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How did you decide on your Military branch or MOS?


Colonel Dan, SASS #24025

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The truth really is stranger than fiction. This stuff is sooo funny that most non Vets would think that they were made up....

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I'm thinking of pasting these posts on the SASSVets site.

 

 

Well..not all of em. ;)

Well,

Let me say this about that. I posted that I was an Air Force Winnie in 1960-63. Fought the wars of Kansas with Gen. LeMay while in SAC.Doesn't mean GRAP

I have read everyone of these post and enjoyed all of them. So keep them coming. Seems all are from the same age group as me or close to it. Most seem to be Army Pukes and that is Great.

You Guys did an outstanding Job.

Wyandot

 

Just Happen to have a Son that is the Air Boss of the USS Nimitz and a Lt Col Daughter

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I joined the USAF right out of high school in 1968, as anyone 18 years old before graduation got drafted before you could start college and qualify for the student deferment. I wanted some choice in waht I did. I had scholarships offered for my SAT scores that I never got to use. Funny, I got my draft notice in basic training, August 1968. I wonder how they got my new mail address.

 

I could have gone in the Navy, my great-uncle; a retied Rear Admiral was pushing me to do so. There was some talk about Annapolis. I was not in favor of being on a ship for months at a time and I didn’t like being told what was good for me.

 

I scored pretty high on the aptitude tests. Selected computer repair but got Aircraft Radio Repair out of basic. Almost got shanghaied in to being a cook while doing KP duty before my school started. The first day of my KP assignment I was assigned as a gopher to help on the grill. The fellow operating the grill didn’t show up and folks were waiting to eat so I did his job and mine cooking breakfast and lunch for the 2 weeks or so before school started. By the way, I had never run a grill before nor been a short order cook.

 

Shipped out to Cam Rahn Bay in February 1970, returned January 1971. The Air Force in their infant wisdom did not issue me a weapon. When I asked why, they said I might hurt someone. I spend my time there ducking, dodging, weaving and hoping that one of the rockets, sappers, vc etc didn’t meet up with me. There were a few close calls and I did the best I could with what I had.

 

On a particular day I was going in to the BX when an Army grunt I knew was coming out. He was in the class ahead of me in HS. On my way out of the BX I ran into one of my classmates, also in the Army. Neither was stationed at Cam Rahn. How’s that for a small world meeting 2 school friends on the same day half way around the world from home.

 

Cross trained to Medical Equipment Repair in 1972, and got to spend time over 3 years on the USS Canopus & USS Holland (sub tenders) repairing medical & dental equipment under an inter service agreement for the Air Force to maintain all medical equipment in Great Britain for the Navy and Army. For the Navy this is considered sea duty as the tenders must anchor off shore due to nuclear armament.

 

I was a told that since I did so well at resolving problems, turning under performing shops /programs around that I could expect to do same for the rest of my career. The problem for me was that I was working 15–18 hours a day, 6–7 days a week working under deadlines to correct what others messed up. It didn’t leave much time for my family and studying for promotion testing. So when I saw that I was going to be working for the very same folks I was cleaning up after, I decided a job in the civilian market was for me. And the pay was much better. I still worked hard and put in a lot of hours, but the recognition and support was much better.

 

The Air Force and I parted company in September 1978. I was an E5.

A lot of parallels between us. Went through basic in July 68 (SQDN 3725, Flt 891, Sgt Wolfe), cross trained to BMET in late 72. My overseas duties were Thailand and Philippines.

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I ran out of college money and a good girlfriend at the same time. So I delayed enlisted in the Army waiting for a few weeks until my school dates all lined up for the 82nd A.B.

Then a Navy recruiter, who was supposedly a SEAL on medical light duty, took myself and another guy out for beer, scotch and pizza one night. The next thing I know I am getting off a bus in San Diego with one heck of a hang-over and two dollars to my name.

3 weeks later I was called into the Navy Boot Camp Commander's office to explain myself while two Army MPs stood there. Since they looked like they would enjoy smacking me around, I decided to stay Navy. I did six years and finished my degree before they approved my OCS slot.

Then I went Army, then Army guard for eight years and then the Air Guard for 14 years. (20 years of Law Dog work in here as well) Followed by a couple years in the A.F reserve.

 

My Bride was active Army for 11 years and then in the reserves for 4 more years.

Oldest son was a academy ring knocker and did 8 in the Navy.

Oldest Daughter is an E-7 Combat Engineer.

Youngest Son was an Army helo-Aviation guy for 6 years, after Iraq he is not the same.

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Being Drafted right after the Korean war, I didn't have much to say about what my MOS was going to be. I was sent to Fort Leonard Wood for processing in, and testing. Took the OCS tests,(not of my wanting), and passed, but turned it down. Went through Basic at Fort Carson Colo., Then assigned to an Ordanance Co. at Fort Benning, as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, (635.10).

 

About 6 months later, I changed jobs and ran a Mobil Machine Shop. (443.20), and a few months later took a Discharge (at the convienience of the Army), and re-enlisted for 3 more years, to go to Italy for a Divisional Rotation. Was stationed at Vicenza Italy,(North Central Italy), Operating a Depot Maintence Machine Shop, actually the only one in all of the Southern European Task Force, (SETAF). At the end of my 3 years I got out of the Army, but had to stay in the Reserves till my 8 year commitment was completed. I was discharged as an E5. All peace time service. Never ever had to dodge a bullet.

 

I have a Daughter now stationed at Fort Benning, that is an E8, and currently works for the Inspector General there. In the last 10 years she has served 2 deployments to Korea, 1 to Iraq, and 1 to Afganistan. Has a little over 5 years to go for retirement.

 

RBK

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Being Drafted right after the Korean war, I didn't have much to say about what my MOS was going to be. I was sent to Fort Leonard Wood for processing in, and testing. Took the OCS tests,(not of my wanting), and passed, but turned it down. Went through Basic at Fort Carson Colo., Then assigned to an Ordanance Co. at Fort Benning, as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, (635.10).

 

About 6 months later, I changed jobs and ran a Mobil Machine Shop. (443.20), and a few months later took a Discharge (at the convienience of the Army), and re-enlisted for 3 more years, to go to Italy for a Divisional Rotation. Was stationed at Vicenza Italy,(North Central Italy), Operating a Depot Maintence Machine Shop, actually the only one in all of the Southern European Task Force, (SETAF). At the end of my 3 years I got out of the Army, but had to stay in the Reserves till my 8 year commitment was completed. I was discharged as an E5. All peace time service. Never ever had to dodge a bullet.

 

I have a Daughter now stationed at Fort Benning, that is an E8, and currently works for the Inspector General there. In the last 10 years she has served 2 deployments to Korea, 1 to Iraq, and 1 to Afganistan. Has a little over 5 years to go for retirement.

 

RBK

 

Daughter has shown commitment..... OUTSTANDING!!!!!

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I was a small town country farm boy who wanted to do what my dad did. He was in the Air Force from 1950-53 as a drill instructor at San Antonio. I read up all I could on the Air Force, the academy and relished every time I went flying with dad in his private plane. We went to fly in breakfasts and landed behind the house in the bean stubble.

 

In 1972 I turned 18 and volunteered for the Air Force wanting to be a chaplains assistant in Vietmam. I went to the induction center, passed all my tests and qualified for everything. On the last stage, a big Navy doc with lots of rank looked at me and said "4F, go home boy." I was devastated.

 

I asked why and he said not to argue with him. I persisted and he said it was because I had dry skin.

 

I went on to college, and in early '76 got burnt out and ran into an AF recruiter. I told him my plight and he laughed and said he could get me a waiver. I took all the tests again, passed and chose electronics as my field. 304x5 television equipment specialist.

 

After 4 years, grandad had passed and dad took on the farm alone and needed help. As he did with his dad, I left the Air Force I had planned to make a career to help dad on the farm. But I had fulfilled a dream.

 

Side Note: I had 4 sons, all entering the Air Force by their own choosing, thanks in part to 9-11 and 3 are making it a career. One SMsgt, two SSgt, and one taking his GI bill to become a veterinarian.

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I would like to thank all who've contributed to this post.

 

What wonderful and very meaningful stories on a most personal level. Seems we've shared much more than a career over the years.

 

I salute you all.

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Strange but true, all through high school I was a fan of Sean Connery and the James Bond movies. Wanted to be a "double naught" spy like Jethro Bodine. As I was graduating from College and getting ready to go into the Army as a new 2Lt., the closest MOS I could find was in MI as a Counterintelligence Officer, Nine Triple Six (MOS 9666). I applied, but there were only a few slots available and I wound up assigned to the MP's in the CID. Had to go to Fort Benning to IOBC first. By the time I finished and was ready to head to MP School I got a call that an opening for 9666 was available. Turned out to be a good deal. Wore civilian clothes most of the time and was issued a snub nose .38 as my duty firearm. Even in the field, we did not wear any rank insignias.

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All DI's have tails as I do. These two are good ones and show thinking and following through to a positive outcome. As I said all our boys were going to SE ASIA with out a doubt! WE did have one that was raised by two old maid aunts (no male influence at all), could never throw a grenade, could not shoot a rifle or anything else that shot. We got their MOS changed to a field clerk, he still went in country, but not shot at.

 

He was not the one that stood out. We had a young native American (Indian from OKLAHOMA RES), he started to tring to re-enlist in boot camp. We let re-up for 6 years after finishing 9 weeks of AIT, he was a 11B (rifleman). Seems he had his own clothes that were not hand me downs, new boots(never had new boots), 3 meals aday a place that was his that he sleep and keep clean. This kid had it all, if he was sick, he went to the doctor. Sometimes he road in a truck to where he was going, he was respected and given responsibility. I would not be surprised if he dis not make it all the way to retirement.

Had another that kept me up todate to what he was doing. He was a great soldier, great potential. When he landed in Saigon, he was put in a holding company, common practice. Units would come through and pull one or two men out for fill ins. This young man was a 11B with excellent ratings, they appointed him Post Master at one of the Posts they built, shocked him, but he did his job. I think both these young men received what they deserved.

 

Don't get us started about attempted suicides. some are hilarious. No Loses. We got all types, you name it.

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Well I grew up in East Texas and did not want to work either in the Log Woods or Poultry industries, so the Army looked very inviting. Being mechanically minded I wanted a mechanic MOS and after watching the Vietnam movies I choose helicopters, in the Army

 

Joined in 1988 as a Cobra Mechanic 67Y later changed to Scout Helicopter Mechanic, also did a few other support/admin jobs along the way, Retired now and doing contract work overseas. I spent the majority of my time in Divisional Cavalry units and had a blast.

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Drafted in 66. After basic at FT.Knox no orders for AIT for about 2 weeks? Was hoping NOT to have to go to radio school and, you guessed it, spent the next couple of months in the most boring atmosphere I could have imagined. After graduation got sent to FT. Bliss and a place called Dona Ana Range Camp to an Engineering Battalion til June when orders came down for VN.

After looking over my orders I noticed they stated "Civilian clothes desireable for off duty wear." I naturally thought that maybe I finally had drawn a break. I was headed for MAC-V and everyone said it was a great assignment and I was really lucky! Got in country and put up in a nice hotel in Saigon with the rest of the newbees. After a few days of debriefing a Major explain the country was divided into 4 corps and the packets he was about to hand out would tell each of us which corps and which Advisory team we would be assigned to. Ofcourse I was feeling a little smug seeing how my orders said civilian clothes desireable for off duty wear I was going to be staying where I was and would have some cushy job!!!

So, I opened the packet and it stated I was going to II Corps! I qiickly looked back up at the map and couldn't beleive my eyes! There must be some mistake I told my self! How can this be? Well, no mistake.................

Long story short. Ended up on Adv.Team #41 Kontum Sub-Sexctor in the Central Highlands packing a PRC-25 and from the time I got there til the time I left I was still the lowest ranking man on our 6 man team and you all know what that means.... I was 19 and they took damn good care of me, taught me a lot, saved my life more than once, and I am proud and it was an honor to serve my country and serve with those guys.

Did I say I was drafted? :FlagAm:

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My Uncle Sam decided that since I had been a mechanic before he hired me, he wuld make me a Tracked Vehicl Mechanic (63C) when I went to work for him in 1971. Took basic at Ft Polk, LA, and AIT at Ft Sill, OK. Everyone in the 4 or 5 AIT classes before mine got orders for Vietnam on graduation; but, since the class I was in was mostly Army Reserve and National Guard and there were only four draftees; we got sent to Germany. When I reported for duty at the FA battalion in Giessen, I was asked if I could type, and promptly was made a TAMMS and PLL clerk. It didn't take me long to realize that being a clerk - or mechanic either for that matter- was not what I wanted to do. I decided that being a Maintnence Technician Warrant Officer was what I really wanted to do and spent the next four years in that quest by rounding out my resume with qualifications in four maintenance related MOS's. Oh, yeah, I had to reenlist in order to persue that end. I had made SP5 and was on the E-6 list when I received a direct appointment to WO1 in Feb of 1976 as an Automotive Maintenenace Technician. My first assignemnt as a Warrant was with the 5th Medical Battalion at Ft Polk, LA - returning to the scene of the crime as it were - when the 5th Division was reactivating. It was there I met my wife, who has just reported in as a Medic. Subsequent active duty assignments in, Air Defence Artillery (2/71 ADA - Korea), and Armor Battalion (3/70 Ar - Ft Polk) and National Guard assignments in Combat Heavy Engineer (527th Eng - LANG)and General Support Maintenance Battalions (MOANG) led to retirement in 1994 as a CWO4.

 

Like Philly Slim, it's kinda neat when Lady Fingers & I both stand when vets are asked to stand at events.

 

Fingers (Show Me MO smoke) McGee

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I chose the AIR FORCE because my father was a tail gunner in B-17's in Europe.

 

I remember him bringing me little toy airplanes and putting them in my playpen.

 

I was a machanist in the Air Force from 62 to 66 because they no longer had any B-17's... :angry:

 

Keep off my lawn! :angry:

 

Carlos Murphy

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Howdy:

 

I was at ROTC summer camp between junior and Senior year. We had an exercise where we were the infantry platoon in defense against armor. The tanks and APC's chased us about a mile til we hit the wood line. Bingo - Armor was my choice - I am never going to run in the heat with my back to a tank again. Never ever considered other branches - ARMY was the way.

 

STL Suomi

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Strange but true, all through high school I was a fan of Sean Connery and the James Bond movies. Wanted to be a "double naught" spy like Jethro Bodine. As I was graduating from College and getting ready to go into the Army as a new 2Lt., the closest MOS I could find was in MI as a Counterintelligence Officer, Nine Triple Six (MOS 9666). I applied, but there were only a few slots available and I wound up assigned to the MP's in the CID. Had to go to Fort Benning to IOBC first. By the time I finished and was ready to head to MP School I got a call that an opening for 9666 was available. Turned out to be a good deal. Wore civilian clothes most of the time and was issued a snub nose .38 as my duty firearm. Even in the field, we did not wear any rank insignias.

 

Yes, they gave us snub nosed .38's in Berlin, as well, which we decided to throw away as soon as possible and pick up a rifle instead if the Russians ever came over the wall. No one wanted to be singled out as Intelligence (97C).

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Like a lot of you, I got my "greetings" in November of 63. I was in College on a football scholorship and had hurt my knee during my Soph year. I was told I probably would have to sit out a year, so I only took one class the next semester....MISTAKE :excl: Uncle Sam decided that since I was not a full time student anymore...he wanted me. Off I went to Ft. Polk, La. for basic. (Army Docs said my knee was fine :wacko: ). After basic I was sent to Ft. Sam Houston, Tx as a clerk.

 

I was sent to post hq and a MSgt told me to sit down at a desk and start typing. I told him I really didn't know how to type (no ever asked me!), he screamed at me to get my butt back to personnel. On the way back, I saw a sign that said "Special Services". I went in and talked to another one of those screamin Sgts and he asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a college athlete and he asked me where I was assigned. I said "No place yet". To make a long story short, they changed my MOS to 03C20 Physical Activities Specialist and I spent the next 22 months playing football and baseball for the post team and life guarding at one of the post pools during off season.

 

I really screwed up my other knee playing football and ended up having several operations on it before I got out. Now have a total knee replacement and a 40% disability rating. Just doing my job :o

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I started out in the Infantry as well. My first experience with a tank was quite a bit different.

 

At Benning while going through AIT as an 11B (PV1 baby) one particular morning we shot M203 grenade launchers and I was stoked, I earned my "M203" bar for my EXPERT badge! Our platoon was road marching over to the "ANTI-TANK II" range. Since I already got to shoot a live M72A2 & a trainer M136 I am curious as to what the AT II is all about. So I am chatting quietly & busting on a buddy during the march over (HUGE no-no!). Well, the Drill Sergeant hears me and announces I will be first up for the next training iteration!

 

Oh Crap...

 

He leads me over to a hole in the ground, which is a 3 foot concrete culvert on its side & buried. The nicest foxhole I've ever seen! He says: "Get in. Stay down. When your target presents itself, engage it with this (M136 AT4 with 9mm spotting round). STAY DOWN!" "YES DRILL SERGEANT!"

 

Well after 5 minutes, which is akin to eternity for a 19 year old nothing private, I peek up over the lip and see Fort Benning. Yep, still there. In Late Summer during the late Eighties (Reagen's Army!) there were ALWAYS sounds of vehicles: Tanks, trucks, helicopters, low flying fixed wing - EVERYTHING. Today was another ARMY day. I rotate around and see the platoon sitting in aluminum bleachers with the Drill Sergeant walking over to the range shack. So I poke my head up a little more and cut a face to the platoon, and they start QUIETLY laughing & smiling at me.

 

About that time I hear a whining sound and turn my head a bit and notice that I am smack dab in what appears to be a trail of sorts...

 

Then directly to my FRONT (the platoon is at my left) I see smoke belching up from something behind some thick brush about 100 yards to my front. Curious...

 

"KABOOOOOM!" I snap my head & body back to my front and see a freaking green & black painted razor blade angular TANK bearing down on me! ITS COMING RIGHT AT ME! ITS SPEWING WHITE SMOKE ABOUT 30 FEET IN THE AIR TOO FROM ITS BACKSIDE!

 

"KABOOOOM!" ITS SHOOTING AT ME!

 

At about 50 feet from me, with my whole world shaking & rattling my legs obey (or fail to work) and I drop to the bottom of the hole.

 

I flopped down and am looking upwards at blue sky, white clouds and green tree tops and THE WHOLE WORLD IS SHAKING!

 

Then DARKNESS.

 

Then I see sky...

 

...and mud, pine needles and all sorts of other earth & stuff lightly comes raining down on me as the rumbling & shaking subsides.

 

I still lay there wide eyed and panting wondering What in the...

 

When my perfect vision of sky & clouds is interrupted: DRILL SERGEANT FIELDS' head with ominous 'Round Brown' sharply snaps down looking at me!

 

"PRIVATE! Whaaaaat arrrrrre yooooou doing!? Enjoying your nap!? UP! UP! UUUUUPPP!

 

"Get out of dat hole PRIVATE!" "GIT YO ASS AT ATTENTION!"

 

"Why did you fail to engage your target!"

 

"YOU should know the only thing an INFANTRYMAN likes shooting more than tanks are HELICOPTERS!"

 

"Annnnnd, since I don't see no whirly birds flying around, HOW COME YOU DIDN'T SHOOT DAT TANK!?"

 

 

 

"It was a U.S. M-1 Abrams Drill Sergeant! Not an enemy Tank!"

 

 

 

 

Oh did I pay for that one...

 

 

 

 

You all can thank me for my contribution of not only holding down Fort Benning for the rest of the day, BUT I believe that I actually PUSHED Fort Benning down into the earth about 1-2 inches the rest of that day! (Push-Ups ;) )

 

I absolutely LOVED being in the United States Army! :FlagAm:

 

~Will Blastem

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14 years US Army.

 

4 years as Infantry (11B/11M) :D

 

3 Years as Military Intel Electronics Repair (33Y) :wacko:

 

And then 7 glorious years as Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD 55D now its 89D) B)

 

EOD is the second best job in the US Army (Helicopter pilot has to be number one).

 

EOD gets to defuse and take apart bombs, blow stuff up on a regular basis, play with ALL things explosive AND dress up in suits & travel around with the U.S. Secret Service & other law enforcement agencies!

 

Helicopter pilot is number one, but EOD is definitely the SECOND best job in the US Army!

 

I love it so much, I am an Army Civilian (GS) continuing to Teach & Train EOD folks! (as well as STILL getting paid to play with various explosives! :P )

 

Hoo-Yah, Army EOD - trained at a Navy School on an Air Force Base. It just doesn't get any more "Joint Service" than that either! ;)

 

 

~Will Blastem

:FlagAm:

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