I joined the United States Army, May 23, 1960, at the ripe old age of seventeen. A High School dropout, I suppose the Army was the most intelligent thing I could do. When I enlisted, my expectations were to be trained as a track vehicle mechanic and then after my hitch was up, return to Colorado and work for the highway department as a heavy equipment mechanic. Well, I was trained as a track vehicle mechanic...
My first duty assignment was with Co “F”, 40th Armor, in Berlin, Germany. Even though I had a lot of growing up to do, Berlin proved to be one of the highlights in my career. I had the good fortune of being there when the Berlin Wall was put in place. Here we are facing off against the Russian tanks.
In 1966 I graduated from the Armor Officer Candidate School at Fort Knox, KY., and received a commission as a 2LT. From there it was Airborne training and a stint with the 101st Airborne Division at Ft Campbell, KY. Preparation for Vietnam included MATA Sector/Unit training at Ft. Bragg, NC, then “School of the Americas” in Panama, after which I went to Ft Bliss for Vietnamese language training and then Vietnam.
I served as an advisor with 3/4 APC Troop in the Army of the Republic Of Vietnam (ARVN) from June 1967 through May 1968. Yes, that included the 1968 “Tet Offensive” for those of you old enough to remember. The troop was well trained and led. Captain Le Tan Lao was the troop commander and a brother warrior. See Tam_Ky_Article.html for September 6, 1967 battle action.
After Vietnam I commanded both HHC, 2/66 Armor, 2nd Armored Division at Ft Hood, TX and A Troop, 1/4 Cavalry, 1st Infantry Division at Ft Riley, KS. This included two REFORGER exercises where we deployed to Germany for more Cold War training.
My final assignment as a researcher with the Army Institute for Research in Management Information and Computer Science (AIRMICS). It was while at AIRMICS I had the opportunity to serve on the Department of Defense Language Development Team for the ADA programming language.
I closed my illustrious career on May 22, 1980, retiring as a Major.