Showing posts with label National Guard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Guard. Show all posts

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Going to Germany with Guard in 1986

During college, I took three weeks off and went to Germany! It wasn't a tourist, though; my National Guard unit went there on a three-week training mission called REFORGER in January 1986.

The idea of the training was for us to go through the experience of being called to active duty and serving in Europe in case of a suspected Soviet invasion of western Europe. At the time, the Untied States and its allies in the West were engaged in a Cold War with the Soviet Union.

After spending a couple of days at Fort McCoy, Wis., we flew from Camp Douglas, Wis., on a C-130 to Belgium. Along the way, we stopped at an airport in Maine and in the Azores!

From Belgium, we were flown to our base in Grafenwoehr, Germany, and then sent into the field. Our position overlooked a pass through two low mountains near the West German-Czechoslovakia border that would be a major invasion route for the Soviets if they entered the West.

We also got a day off to tour a town. We went through an old castle that was several hundred years old and walked through a German town.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

My service in the Army National Guard

My name tag (top), rank (bottom left) and
unit insignia (bottom right) from my uniform.
You might remember from our days of playing with toy soldiers that I mentioned I was in the Army. I think you once even used some Army stickers to create a picture of me!

I joined the Wisconsin Army Naitonal Guard in December 1982, when I was just a junior in high school! The following summer, I went to boot camp in Fort Benning, Ga. When I came back, I did my senior year of high school in 1983-84 and after graduating went back to Fort Benning in summer 1984 to complete boot camp with my Advanced Individual Training course.

My job - or "MOS" - was 11Bravo, meaning infantryman. I served at the armory in Menomonie, Wisconsin, and eventually reached the rank of sergeant. For a couple of years, when I lived in New Mexico, I served in the New Mexico Army National Guard in Deming. I got out in July 1997.

I am very proud of my service and of all others who've served, no matter what branch (Though the Army is the best!). Should you one day decide to serve in our nation's armed forces, I will be very proud of you, too!