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Colonel Dan, SASS #24025

My Border Operations Reg Story

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I was going through some old files this morning and ran across this Word document I'd written many years ago recounting one of many  amusing events during my time as the Border Operations Officer for VII Corps, Germany.  I just had to share this with our Saloon Gang.  :D


I look back on this as typical of large organizations whose paper work requirements grow seriously out of control.


One more story about the life of a ground pounding 11th Cav guy working at the Corps staff level for the first time.


Early in my assignment to VII Corps G-2 Ops, I noticed that the Corps’ Border Ops reg was seriously outdated. Patrolling the border being close to my heart given a prior tour with the 11th ACR where I commanded a cavalry troop, I decided that I would assign myself the mission of not just updating it but totally re-writing it from the front cover to the back cover .


In as much as I knew how we cav guys looked at regs, orders and requests from on high written by career Corps level staff officers who never saw the border fence up close, I made it a primary point to work with 2 ACR on this self-assigned mission.


During my first visit to 2 ACR HQ in Nuremberg, I spoke with COL Bill Crouch, the Regimental Commander to get his perspective on what needed to be done to make his life easier and his mission more meaningful. The one major burr under his saddle was the vast number of reports required from his HQs on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. He was right. I saw that the very first time I picked up this outdated compilation of changes and additions. The Border Ops reg contained a 3 full page appendix listing all the required reports, what HQs they were to be sent to, the frequency and the suspense dates for each….3 full pages of this!! He told me if I could accomplish nothing else while at Corps, if I could reduce this burden, I’d be his hero.


I told him I’d do my best and do so as soon as I returned to Corps HQ in Stuttgart.


True to my word, I immediately suspended ALL reports with the exception of the Weekly Border Activity report the 2 ACR had to submit to its immediate higher HQs—VII Corps…in other words….us! I told the Regiment that I would then forward that same report to USAREUR, our German counterparts and a few others that really used the data. I would consider adding an agency/HQs back on the list ONLY if valid screams were sent my way.


I think you can guess what happened…NO screams were heard at any time by anybody.


The Border Ops Reg was consequently streamlined, the 2 ACR continued doing its real world on-the-ground mission, their reporting lives were greatly simplified, the world didn’t end and the RCO thought I “dun good” for the Regiment. 

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