 'em up.
When you run out of actual experiences, start lying. :)
If I have to resort to fiction then I will have to keep a journal of what I wrote and when I wrote it...that won't work, with my luck I would run into someone who would ask a question about one of my stories and when I pulled out my journal of lies I would get nailed as a












POSER.



Much easier to keep it to my past, at least the parts I still remember. :D
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

As a young 2lt. there are many things you can do or not do that can land you in a whole lot of hurt. An officer is honorable, his word is his bond and so are his checks.

One bright sun shinny day at Ft. Benning I received word to report to my Company Commander. Upon reporting I was informed that I had bounced a check and to make matters worse I had bounced it at the officers club. I told my CO that was impossible I had more than enough money to cover all checks that I had written. He tells me that I can take it up with the Battalion Commander and I was to report to him immediately. Same thing happens in the BN CO' office and I am next to report to the Brigade Commander. To make this brief same thing happens another ass chewing and now I have to report to the Infantry School Commandant BG Sidney B Berry. When I get to his office the Adjutant introduces me in. While I am braced and getting my ass chewed again I am again accused of bouncing a check at the officers club and that I will be receiving an Article 15 and I better not plan a military career. Once again I explained that I had more than sufficient funds to cover all checks that I had written. He then handed me my bounced check and asked me to explain how it bounced if I indeed did have sufficient funds.

Looking at the check it was indeed stamped in red INSUFFICIENT FUNDS. I looked at it and turned it over and then told the General; Sir if you will again look at my check you will note that I bank with the First National Bank and if you will look at the reverse side you will also note that it is marked INSUFFICIENT FUNDS from the Fourth National Bank where I do not have an account.

While I was standing there he called the Officers Club and told them to reinstate me and that in the future they needed to verify insufficient checks more thoroughly in the future. He then apologized to me and I then had to go back through each step receiving apologies from each commander in turn. The next day my CO told me that a letter from the General had been placed in my 201 File to make sure that the little mishap did not reappear in my future.
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past

Post by merlyn »

It was the end of an 8-month ARTEP; and we were breaking camp
for the very last time. It had been raining (as usual); but we were
happily scrurrying around in our muddy quagmire. Then there came
the faint sounds of the Huey; getting closer and closer. Then there
it was; hovering into its LZ while throwing mud, water and other
debris all over us. No one (not even the Colonel) had any idea as to
what the Sam Hill was going on. Once on the ground, this ghost of
General George Patton steps form the Huey. I mean, this guy was
definitely having delusions of granduer. He was indeed a General,
complete with the trappings and finery. He strolled over to the
Colonel; and stood there slapping his gloved hand with his riding
crop (no horse?). He then says very loudly over the sound of the
rotor wash "Hell of a day for an exercise....hell of a day". The
Colonel replies "Yes, Sir....hell of a day". The General (we will
just go ahead and call him George) strolled back to the Huey,
muddy patton leather boots and all, got back on board; and was
just as quickly and mysteriously gone as he had come. The
Colonel looked around at us, and said "Does anyone know what
the hell that was all about?". We went on with loading our
deuce and a halfs as if nothing had ever happened. Go figure.
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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past

Post by IEDmagnet »

So, I have just read three pages of Shit typing, and wanted to share my Shitty story.

While I was in Iraq, third platoon of my company was commanded by a brand new "Butter Bar" from some ROTC in some well noted school. He was just like several newly minted Lieutenants I had served with, and thought he was above the BS and next in line for a living MOH. During all of our train up and pre-deployment briefs, the phrases don't eat and don't drink were passed around when speaking of anything that was Haji in origin. On one patrol the Lieutenant forgot the warning, and ate some Haji ice cream. Actually he let his whole patrol eat it. For the next week they all experienced what has lovingly been named "Saddam's revenge". But that is just where the story gets good.

The revenge is violent and quick. Two squads and a LT were only able to wear PT uniforms, cause it took too long to get ACU's down. Blue 6, the 3d Plt LT, got brave a few days into his experience and decided to go to the chow hall for food. As I sat in the dining area I saw him walk in. He walked straight through the take out line, and started toward the back door. As he walked through the crowded chowhall, you could see a look of panic hit him. You could tell the pressure was hitting him, cause his face was becoming more and more red. He almost made it out before it struck. Four or five steps from the door, he exploded like a premature suicide bomber. The poor LT was left standing in the middle of the chow hall with his insides running out of his PT shorts and down his leg.

From that point foward, we changed his call sign unofficially from Blue 6 to Shitstain 6....which stuck for the remainder of his deployment.
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Re: 1st of many humourous, odd. or strange things in my past

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

Radio call signs change on a regular basis for com-sec, the resulting call signs don't always work for those involved. My first company CO in Vietnam was from the deep south and when his new call sign Yankee 6 came about he proudly proclaimed I would rather be Son of a Bitch 6 than f______g Yankee 6. I led the first operation out of our patrol base and when I called in my first sit-rep I used his requested call sign of Son of a Bitch 6. His RTO picked up on my humor and gave the handset to the CO. We got away with this for about 6 days before someone at BN told the BN CO, he put a quick stop to it and reminded us that such conduct violated com-sec procedure and could be considered insubordinate. I later found out that he personally thought it was one of the funniest things he had run into for some time.

As a side note all of us have always referred to Radio Telephone Operators as RTOs in actuality they are RATELLOs. RTO is the official abbreviation for Rail Transport Officer. Rail Transport Officers have been around for a bit longer than Radio Telephone Operators, you would think that the military would bow to the accepted norm that has existed for so long. What am I thinking, I was talking about the military mindset.
RLTW

Active service 01/67-12/73
Ranger Class 10-68
2/27 Inf 25th Inf Div Vietnam 01/69-01/70

"In America, anybody can be president. That's one of the risks you take." - Adlai Stevenson (1900-1965)
“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.” – Joseph Heller, Catch-22

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