C/E Platoon

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CommoDaddy
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C/E Platoon

Post by CommoDaddy »

Hello to all Rangers'

Im looking for a little intel on the C&E platoon in the regiment. Upon successfully graduating from RASP2 I was emailed and told which BN I would be assigned to as well as being in the C&E platoon. Can anyone give me some insight on what a commo guy is doing in a C/E plt (what their battle rhythm is like compared to the rest of the BN) and also on if I will still be conducting the same training that the regiment does in the line platoons?

Thanks in advance.

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cams
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by cams »

Take this info with a grain of salt because its antique by now and the meanest, toughest SOB of a Commo Sgt has since retired, but you will know every single piece of electronic equipment inside and out. How to use it, how to clean it thoroughly, how to adapt it to different environments and waterproof it, how to issue it to line teams, how to give classes with no notice at all on every and any comms gear you have in C/E and also how to repair most of it if possible in the field and make it work again.

You'll learn how to make antennas by measuring frequencies and using stereo speaker wire and plastic spoons for conductors. Always take people's plastic spoons after they've eaten and save them in your ruck. You'll need them. How to shoot elevation and azimuth to get good splash with a passing satellite, preload your compass for azimuth beforehand so your not trying to do it in the dark on a patrol with only a 15min time window to find your satellite. (this one got me a good whopping across the head with an old metal compass swung by its cord-lesson learned)

You'll carry a ruck that weighs over 100lbs regularly. Spare batteries, spare cables, spare handmikes, secure devices, etc. all need to be waterproofed, as well as the normal SOP for ruck packing list.

It sucks jumping with a ruck full of radio, don't forget your lowering line, that shit does not feel good when you burn in and your ruck is still on your legs.

You'll be sent out and assigned to line company's for their use whenever they need you, be prepared to get your balls busted by them until you prove yourself to them each and every time that you can hang. Again. Soft skill MOS.

If they can't identify the officers in your patrol they'll look for you and shoot at you first, always hide your antenna. If your officer is a dick, always salute him repeatedly in the field to even the playing ground with him. He'll start treating you better.

You'll hump that giant green (or tan now) tick on your back that sucks the life out of you daily, and because you're a soft skill MOS your Plt or Section Sgt should push you harder than anyone else in Batt just to prove a point.

Technology changes so fast that you'll think this will help lead to a good job when you get out, but when it finally happens you realize civilians don't use Satcom radios and Prick 77's with secure devices, and that you know nothing about civilian shit. Become a fireman when that happens.

Most of all, have fun. The pain will end soon enough.
2/75 HHC C/E 89-92
Rio Hato/AO Diaz CCT/Commo

"It is a heavy thing, to see a Father so strong in life, unable to rise."

"A great civilization is not conquered from without
until it has destroyed itself from within." -W. Durant

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Lunch
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by Lunch »

cams wrote:Take this info with a grain of salt because its antique by now and the meanest, toughest SOB of a Commo Sgt has since retired, but you will know every single piece of electronic equipment inside and out. How to use it, how to clean it thoroughly, how to adapt it to different environments and waterproof it, how to issue it to line teams, how to give classes with no notice at all on every and any comms gear you have in C/E and also how to repair most of it if possible in the field and make it work again.

You'll learn how to make antennas by measuring frequencies and using stereo speaker wire and plastic spoons for conductors. Always take people's plastic spoons after they've eaten and save them in your ruck. You'll need them. How to shoot elevation and azimuth to get good splash with a passing satellite, preload your compass for azimuth beforehand so your not trying to do it in the dark on a patrol with only a 15min time window to find your satellite. (this one got me a good whopping across the head with an old metal compass swung by its cord-lesson learned)

You'll carry a ruck that weighs over 100lbs regularly. Spare batteries, spare cables, spare handmikes, secure devices, etc. all need to be waterproofed, as well as the normal SOP for ruck packing list.

It sucks jumping with a ruck full of radio, don't forget your lowering line, that shit does not feel good when you burn in and your ruck is still on your legs.

You'll be sent out and assigned to line company's for their use whenever they need you, be prepared to get your balls busted by them until you prove yourself to them each and every time that you can hang. Again. Soft skill MOS.

If they can't identify the officers in your patrol they'll look for you and shoot at you first, always hide your antenna. If your officer is a dick, always salute him repeatedly in the field to even the playing ground with him. He'll start treating you better.

You'll hump that giant green (or tan now) tick on your back that sucks the life out of you daily, and because you're a soft skill MOS your Plt or Section Sgt should push you harder than anyone else in Batt just to prove a point.

Technology changes so fast that you'll think this will help lead to a good job when you get out, but when it finally happens you realize civilians don't use Satcom radios and Prick 77's with secure devices, and that you know nothing about civilian shit. Become a fireman when that happens.

Most of all, have fun. The pain will end soon enough.
And a couple other commo-related truths:

High tech, light weight equipment means you can carry more of it.
Take every stupid accessory, adapter, etc you have every time. The one time you decided to leave it will be the one time you need it.
Each device will require its own unique battery (my God I hope this has changed)
Any device you have to carry will be just a little too big, a little to small, or shaped in such a way that there is no good way to pack it.
Commo is f'ing voodoo.
Nobody cares how many times you made good commo, you will be judged by the contact you missed.

Note to Cams: PRC-77? You forgot to mention keeping your hatched scoured and powder dry. YOU ARE OLD. Not dinosaur old, but on the watch list.
Aco 3/75 1988-1990
HHC 2/11 1990-1992
Aco 2/3 SFG(A), ODA 345,346 1993-1996
HSC 2/3 SFG(A) CE 1996-1997

My pain is self-chosen

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cams
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by cams »

:lol: Thanks Lunch. True words you speak.

I know, it's hard to believe I'm still so goddamned young looking and handsome isn't it?

Pricks and KY's. Who named this shit?


Anyone know if they still use those cardboard covered lithium batteries anymore? The ones that love to explode when they get wet in your ruck.

Waterproofing is/was key in the Stone Age.
2/75 HHC C/E 89-92
Rio Hato/AO Diaz CCT/Commo

"It is a heavy thing, to see a Father so strong in life, unable to rise."

"A great civilization is not conquered from without
until it has destroyed itself from within." -W. Durant

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Lunch
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by Lunch »

cams wrote::lol: Thanks Lunch. True words you speak.

I know, it's hard to believe I'm still so goddamned young looking and handsome isn't it?

Pricks and KY's. Who named this shit?


Anyone know if they still use those cardboard covered lithium batteries anymore? The ones that love to explode when they get wet in your ruck.

Waterproofing is/was key in the Stone Age.
I concure: it is hard to believe you are young looking and handsome.

Another commo-truth for you Commo Daddy; or maybe more of a personal opinion: I have no idea whatsoever about the equipment being used these days, but if you are ever faced with putting together wire antennas for long-range HF, I am a strong believer in keeping things simple. Find a simple, reliable build that works for you and practice to the point that you can do it alone, blindfolded, in a hurricane, with ninja-like stealth. Be skilled in other configurations just in case you ever anger the voodoo spirits or because the operational environment demands one setup vs. another, but if you can make commo on a simple dipole every single time, then do it every single time.
Aco 3/75 1988-1990
HHC 2/11 1990-1992
Aco 2/3 SFG(A), ODA 345,346 1993-1996
HSC 2/3 SFG(A) CE 1996-1997

My pain is self-chosen

RSOVRanger
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by RSOVRanger »

All of what has been said, while dated in some aspects(ya'll fuckin PRC-77 using silverbacks) is still a reality.

I was NOT COMMO. I was an Infantryman that due to either being liked/disliked/appearing smart, got assigned to be the RTO for my platoon, and took it to heart especially with a team leader who had been in LRS before coming to Regiment having a "heart to heart" with me regarding the importance/risk/reality of having that radio on my back. Once I was in HHC, I got to see even more what the commo plt was doing as I (due to having been a decent RTO) was the radio guy for the Bn Aid Station as well.

The only real jobs for Privates coming into Regiment in Commo are IN the HHC comms section. You MIGHT get lucky if there's a junior slot in a line company, because you'll have a Tabbed Commo NCO who's in charge of the entire commo shop for that company. You'll have your own personal mentor, instructor, and as a private, worst nightmare, rolled up into one, should you get lucky and get shot down to a line company. In the commo platoon? You're in charge of making commo, maintaining commo, and issuing/receiving commo gear as well as just "electronic devices" to all the people that have to have it. This includes night vision equipment and other electronic devices.

What you'll play with in Regiment is typically pretty top of the line and well maintained gear. We had 117D/F's before the rest of the army. We had 119E's and 148/152's before the rest of the army. You'll run so many drills you'll be filling and programming radios while you're dreaming. It's a good thing, though.

You will be doing the commo portion of what the headquarters elements do. You might be assigned to different things. You won't be doing everything the line guys do. You WILL do alot of what the line guys do, if you get assigned to a line company as a junior commo dude at some point, or you hang/get your shit/get a company commo shop. The Commo platoon basically has 2 jobs. Commo at the Bn level as part of TOC's etc, and maintenance of all of the gear. You will work, and learn to work quickly because the sooner you get that shit up and running the better. The BC/Tocs/ETC should not be waiting on you in order to talk to anyone, and you'll learn the usual order of things with regards to being able to anticipate what needs to happen next so you can already have it done.

Congratulations on earning your Beret... now, earn your continuing position in Regiment through rapid learning and positive performance. Learn your REAL job now.
Aco & HHC 3/75 May98-Apr04
Aco 4/23 INF Apr04-Jun06

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Sleepy Doc
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by Sleepy Doc »

One of the positives about being in the Commo section is you get to play with all the latest & greatest toys that come down the line, shit that civilians don't have yet. 5 years before I saw one on the civilian market, our boys were fucking around with what was essentially a blackberry with a sliding keyboard. (Remember, this was a time when the "flip phone" cell was high tech.) They also had a scanner that could pick up radio traffic from portable phones, and more than a few times heard some conversations that would have led to a few divorces.

Shitty, ass-breaking work, but it better than being in a plain-vanilla unit doing the same bullshit..
B Co 3/75 '95-'99
4th RTB '00-'01

"ahh, Daniel-san.. When balance good, Karate good...everything good!.." K. Miyagi

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Jim
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by Jim »

Thanks to everyone for once again reminding me how old I am. I carried a PRC-25 in Viet-Nam.
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Lefty
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by Lefty »

Jim wrote:Thanks to everyone for once again reminding me how old I am. I carried a PRC-25 in Viet-Nam.
As did we all, plus the extra battery. Hard to keep water out of the handset during the monsoon and in deep water crossings. Baggies/shrinkwrap you say? Good luck finding those in-country. Even tried the embassy supermarket in Saigon once (off limits to GIs of course, but I sweet talked some staffer's wife to try for me. No luck.) Wound up getting them sent by my folks in the states.

Also humped a 292 antenna in its canvas bag on one memorable mission. My RTO and I tried spelling each other with it, but ended up carrying it together like a stretcher. Of course, the mission changed after the second day and the 292 was no longer needed, but........we had to carry it anyway until we were extracted.

Hey, at least we didn't have to carry those big old hand crank generator things they used in WWII.
RLTW
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al_2ndWolfhounds
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

Jim wrote:Thanks to everyone for once again reminding me how old I am. I carried a PRC-25 in Viet-Nam.
I received my initial commo training on the old series radios that preceded the PRC-25. Tuning those radios dialing in the zero beat was a hoot.
RLTW

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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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Jim
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by Jim »

al_2ndWolfhounds wrote:
Jim wrote:Thanks to everyone for once again reminding me how old I am. I carried a PRC-25 in Viet-Nam.
I received my initial commo training on the old series radios that preceded the PRC-25. Tuning those radios dialing in the zero beat was a hoot.
You mean the PRC-10?
http://olive-drab.com/od_electronics_anprc10.php
Ranger Class 13-71
Advisor, VN 66-68 69-70
42d Vn Ranger Battalion 1969-1970
Trainer, El Salvador 86-87
Advisor, Saudi Arabian National Guard 91, 93-94
75th RRA Life Member #867

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al_2ndWolfhounds
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Re: C/E Platoon

Post by al_2ndWolfhounds »

Jim wrote:
al_2ndWolfhounds wrote:
Jim wrote:Thanks to everyone for once again reminding me how old I am. I carried a PRC-25 in Viet-Nam.
I received my initial commo training on the old series radios that preceded the PRC-25. Tuning those radios dialing in the zero beat was a hoot.
You mean the PRC-10?
http://olive-drab.com/od_electronics_anprc10.php
I was an enlisted tread head, we trained on the AN/VRC models. I don't remember the model numbers. You know how the army operates; I trained in basic with the M-14 and never used one again, Armor AIT trained with old vehicular mounted radios and never saw another one. After AIT I was assigned an M-16 and used the PRC-25.
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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