Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.
I posted this on facebook before..
Was I put out to pasture when the M1 arrived..?
Something I have been asking myself for over 30 years.. I started in the Cav, back when Sheridans were our main vehicle. As a tank mechanic.. I worked in a motor pool with a great group of mechanics.. SFC "Motor Hog" Rhodes.. Jimmy Mursell (RIP brother) and a badass from Philly named Steve Rambo. We worked great together and many a times I saw the sun set on us while fixing tanks at Graf and rise again the next morning.. never having stopped all night.
My last year in the Cav was transitioning to the M60, and that went pretty well.. we worked just as hard. Just before leaving the Cav.. I remember the rumor that we were transitioning to the M1 Abrams, although, the only place I got to see one was at the Tank Museum in Fort Knox a couple of years ago.
I had been sent from the 2nd Cav to Ft Campbell. The 1/502 Infantry.. and the only vehicle I worked on while at the Five-O-Duece was a flat ATV called a Mule. Never understood the reasoning for having a tank mechanic fixing ATVs..
I re-enlisted and went back to Germany, to a maintenance company.. just Jeeps and pickup trucks and sometimes, a few 5-ton trucks.
The last 2 years of my career were at Fort Campbell.. again.. This time, assigned to a maintenance company. The salt in that wound was that I was in charge of fixing Pot-belly Stoves.. the ones used to heat GP tents. I was a Sergeant at the time.. but no crew. I worked in a large warehouse, alone. Was that all that my training and experience was worth..?
After 7 years in the Army.. I tried to volunteer for Korea, just for the change of scenery.. but I was told that I had orders for a third tour in Germany (No particular unit).. so I went home instead. Are there any other mechanics who's career kinda went the same way..?
It sure sounds like they put you out to pasture Bob, You would think the Army would want to retrain its NCO's to learn new technology's but we all know they did not always do what seemed to be the right thing to do at the time.