View Full Version : Who was that Battalion Commander?

03-18-2008, 21:26
I've been meaning to tell this story for many years..just never found the right time ...or place....

1973....There I was ....a young MC Major newly arrived in Germany, fresh from the MCDCVCOBC at Ft. Sam...and had just resisted (barely) the halcyon (... strac uniforms, wings, brilliant jump boots, etc...) attraction of the promise of Airborne assignments to Rangers, 82nd, and to SF, when I met another young MC, CPT Gene C....soon to be the new Battalion Surgeon with 1/10 SF at Bad Toelz...He insisted I visit him soon after we all got settled.

I did ...my first time to Bad Toelz was in August of '73 after he had forgotten to wear his newly earned Beret...he did have his new wings... both awarded after a crash course at the jump school at 1/10. (Back then, you couldn't wear the beret until you had finished jump qualification...and no full flash until you were SF qualified...had to wear the half flash...we called 'em Candy Bars) We were at the General Patton Hotel in Garmisch, so had to make a high speed run to Bad Toelz and back.....never forget my first impressions..the impressive Statue of the SF trooper in the hallway entry to the Headquarters area . Never dreamed the place would remain in my soul.....

1975.....My second visit was later, probably in '75. Gene was living in an apartment with several other officers...I remember the rucks, the chips, and down bags drying on the floor. We visited a bierkeller in town in a deep cistern, listened to disco music (back then!!)..had a great time. Also celebrated the recent promotion of the Rigger chief to CW-4 at the Officers Club...

But the most memorable moment of my young leg life was soon to come...we were invited to the 1/10 Cdr's Quarters on the Flint Kaserne I think...he was a MAJ(P) I suspect...was very cordial to me...told me the Battalion (HHC?) was going to have a jump the next weekend and that I (me?) was certainly invited to jump too....I gulped...I stammered...I swallowed...then I confessed that I wasn't jump qualified....that...that....He stopped me...and then he said....”I am so sorry.....” (Yes, That Voice......) Absolutely would change my life....didn't realize that I someday would just have to accept my destiny ..but at the time thought I was too old (29?) , too slow, had too many other priorities, professional work, future etc......This was 1975....

Finished my 4 years AD in Germany...moved on to my civilian career, resigned my commission in '78...but the fever didn't leave me.... just like for so many of us, it just kept burning...

1982: got a call, then a visit, from an AMEDD recruiter...looking for docs for the Reserve Hospitals and Medical units...told him I would return, but only to join Special Forces....He stopped me...and said...“Sure...what about the 12th Group? Assigned to Chicago, drill some in Tulsa....you've got to go to Airborne school and then get SF qualified.......all the docs have to be qualified ....Is that what you want to do?”

I would never have to answer that fateful “jump with us next weekend” question in the negative.

I was then screened by the 12th Group Surgeon, COL Fred Grover (requiescat in pace)...was accepted for the SF medical assignment.....went to Ft. Benning in '83..and 10 years after the MCDCVCOBC recruitment effort, 8 years after the 1/10 Cdr told me he was sorry.....I stood on Fryar DZ at Benning getting my wings....I was 38.

People said I was nuts, but my wife understood. And I was finally doing what the burning inside told me to do. On then through the phases of SFOQC and completion of my SF qualification in 1985.....”Flash Qualified! ....the new Tab!.....no longer a Candy Bar!....Ha!”......Destiny?

Yes, I've gone on to do many other Caduceus things...but, my Wings and my Arrows are always with me...and my Beret is in my office on top of the bookcase...some people know, others don't...

Gene went on to become a general surgeon and practices in Texas.

And, I've always wanted to thank that 1/10 Commander for inviting me to the jump...He did me a great favor. He helped me to realize my direction....and I guess my destiny.... And, I still can't remember his name......

I still love the smell of napalm in the morning...I think you all know what I mean...

03-22-2008, 08:09
Does anyone know who this was?

PM me.

03-22-2008, 08:53
Does anyone know who this was?

PM me.Might have been Hendrixx...if I were pulling SDO at Flint Kaserne I could look at the mug shots and tell you...

03-23-2008, 06:45
Does anyone know who this was?

PM me.

"Snort" (LTC Paul Hutton) was 1-10th CDR during that time; COL "BIG" John Martinez was SFDAE CDR. LTC Jim Guest came from Wien DAO to follow Hutton in '78.


03-23-2008, 10:26
"Snort" (LTC Paul Hutton) was 1-10th CDR during that time;"Snort" became SFS(A)E commander in 1982...I figured one of us would know it...now that I think about it, I believe Hendrixx preceded Ludwig...

03-23-2008, 13:25
Are you talking about "Mad Ludwig"? :D

03-23-2008, 20:08
Are you talking about "Mad Ludwig"?Was there another...?:D