Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. First Call!

 

4:30 am. Monday. Temperature -20F. Ray Barracks, Friedberg, West Germany.

It’s the coldest winter since the Battle of the Bulge. That was in 1944. This is 1978.

Every Monday and Friday, our mechanized infantry battalion, 1/36 Infantry, 3rd Armored Division, has battalion P.T. or physical training, calisthenics. The other days, its company level. But on Monday and Friday, the whole battalion turns out on the battalion parade field for P.T.

We gave up running. With the cold, came snow and it did not go away. From late November until April we literally never saw the ground because it was covered in hard pack snow and ice. So we didn’t run. Oh, sure, we tried it a couple of times. In spirit, we “ran” but in reality, we looked like a herd of slow-moving zombies. You could walk faster. So they gave up on that. So, its push-ups, jumping jacks – modified so there’s not much jumping – too slick, bend and thrusts, and other exercises that don’t risk slipping on ice.

Our normal first call, or wake-up call, is 5 a.m. The CQ, Charge of Quarters, usually a junior NCO, walks up and down the barracks, knocking on doors, shouting, “First Call!” This earlier, by a half-hour, first call is so we can get ready, get assembled and marched the few hundred yards to the battalion parade ground.

The getting ready part is not to be taken lightly. Spending an hour in minus-20-degree weather for P.T. takes some time. If The Hawk is out, even longer. “The Hawk,” you ask? The Hawk is, was, G.I. lingo for the bitter cold blowing wind.

Preparing for battalion P.T. could be summed up with one word: Layers.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, that this is the Army, and everybody has the same … eh … wardrobe. Not so. Not by a long shot. Issued P.T. gear for our battalion was blue and yellow warm-ups, but that’s where the uniformity ends. Depending on when you arrived in the unit, what was available, how badly the supply goons did their job, what size you required, and the phase of the moon, would all determined the make up of your P.T. gear, cold weather gear, and all other issued items.

The standard P.T. outfit consisted of … well, about anything you wanted. The permutations of scarves, hats, gloves, coats, pants, shorts, boots, tennis shoes, P.T. gear, civilian gear and military gear was endless. Most of it usually topped with an issued pile cap. Or a pile cap on a knit cap or vice versa. Just a pile cap alone could be worn in about a half dozen ways.

In short, we looked clownish.

Before actually leaving the barracks building (this is an old World War I German Horse Calvary barrack) there was usually a large contingent of troopers clustered near the large double exit door, staying clear enough if the door opened and the wind blew in – The Hawk — they would be shielded. Then wait for the 1st Sergeant to come down the stairs. This was the signal. The platoon sergeants would start rousting everyone outside and fall in. So, you took a final breath and ducked out the door and meet The Hawk. Ugh!

And this parade of circuslike figures assembled in company formation.

It was hilarious. Mainly, because misery loves company and there was plenty of both. And there is nothing funnier than a bunch of G.I.s wearing ridiculous clothes in a ridiculous setting of sub-zero temperatures. And we all knew it. The P.T. was not serious – how could it be? After being called to attention, we would all shuffle-march like prisoners going to the gallows, so gallows humor it was — in spades.

Oh, the wise-cracks! The jokes! The rich streams of sarcasm. It was practically a sport. The tongue-in-cheek moaning and threats of desertion! The pissed-off NCOs dreaming out loud of a state-side assignment. “Forty days and waked-up!!!” someone hollers. Meaning, they have 40 days until they go back to the United States — The World!

Arrival on the parade field was quick. Each company had its place. But the trick was not to be up front because no one wanted to offend the Battalion Sergeant Major. He wasn’t a tyrant or strict disciplinarian. No, he was just a really nice guy. Oh, everyone respected him. And so, no one wanted to offend him — he was just too nice.

We would start P.T. with jumping jacks. A quick warm-up set in which we resembled penguins trying to fly or the little brother in A Christmas Story. This usually resulted in a round of warm-up wise-cracks and jokes. And an effective way to keep your face from freezing.

Everyone kind of had their favorite spots. Buddies always tried to be around each other of course. Some carried on like comedy teams and have everyone around them rolling with laughter. I always tried to be in the back of the formation because that’s where the officers hung out. I didn’t dare tell anyone that. And be labeled a kiss-you-know-what?! Not on your life. Officers and enlisted aren’t supposed to mix or like each other. But, to be honest, they had the best wise-cracks. I mean, first-rate. If college taught them anything, it was comedic timing.

The Puerto Ricans, way out of their element, had some pretty good riffs. They would use their accents to full effect too. “Why do you white boys put the Army in such a cold ass place?! Hey Sergeant, move the battalion to Puerto Rico.” “And drink [expletive] Puerto Rican beer!? Forget it.” “What do you mean [expletive] Puerto Rican beer. We have good beer!” And it would go on like this. Razz and razz back.

On one of these biweekly frozen battalion flagellations, when President Carter couldn’t pass a budget, we were coming up to the end of the month with a high possibility that our pay would be delayed – that’s like Armageddon in the military! This was still the era of the old-school payday tradition where we received pay once a month — in cash. The officer would sit at a table in the battalion dayroom with a suitcase full of money and a loaded .45 on his hip. You report (salute), state your name, rank, and SSN, with pay stub in your left hand, and he counts it out to you. You perform a perfect about-face and get the rest of the day off. The local German bars loved this tradition as much as the G.I.s.

Our beloved Sergeant Major asked the battalion to break ranks and gather round his P.T. platform and announced the bad news that pay would not be forthcoming. Muffled groans and comments rippled throughout the battalion. NCO’s yelling “At ease your mouths!”(i.e., shut up.) Somewhere in the middle of the pack, a G.I. lets out, “At ease, hell, I want my money!” I thought there was going to be a riot.

In the end, we got paid on time.

The following summer, the Department of the Army came out with guidelines for hours of operation: The day begins at 5 a.m. And the 4:30 a.m. First-Call was no more.

Published in Military
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 24 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Al French of Damascus Moderator

    Nice recollection. I’m guessing that it was somewhat less fun than your retelling indicates.

    My brother was in the Third Armored Division, in an engineer battalion, in the late sixties. He has talked about the cold winters, obviously not as cold as you experienced.

    • #1
    • October 29, 2019, at 9:46 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  2. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild

    Al French, sad sack (View Comment):

    Nice recollection. I’m guessing that it was somewhat less fun than your retelling indicates.

    My brother was in the Third Armored Division, in an engineer battalion, in the late sixties. He has talked about the cold winters, obviously not as cold as you experienced.

    The following winter was not like 78-79. It rained a lot and was far less interesting — a normal winter in Central West Germany.

    • #2
    • October 29, 2019, at 9:54 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  3. Steve C. Member

    In Gelnhausen, we had the banana suits.

    Mostly I remember doing PT in the fog. That and running uphill, both ways, to the old ammo storage area.

    First Men of War, 1983-1986
    • #3
    • October 29, 2019, at 10:15 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  4. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Hey, I think I ran into you guys a bit on RERORGER 79. I was in the 1st CAV Brigade(I was a Plt Ldr in 2/8 Cav) that got the crap kicked out of it for 10 days or so. Yup, we learned how to redeploy (brought our own equipment which was interesting as it came by sea and we flew in), stayed in a lovely(?) tent city in Bobligen – across the Autobahn from the Mercedes factory and then learned to retreat in the wargame that followed! :) The weather was cold and the locals were fantastically friendly. My tanks were approached on numerous occasions when stopped for some reason by locals with hot coffee, fresh brochen and scads of kids with shy smiles and lots of questions. Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter) for a month before and month after…

    • #4
    • October 29, 2019, at 10:45 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  5. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild

    Barry Jones (View Comment):
    Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter)

    Oh, yes. Many, many nights on a cot in a tent. I never got to be ‘in’ Reforger. Our officers were umpires.

    When we got away from our base, where there was no military, the Germans were very nice. The kids traded with us for beer, chocolates and cigarettes.

    • #5
    • October 29, 2019, at 11:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  6. Steve C. Member

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Hey, I think I ran into you guys a bit on RERORGER 79. I was in the 1st CAV Brigade(I was a Plt Ldr in 2/8 Cav) that got the crap kicked out of it for 10 days or so. Yup, we learned how to redeploy (brought our own equipment which was interesting as it came by sea and we flew in), stayed in a lovely(?) tent city in Bobligen – across the Autobahn from the Mercedes factory and then learned to retreat in the wargame that followed! :) The weather was cold and the locals were fantastically friendly. My tanks were approached on numerous occasions when stopped for some reason by locals with hot coffee, fresh brochen and scads of kids with shy smiles and lots of questions. Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter) for a month before and month after…

    Cold and wet, pretty much standard German field training weather. 

    • #6
    • October 29, 2019, at 12:16 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  7. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Hey, I think I ran into you guys a bit on RERORGER 79. I was in the 1st CAV Brigade(I was a Plt Ldr in 2/8 Cav) that got the crap kicked out of it for 10 days or so. Yup, we learned how to redeploy (brought our own equipment which was interesting as it came by sea and we flew in), stayed in a lovely(?) tent city in Bobligen – across the Autobahn from the Mercedes factory and then learned to retreat in the wargame that followed! :) The weather was cold and the locals were fantastically friendly. My tanks were approached on numerous occasions when stopped for some reason by locals with hot coffee, fresh brochen and scads of kids with shy smiles and lots of questions. Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter) for a month before and month after…

    Cold and wet, pretty much standard German field training weather.

    Ft Hood was either cold and wet or very, very hot. One year we shot a tank table IX with measured temps in the tank turrets of over 120 degrees -not wet bulb but actual temps(the inside of the tank is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter by several degrees) and humid as heck too. . It was the only time we could get the range for year so we shot it – and had jeeps following behind the tanks with trailers full of ice and water for the crews. 

    • #7
    • October 29, 2019, at 12:44 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Hey, I think I ran into you guys a bit on RERORGER 79. I was in the 1st CAV Brigade(I was a Plt Ldr in 2/8 Cav) that got the crap kicked out of it for 10 days or so. Yup, we learned how to redeploy (brought our own equipment which was interesting as it came by sea and we flew in), stayed in a lovely(?) tent city in Bobligen – across the Autobahn from the Mercedes factory and then learned to retreat in the wargame that followed! :) The weather was cold and the locals were fantastically friendly. My tanks were approached on numerous occasions when stopped for some reason by locals with hot coffee, fresh brochen and scads of kids with shy smiles and lots of questions. Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter) for a month before and month after…

    Cold and wet, pretty much standard German field training weather.

    And what about the mud?

    • #8
    • October 29, 2019, at 2:10 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Steve C. Member

    JimGoneWild (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Hey, I think I ran into you guys a bit on RERORGER 79. I was in the 1st CAV Brigade(I was a Plt Ldr in 2/8 Cav) that got the crap kicked out of it for 10 days or so. Yup, we learned how to redeploy (brought our own equipment which was interesting as it came by sea and we flew in), stayed in a lovely(?) tent city in Bobligen – across the Autobahn from the Mercedes factory and then learned to retreat in the wargame that followed! :) The weather was cold and the locals were fantastically friendly. My tanks were approached on numerous occasions when stopped for some reason by locals with hot coffee, fresh brochen and scads of kids with shy smiles and lots of questions. Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter) for a month before and month after…

    Cold and wet, pretty much standard German field training weather.

    And what about the mud?

    Well, there’s that. 

    • #9
    • October 29, 2019, at 2:16 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  10. Steve C. Member

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Hey, I think I ran into you guys a bit on RERORGER 79. I was in the 1st CAV Brigade(I was a Plt Ldr in 2/8 Cav) that got the crap kicked out of it for 10 days or so. Yup, we learned how to redeploy (brought our own equipment which was interesting as it came by sea and we flew in), stayed in a lovely(?) tent city in Bobligen – across the Autobahn from the Mercedes factory and then learned to retreat in the wargame that followed! :) The weather was cold and the locals were fantastically friendly. My tanks were approached on numerous occasions when stopped for some reason by locals with hot coffee, fresh brochen and scads of kids with shy smiles and lots of questions. Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter) for a month before and month after…

    Cold and wet, pretty much standard German field training weather.

    Ft Hood was either cold and wet or very, very hot. One year we shot a tank table IX with measured temps in the tank turrets of over 120 degrees -not wet bulb but actual temps(the inside of the tank is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter by several degrees) and humid as heck too. . It was the only time we could get the range for year so we shot it – and had jeeps following behind the tanks with trailers full of ice and water for the crews.

    Got that T shirt.

    • #10
    • October 29, 2019, at 2:22 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  11. Barry Jones Thatcher

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Hey, I think I ran into you guys a bit on RERORGER 79. I was in the 1st CAV Brigade(I was a Plt Ldr in 2/8 Cav) that got the crap kicked out of it for 10 days or so. Yup, we learned how to redeploy (brought our own equipment which was interesting as it came by sea and we flew in), stayed in a lovely(?) tent city in Bobligen – across the Autobahn from the Mercedes factory and then learned to retreat in the wargame that followed! :) The weather was cold and the locals were fantastically friendly. My tanks were approached on numerous occasions when stopped for some reason by locals with hot coffee, fresh brochen and scads of kids with shy smiles and lots of questions. Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter) for a month before and month after…

    Cold and wet, pretty much standard German field training weather.

    Ft Hood was either cold and wet or very, very hot. One year we shot a tank table IX with measured temps in the tank turrets of over 120 degrees -not wet bulb but actual temps(the inside of the tank is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter by several degrees) and humid as heck too. . It was the only time we could get the range for year so we shot it – and had jeeps following behind the tanks with trailers full of ice and water for the crews.

    Got that T shirt.

    That looks like Ft Irwin. Been there twice once in the winter (cold and wet) once in the summer (HOT as blazes). On one of the Ft Irwin tank ranges we got an atmospheric “skip” on the admin Freq(late in the day) that put us on the Ft Hood Range Control freq…over a thousand miles away. All the married guys on the range took turns on the freq making RWI (radio-wire-integration) calls home to families. That was back in the days when a long distance call cost a bunch. RWI was radio to Ft Hood then Range control would make the local call and you literally phoned home on the radio. Just has to use radio procedure so the guys at Ft Hood knew when to press the transmit button…so something like “I’;ll be home soon – over” Reply “Love you – out”. And everyone on the Range control Freq at Ft Hood could listen in, so keep it clean Sgt Smith!

    • #11
    • October 29, 2019, at 2:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild

    Barry Jones (View Comment):
    RWI

    I used MARS once is Germany. “Hi, mom, over.” “Hi, son, … over.” It was still a State-side long distance call.

    • #12
    • October 29, 2019, at 3:47 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Steve C. Member

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Hey, I think I ran into you guys a bit on RERORGER 79. I was in the 1st CAV Brigade(I was a Plt Ldr in 2/8 Cav) that got the crap kicked out of it for 10 days or so. Yup, we learned how to redeploy (brought our own equipment which was interesting as it came by sea and we flew in), stayed in a lovely(?) tent city in Bobligen – across the Autobahn from the Mercedes factory and then learned to retreat in the wargame that followed! :) The weather was cold and the locals were fantastically friendly. My tanks were approached on numerous occasions when stopped for some reason by locals with hot coffee, fresh brochen and scads of kids with shy smiles and lots of questions. Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter) for a month before and month after…

    Cold and wet, pretty much standard German field training weather.

    Ft Hood was either cold and wet or very, very hot. One year we shot a tank table IX with measured temps in the tank turrets of over 120 degrees -not wet bulb but actual temps(the inside of the tank is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter by several degrees) and humid as heck too. . It was the only time we could get the range for year so we shot it – and had jeeps following behind the tanks with trailers full of ice and water for the crews.

    Got that T shirt.

    That looks like Ft Irwin. Been there twice once in the winter (cold and wet) once in the summer (HOT as blazes). On one of the Ft Irwin tank ranges we got an atmospheric “skip” on the admin Freq(late in the day) that put us on the Ft Hood Range Control freq…over a thousand miles away. All the married guys on the range took turns on the freq making RWI (radio-wire-integration) calls home to families. That was back in the days when a long distance call cost a bunch. RWI was radio to Ft Hood then Range control would make the local call and you literally phoned home on the radio. Just has to use radio procedure so the guys at Ft Hood knew when to press the transmit button…so something like “I’;ll be home soon – over” Reply “Love you – out”. And everyone on the Range control Freq at Ft Hood could listen in, so keep it clean Sgt Smith!

    Donna Ana range complex at Fort Bliss. Off cycle gunnery, 11/1979. It’s an M60A1 from our tank company, D/1/3ACR. This was the first gunnery after we turned in our Sheridans. 

     

    • #13
    • October 29, 2019, at 3:59 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Steve C. Member

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Barry Jones (View Comment):

    Hey, I think I ran into you guys a bit on RERORGER 79. I was in the 1st CAV Brigade(I was a Plt Ldr in 2/8 Cav) that got the crap kicked out of it for 10 days or so. Yup, we learned how to redeploy (brought our own equipment which was interesting as it came by sea and we flew in), stayed in a lovely(?) tent city in Bobligen – across the Autobahn from the Mercedes factory and then learned to retreat in the wargame that followed! :) The weather was cold and the locals were fantastically friendly. My tanks were approached on numerous occasions when stopped for some reason by locals with hot coffee, fresh brochen and scads of kids with shy smiles and lots of questions. Good times….except for being cold and wet for 2 weeks and sleeping on a cot in a tent (in the winter) for a month before and month after…

    Cold and wet, pretty much standard German field training weather.

    Ft Hood was either cold and wet or very, very hot. One year we shot a tank table IX with measured temps in the tank turrets of over 120 degrees -not wet bulb but actual temps(the inside of the tank is hotter in the summer and colder in the winter by several degrees) and humid as heck too. . It was the only time we could get the range for year so we shot it – and had jeeps following behind the tanks with trailers full of ice and water for the crews.

    Got that T shirt.

    That looks like Ft Irwin. Been there twice once in the winter (cold and wet) once in the summer (HOT as blazes). On one of the Ft Irwin tank ranges we got an atmospheric “skip” on the admin Freq(late in the day) that put us on the Ft Hood Range Control freq…over a thousand miles away. All the married guys on the range took turns on the freq making RWI (radio-wire-integration) calls home to families. That was back in the days when a long distance call cost a bunch. RWI was radio to Ft Hood then Range control would make the local call and you literally phoned home on the radio. Just has to use radio procedure so the guys at Ft Hood knew when to press the transmit button…so something like “I’;ll be home soon – over” Reply “Love you – out”. And everyone on the Range control Freq at Ft Hood could listen in, so keep it clean Sgt Smith!

    Donna Ana range complex at Fort Bliss. Off cycle gunnery, 11/1979. It’s an M60A1 from our tank company, D/1/3ACR. This was…

     

    That sentence should actually be…

    This was the first gunnery after we turned in our Sheridans…and there was much rejoicing.

    • #14
    • October 29, 2019, at 5:55 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Dave L Member
    Dave L Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    2 Bn 81st Armor Ferris Barracks, FRG. 1976 -1979. We did our PT in fatigues, white t-shirts, combat boots. I remember running in formation on snow and ice, basically at a slow shuffle. Grafenwöhr, hohenfels, wildflecken, by the time I rotated back to the states I was frozen to the bone. I think it took me a couple of years to thaw out.

    I had a new LT come to me one cold damp early morning in the spring. Through chattering teeth he asked me when summer started. I told him August 2 nd. He looked at me incredulously and asked, “summer does not start until August 2nd?” I told him August 2nd is the summer, for one day the sun comes out it, it’s warm, the frauleins wear shorts, then it is over. On August 3rd it is cold, wet, and miserable again. He did not appreciate my humor.

    • #15
    • October 29, 2019, at 6:06 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild

    Dave L (View Comment):

    2 Bn 81st Armor Ferris Barracks, FRG. 1976 -1979. We did our PT in fatigues, white t-shirts, combat boots. I remember running in formation on snow and ice, basically at a slow shuffle. Grafenwöhr, hohenfels, wildflecken, by the time I rotated back to the states I was frozen to the bone. I think it took me a couple of years to thaw out.

    I had a new LT come to me one cold damp early morning in the spring. Through chattering teeth he asked me when summer started. I told him August 2 nd. He looked at me incredulously and asked, “summer does not start until August 2nd?” I told him August 2nd is the summer, for one day the sun comes out it, it’s warm, the frauleins wear shorts, then it is over. On August 3rd it is cold, wet, and miserable again. He did not appreciate my humor.

    In better weather, we did have a requirement of the same — but never with boots. We went to all those MTAs you mentioned. We practically lived at a couple. Winter training!

    • #16
    • October 29, 2019, at 8:12 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Gary McVey Contributor
    Gary McVey Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    A great, great thread. Thanks for the post, and what an amazing Ricochet response. Awesome to hear what you went through for all our sakes. 

    • #17
    • October 30, 2019, at 1:26 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. Barfly Member

    Good times, good times.

    • #18
    • October 30, 2019, at 10:13 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Thanks for a great story, Jim, and for your service!

    • #19
    • October 30, 2019, at 1:15 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  20. Steve C. Member

    Gary McVey (View Comment):

    A great, great thread. Thanks for the post, and what an amazing Ricochet response. Awesome to hear what you went through for all our sakes.

    As my battalion CO once said, “Can you believe it? We get to do all this. AND they pay us!”

    • #20
    • October 30, 2019, at 7:42 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  21. Joe Boyle Member

    I took my platoon to Hohenfels in the dead of winter for some guard the big stuff training. Snow like I hadn’t seen since my recruiting days in MN. Wind and more snow, we were all feeling very sorry for ourselves. And then our First Sergeant showed up.When we got done sniveling to him, he told us about the Battle of the Bulge. I learned a great deal about leadership and my own short comings that day.

    • #21
    • October 31, 2019, at 5:19 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. Steve C. Member

    Joe Boyle (View Comment):

    I took my platoon to Hohenfels in the dead of winter for some guard the big stuff training. Snow like I hadn’t seen since my recruiting days in MN. Wind and more snow, we were all feeling very sorry for ourselves. And then our First Sergeant showed up.When we got done sniveling to him, he told us about the Battle of the Bulge. I learned a great deal about leadership and my own short comings that day.

    Perspective is everything.

    • #22
    • October 31, 2019, at 8:10 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  23. Steve C. Member

    Joe Boyle (View Comment):
    Hohenfels in the dead of winter

    How many M88 recovery vehicles does it take to recover an M60 stuck on the side of a frozen Hohenfels hilltop, with both tracks thrown to the inside?

    Four

    Though to this day, I imagine the battalion motor sergeant will still insist a real man only needed three.

    (Your humble correspondent had no dog in that particular fight. I was merely an interested observer as I had signed a receipt for one of the M88s.)

    • #23
    • November 1, 2019, at 6:06 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. JimGoneWild Coolidge
    JimGoneWild

    Steve C. (View Comment):

    Joe Boyle (View Comment):
    Hohenfels in the dead of winter

    How many M88 recovery vehicles does it take to recover an M60 stuck on the side of a frozen Hohenfels hilltop, with both tracks thrown to the inside?

    Four

    Though to this day, I imagine the battalion motor sergeant will still insist a real man only needed three.

    (Your humble correspondent had no dog in that particular fight. I was merely an interested observer as I had signed a receipt for one of the M88s.)

    Tank recovery vehicles are huge! 4. Wow! With the mud, I believe it.

    • #24
    • November 10, 2019, at 8:29 AM PST
    • Like