Dragoon Base

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When I arrived at Amberg in 1987, I was told that one of the news agencies had done a story on Pond Barracks because of prior rampant drug use and out of control behavior. They named our post "The Armpit of the Army" because of this. Has anyone else heard this story and does anyone have any information on the validity of it? Thanks

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I think this story happened while I was at the Pond.. I use to have articles from stars and stripes but I may have gooten rid ofthem ??? I'll check don't recall armpit  status... as I recall it was after a crut arrived and eeturned back to states onleave for some reason don't recall for sure what that was but the he yelled that there was rampant drug use goin on and he just couldn't return for  don't know that it was any worse or different than anyother  local ??? it did raise  to the level that it made news... I will check to see if I maybe didn't get rid of articles,,and will update,,, otherwise I don't know if possible but one could chek archives of star and Stripes to see if   this was in 72-73 timeframe,, also a note if such "ou of control behavior was rampant I believe while this was agoin on think we 3rd squadron was noted as the most combat ready troops in USAEUR..... don't know this as fact but it in my memory... I think for the most part all did our jobs and did it as told ...  now it got me athinkin about this..... I'm sure as any time in history we soldiers took our liberty and let our hair down on occasions but we still got our mission done...  so in end I think their is validty to it but does notchange the good in the squadrons history....... "Toujours Pret"

Is there any independent evidence any of this "armpit" story is true? I mean, is there any evidence in news articles, stories, media reports, Department of the Army Reviews, IG Reports, or Anything?

I cannot speak for any other service organization, but I recall the "juicers" and the "heads" had their moments; they also had their detractors, many who did not participate in either. Alot of soldiers did their jobs everyday, went home at the end of the day or found refuge in and amongst themselves in the barrack. Not everyone was a head, not everyone was a juicer.

Too there were alot of young guys, RA and US who took pride in their work and did their jobs. I remember some certain hijinks as a holdover at Ft Ord, permanent party and transient staff as well.

For myself, I believe the armpit story is more urban, or suburban myth than fact; did we ever flunk an I.G. Inspection? Bolo at grafenwhoer [I think so, but on a  brand new platform, Sheidan]? If anyone can produce any independent report or any relevant information, I would be happy to looka at it.

But for the most part, I believe the 3/2 ACR was a combat ready unit during the time I was associated with it. Did it have its characters, and outlier events? Sure, just ask Robert Lavoie, or other troopers "in the know" during the time in  question.

Toujours Pret, Remember Your Regiment and Follow Your Officers. I believe the 2nd ACR was composed of some tough sonofabitches, some strac soldiers, some ring knockers from the Acadamy, some ROTC Officers and a few gold brick. But we did our jobs, were responsible, and time spent off duty and off post remain off duty and off post.               

Brian, I posted 2 articles of 4 that I found on I believe what you may be referin to.. hope that anyone who wants to read the articles can get the large enough to read... I clicked on view as full size  on bottom right  of pic to enlarge to size that could be read...  it acted funny at first but it did do it.the second post of articles tells what the investigation came upwith which was I suspected....No worse or better than anywheres else     hope this was of help....

Thanks for posting those. Do you know the dates of publication?

Brian I can only assume it had to be in 1973 ? I clipped them out of the papers and don't see any dates on them but I took them out of papers when I was there in 72-73..

I dunno... I spent a lot of time on Pond Barracks and saw the drug scene escalate from recreation to abuse.  Its not like I was some squeaky clean REMF either;  I was a line dog most of the time and rolled out on many alerts "altered" by a variety of legal & illegal substances.  Early on, there were a few Nam era hold overs that had there demons to deal with and they seemed to do so privately. There were a few junkies, but where in society do you not find them? The drug scene, whether over-the-counter or under-the-table, was not exclusive to the lower enlisted ranks as some would like to have us believe. By the 80's, it seemed like we didn't go to Graf, Hohenfels, the border, or any other deployment without a chunk of hash.  We were mostly just a bunch of bored kids looking for a buzz.  By the time I left Amberg in the mid 80s, the drug  problem seemed to grow from getting buzz, to complete incapacitation. From what I've read here and on other social media, it got pretty ugly. Someone from a later time period will have to weigh in for a first hand account beyond my tour of duty .  As for the armpit?  I don't think so, and never read anything to that effect.  Polk, maybe.  Amberg, never.

Dennis, I was there from 68-71, I believe the drug use started fairly often when I was there, I will say I did let my hair down and when the sun went down, I got down with it.  But the biggest problem we had with substance abuse was alchohol.  All of the really bad things that happened was due to booze.  I also know Pond barracks was ready, we all did our jobs.  The biggest problem we had was race relations.  That was bad.  As an enlisted man, I saw what was going on, it seemed like the Army didn't know how to handle it, so they ignored it.  It was dangerous after dark, when gangs where looking for trouble.

Good Point RC.  In early 70's, Do you remember the "Black handshake" called "The Dap" It could last as much as 5 minutes to complete ifin it was the long version. Oh, and if you are white don't attempt the dap shake with a black guy in public, like mess hall chow line or a bit of trouble could insue. It's a real shame that the race relations were not good in the army. I personally was very friendly with my tank loader/sometimes driver R. Shelton. He taught me how to dap inside the safety of our tank waiting on the firing line. After I mastered the complexieties of it he warned me not to dap with him in public because it could cause trouble. Why were the black soldiers allowed to grow beards? Check out some of the troop portraits

Earni, I remember that hand shake, I couldn't figure it out, it was a black thing.  Blacks could grow beards because their hair would curl back into their skin and cause some kind of skin eruption if they shaved too much.  I never could figure that out either.

rc johnson is right; the biggest problems on Pond Barracks were started by outta control boozers and race relations. Mostly the troop got along, but there were factions within, like the black panthers, and more. There WAS A RACE RIOT when I was there, it is no small miracle no one was killed.

I troop did way more than it's share of border duty, and tours at GragFenwhoer and hohenfels; and everyone, for the most part did their jobs; at least no one "resigned" from the army, or the troop.

Unless someone can show some direct evidence, I b elieve the "armpit of the army" rumors, are just that; rumors, and nothing more.

I know when I was there, I saw a lot of drug use. Several friends of mine were sent home for it. In fact, that is how I got sent home. I wouldn't say it was out of control. I don't know anyone who did it at work. It was just recreational. Of course they tested us quite often. That was the problem. 

There was some crazy behavior and a lot of drinking. But why not, we were 18,19,20 years old and allowed to drink without hiding it. And the beer was awesome. 

There wasn't any real issues with race as I had 3 black roomates and we all got along just fine. If there was an issue, it was more along the lines of personality dislikes than anything else. 

I loved my time there. I taught me a lot that I still use today. I know many young peolple today that could use those types of experiences.

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