Dragoon Base

Connecting the Troopers of Today with the Veterans of Yesterday.

20 years ago I was a short timer ready to pcs to Ft Irwin Ca. Then that fateful evening as we all gathered around the television like we were waiting for lottery numbers we found out that we would all be deploying to Saudi Arabia. I think that the world is a better place without Saddam. I remember the looks on the kids faces as we drove through and threw food off the Bradleys. What is your most vivid memory of our actions or peacetime mission in Desert Storm? I also remember replacing those Airborne guys after the cease fire and they were all sleeping on cots in the mud.

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I actually have 1 memory that still bothers me.  We were on our side of the "DMZ" and had to sit and watch Saddam attack a village right on the other side of the river but were unable to do anything about it.  I remember our crew hoping that one of the BMPs would point their gun our way just once - but they had better sense than that.

My story.  When Iraq invaded Kuwait, I was still permanent party at Fort Knox.  I was in D Trp 10th CAV, 194th Armored Brigade.  We all watched on TV everyday to keep tabs on what was going on.  D-10 CAV was deactivating at the time and everyday was pretty much spent in the motorpool getting the tracks ready to turn in.  One day, we arrived at the motorpool as usual and none of the SGTs and above showed up.  Word came down that they were selected to transfer to the 3rd ACR for deployment.

 I came down on levy for Germany.  Since I was married, I had a pin-point assignment to the 1/2 ACR.  My wife was 7 months pregnant.  I was home on leave prior to leaving for Germany when then Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney had the press conference where he named Germany-based units that were to mobilize for Desert Shield.  Towards the end of his list, he said the 2nd ACR.  So I knew I was going to war.

I arrived in Bindlach in early November.  All the vehicles had already been sent to the ports for departure.  I was assigned a room in the billets since my German wife was staying with her parents in Amberg.  She would come to Bindlach on weekends.  It was typical Army that they didn't just assign me to 3/2 ACR, but I guess things happen for a reason.  I was quickly integrated into my Platoon and C Troop.  I was assigned as an Loader/Observer on C 31 with 1LT Barry Groton (TC), SPC Darryl NeSmith (Gunner) and PFC Tim Gergen (Driver).  C Troop Commander was CPT Dave Edwards with 1SG Conrad Cablay as First Sergeant and my Platoon Sergeant was SFC Ken Donaldson.  We trained up as best we could on the Rock--mostly maneuver training and small arms.  We departed Bindlach on 7 December 1990 for Saudi Arabia.

We arrived in Saudi at night and we were taken by bus to Al-Jubayl--the Dew Drop Inn.  We were assigned to our GP Mediums and finally our vehicles caught up with us.  We spent the time in that camp getting our vehicles and equipment ready, plus did a little MOPP training, etc.  We moved out in early January for to our first AA in the desert to await the beginning of hostilities.  The rest is history...

My son was born on March 1st 1991.  I found out on March 18th.  I actually received a letter from my wife on the same day that 1SG Cablay handed me my Red Cross message.  My son is currently serving in the US Air Force at Minot AFB, North Dakota.  20 years have flown by.  To the young Soldiers I serve with, I am probably what the Vietnam vets were to me when I was a Private in 1986.  Desert Storm seems to have been forgotten by most people today.  Iraq and Afghanistan is the thing now--these are the new vets.  But there are a whole bunch of us out there that earned the title of combat vet 20 years ago.  I'm proud of that.  I'm proud to say I was a part on the 2nd ACR when it made history.  If I happen to deploy again, I will still only wear my 2nd ACR patch on my right sleeve.  Toujours Pret!

I was on duty as a Border Op's NCO in the 1st Squadron SOC when Colin Powell announced the additional units goind to Saudi. The last one he announced after VII Corps ( which we were assigned to ) was the 2ND ACR. I called the SDO and he told me I was full of it. One minute later I get a secure call from Regiment and all hell breaks loose.along with the SDO banging on the SOC door and crapping in his britches. Went to the storm and served and returned to my old MOS, Cav Scout with HHT 1/2 ACR.

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7th Colonel of the Regiment John P. Hatch

26 June 1881 - 9 January 1886

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This was the third design of the 2d Cavalry DUI, worn from 1924-1931. The sharp points on the ends of the bottom scroll again called for a redesign.

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