Time in the Army and the...505PIR

" Duty then is the most sublime word in the English language.  You should do your duty in all things.  You can never do more; you should never wish to do less." ~ Robert E. Lee

I loved the Army.  Sure, there were times when it sucked, like when it's 100 degrees on Green Ramp, and you're packed into a C130 like a sardine, while needing to take a leak, and with some guy's e-tool is digging into your leg, but, hitting the silk twenty minutes later, you could feel how alive you were.  I met and served with the best people in the world while I was in the Army.

I joined the Army on the Delayed Entry Program, reporting to Ft. Jackson SC in January, 1976.  I turned 23 while I was there.  Advanced Infantry Training was at Ft. Polk LA, and I went immediately to Basic Jump at Ft. Benning GA after that.

I reported to Charlie Company, 2nd Battalion, 505th Infantry, 82nd Airborne that June.  I was assigned as a riflemen and Dragon gunner in 3rd Platoon and as the Company Commander's Driver.  Later I became the Unit Armorer and a team leader in that platoon.

After Primary Non-Commissioned Officer Course/Combat Arms and making Sergeant, I was recruited for the Scout Platoon.   While in the Scouts we deployed to the Island of Grenada to protect the American students and to reestablish control after the coup that killed the President of that country.   I stayed in the Scouts until I came out on the Sergeant First Class list and moved back to Charlie as 3rd Platoon Sergeant.

I was there for only a very short time, being levied for my first overseas tour to NATO in Izmir Turkey.  After a fifteen month unaccompanied tour there, I was returned to CONUS and the Scouts as the Scout Platoon Sergeant.  After Scouts I served as the S3 NCOIC for the Battalion ( a job I loathed because of my close proximity to the worst CSM in the world) until being selected as the U. S. Exchange NCO to the British Parachute Regiment.  I trained with 538 Platoon of the Depot, went to Brize Norton for Parachute School, and served Her Majesty ( I like saying that) as the 8 Platoon Sergeant, C Company, 1st Battalion of the Paras.  This is by far the best overseas job for an infantryman in the world.  I was lucky to get it.

After England I elected to go back to Turkey, this time with Kim and kids for two years.  I was returned to the 2-505 to take over the 1SG job in Charlie Company, then took over as 1SG HHC 2-505, then as 1SG 3rd Brigade.  During this time, we deployed to New Mexico for JTF-6 to watch the border with Mexico and to Harvest Bear in Panama to stop the riots in the Cuban refugee camps.

When I was selected for Sergeant Major, I attended Class 47 at the Academy in El Paso, after which I was assigned to Cadet Command as SGM of Army ROTC at Virginia Military Institute.

After VMI, I was again assigned to Turkey and NATO.  Two weeks after my arrival we took over the leadership for KFOR-4 in Pristina Kosovo.  I served there as HQ Sergeant Major and J3 Ops Sergeant Major .  After Kosovo, I went back to Turkey to finish that tour.  I retired from there to work at VMI as the Corps and Post Sergeant Major, reporting for duty on 6 September 2001.


Basic Training, B-7-2, Ft. Jackson SC, JAN76, PV2

AIT, D-6-1, Ft. Polk, LA, MAR76, PFC

Basic Jump, Ft. Benning, GA, May76

C, 2-505: PFC-SGT

Scouts, CSC, 2-505: Section Leader

Getting Out--Jan 1980

Going Back In--Mar 1981

Scouts 2-505: Section Leader

Urgent Fury, Grenada--Oct-Dec 1983

3rd Plt. C, 2-505: Platoon Sergeant--about April 1984

LSE, Turkey--DEC 1984: Headquarters Command OPS SGT, SSG / SFC

Scouts 2-505--Mar 1986: Platoon Sergeant

S3 Shop, HHC, 2-505: a Miserable SFC

Para Reg, UK--May 1988: Platoon Sergeant, 8 Platoon 1 Para / Exchange NCO

LSE, Izmir, Turkey--1990: Plans and Operations SFC / MSG

C, 2-505--1992: 1SG

JTF-6, New Mexico 

HHC, 2-505--1994: 1SG

Harvest Bear, Panama. Dec 1994

HHC, 3d Brigade--February 1995: 1SG

USASMA, Ft. Bliss TX--1996: a Miserable MSG / SGM

AROTC, VMI, Lexington, VA--1997: ROTC SGM, MS1 Instructor

JCSE, Izmir Turkey--2000: HQ SGM/J3 SGM

KFOR-4, Pristina, Kosovo--2000: J3 Operations SGM

Retired--5 September, 2001

VMI--6 September 2001: Sergeant Major to the Corps at VMI

Stranded by the Hurricane, Eglin AFB, Florida, 1982

Scouts and our Sat Com guys

Aegean Cruise, Turk LST, 1985

I loaded this bad boy with German Jeeps, and American Ambulance, Italian expand-o-vans, and British lorries.  It was a challenge the faint of heart shouldn't attempt.

RB15 Trainng, Jungle Operations Center, Panama, 1986

Me, Rand, Claire, and Steve, Cyprus 1989

Hachita Mountain, Looking North, JTF-6, 1993

2 Pantherville Tent City, Panama, 1994

2-505 PIR at the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, St. Mere Eglise, Normandy France, 1994


With my 2IC Brett Niles, 1 Section Scouts 2-505 Camp McCall, 1982

Photo by Brett Niles

Mountain Training, Montana 1982

Gun Jeeps CSC 5 & CSC 7, 1 Section Scouts 2-505

Dragon Launch Effects Trainer


Grenada, 11DEC83, Scouts 2-505


Land South East Altwar Expando Vans, Tekirdag Turkey, Fall 1985


Rappel Tower, JOTC, Panama, 1986

This was my third trip to Jungle School

8 Platoon 1 Para, The mountains of Oman, 1989


2-505 PIR Commander and his Senior NCOs

Harvest Bear, Panama, December 1994

Base Group, USASMA, 1997

Great Base Group. Hated the School and  El Paso

KFOR-4 Pristina Kosovo Fall 2000 - Spring 2001

Inspecting the Polish Battalion...because they required considerable watching.