I enlisted in the Army in 1982, after graduating college from Virginia Tech with a degree in Communications. "82 was a bad year for he recession, and I found a job as the assistant manager of a Pipe and Tobacco shop. One day, as fate would have it, an Army recruiter came in, and one thing led to another, and by September 1982 I was an E-3 going through basic training at Ft. Dix NJ. It was the plan that I would take the longest MOS school I could to put together a packet to Officer Candidate School. Since I nearly maxed the ASVAB, i was able to choose a 36 week school, and get electronic repair skills at the same time. I was at Ft. Gordon Ga, for over a year, became a Tactical Microwave Radio Reapairmen, and got accepted to OCS. From there it was off to Ft Benning, OCS, in June. Not the best of seasons in west Georgia!
Upon graduation, and beccoming a 2nd Lt. It was back to Mother Gordon for Officer Basic school. There I selected to go to the maintenance side of the Signal Corps, and received orders to Germany. But first, I volunteered for Airborne training, and was sent back to Benning. Jump school was great, and I finished..now off to Germany! Upon arrival at the famous 21st REPLDEPOT I was sent to 5th Corps in Frankfurt. It would appear the Maintenance specialty I received was a bit rare, and there were few units that had that job code around. But they were able to find a unit that had the slot, open and unfilled, an Aviation Maitenance Battalion in Hanau, the only drawback was that the postion was also an Aviation slot. Needles to say i arrived to the unit as a Signal officer, never before touched a helicopter, not to mention fly one!
I became the Armament Avionics Platoon leader, at a aviation Maintenance Battalion (205th Transportation Bn- AVIM) that later became the 1/158th Aviation Regiment AVIM. I spent 3 yrs in Hanau and was able to log several hours of bootleg flight time in Hueys and Cobras!! (I was conducting Test Flights for my crew....
By 1987 it was time to rotate back stateside and for Officer Advance school back at Ft Gordon. I finished up the advance school only to learn that my speciality code for Signal Maintenance had been givien to the Ordnance Corps, so I was sent to another Officer Advance class at Redstone Arsenal, AL. Now a Captain, I arrived at Redstone for the Missile Maintence Officer Course. Completed that, and received orders to Ft Campbell KY, home of the Screaming Eagles!
At first, I was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group, but when they figured that I knew nothing about real radios carried on your back, I was sent to the Division's Maintenance Battalion. I was assigned to the 801st Mnt Bn, in the Materiel Office (MATO) as the electronics repair Officer. I was responsible for the tracking of Divisonal electronic assets including Night Vision goggles, and Tacfire radar systems. August 1990 rolls around..Iraq invades Kuwait, and on September 12 1990 I was on the advance party in Saudi Arabia.
(as this is rambling I will continue later....)