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NousDefionsDoc
02-03-2004, 10:17
I was a tanker for a day.
Back when it was somewhat inconvenient, there was no 18X program. One had to be a Buck Sergeant to apply for the Q (Sp/4 P for 18D). So I went to the 82nd Airplane Gang to be seasoned. My Company Commander in Discom was an Armor officer. And property disposal was near the company area. So one day, we have the mandatory water training at the pool. On the way back, the CO sees a tank in the property disposal yard. Marine M48 if I'm not mistaken. Starts talking about tanks. So me and a bud come up with an idea for training. We're going to get the tank and do something with it.

So we get the ball rolling, lay out the plan, etc. They give us the tank and a 10 minute block of instruction on how make it move. It had been gutted. It would drive ok, but no venitilation, only two vision blocks, etc. We put on the little sleeping bag hats so we would look like real tankers.

We drive it out to a range the day before and spend the night "guarding it" (you guard everything in the 82nd.) Next morning, the Company shows up with an OSHA guy and a deuce and a half full of sub-caliber LAAWs. We park the tank downrange and fire one SC LAAW. The OSHA guy looks to make sure it didn't penetrate, blesses the training plan, and leaves.

So me and my bud get in the montrosity and start driving it back and forth across the range. Both SP/4s. In July.

"Ok, go ahead!"
"On the way"
BANG!
"Time out! Time out! Time out!"
What happened?"
"We didn't count on the noise!"
"Well, we're here now, we gotta train!"

So we spend the moring driving it back and forth while they shot at it.

About 12:00, HQ1 and a bunch of PAO guys show up. Its The Man, General James Lindsay. They watch for a little while and we get a radio call:

"Come on up here, the CG wants to talk to you guys."

The CG wanted to drive the tank. So we're riding around and he says "Tell them to shoot one."
"Sir, that ain't a good idea."
"Who's the CG?"
"Bravo29, this is Tango01, let 'er rip tater chip"
"Tango01 negative. VIP on board."
"Bravo29, The Man says he's the boss, let 'er rip."
"Stand by"
BANG!
CG - "HOLY MARY MOTHER OF GOD! You guys been doin' this all day?"
"Roger that sir!"
"Good training. Stop and let me out." As he walked away, I could swear I heard him say "Crazy assed Spec 4 mafia."

Wait until it gets real hot, then turn on the heater and oven in your house and light a fire in the fireplace. Then have one of your kids turn a blowdryer on you while wearing a wetsuit. Now, have your Missus dump the vacuum cleaner dirt from the bag on you. Now hold your breath. Then stick your head in a steel drum and have a bud hit it with a sledge hammer. That's about half as bad as that day. LOL - a good time was had by all.

The CG gave us a CG's coin and the Co got an attaboy for his file for best training or something like that.

CommoGeek
02-03-2004, 10:42
Great story, NDD.

CPTAUSRET
02-03-2004, 10:56
That's one hell of a story, outstanding!!!


Prior to attending flight school I was an 11B, so when I was offered a direct to 1lt in Vn, I presumed it would be Infantry Branch (nothing else made sense), I even considered extending again in VN to lead whatever size ground unit I could get assigned to, I was looking forward to it:

I was informed that I needed to fly to MACV HQ's because a 3 star (don't recall his name right now) who knew me wanted to pin my bars on me, it was just prior to borrowing a UH-1 from ops to make the flight that I scanned the paperwork and noticed that I was to be commissioned an ARMOR OFFICER:

There is a lot more to this story, but I will write it up later:

Terry

NousDefionsDoc
02-03-2004, 11:03
Thanks Cap and CG. The thing about it was, in the 82nd, a 1LT is like the second coming. Imagine two dumbass Sp/4s with the Boss of the Division!

General Lindsay never forgot either. Years later, when he was the Green Hat boss, I saw him at a demo I was doing med coverage on. I walk over and say "Hey sir, been tank riding lately?" He laughed and said "I thought you looked familiar, that was some great training you guys did."

CPTAUSRET
02-03-2004, 11:05
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc


General Lindsay never forgot either. Years later, when he was the Green Hat boss, I saw him at a demo I was doing med coverage on. I walk over and say "Hey sir, been tank riding lately?" He laughed and said "I thought you looked familiar, that was some great training you guys did."

The good ones don't forget:

Terry

CommoGeek
02-03-2004, 11:07
Good thing you didn't break the General. That coulda' been messy!

Nice to hear that he remembered it too. Some folks wouldn't....

D9
02-03-2004, 11:09
Reminds me of a story I heard in TOW school about some Marines driving a driving a tank around on the range while they fired inert TOWs at it. As the story goes, after the first "hit" the tank rolled about 20 ft and ground to a halt. They couldn't raise comm with the Marines inside, so they ran out there and found them both semi-conscious and dazed. Nobody ever knew whether or not the story was true, but it sounds more believable after hearing your story, LOL. Good one.

NousDefionsDoc
02-03-2004, 11:12
LOL, I have NO problem believing they were dazed.

Smokin Joe
02-03-2004, 13:19
NDD, Great story.

Sdiver
02-03-2004, 20:47
Originally posted by D9
Reminds me of a story I heard in TOW school about some Marines driving a driving a tank around on the range while they fired inert TOWs at it. As the story goes, after the first "hit" the tank rolled about 20 ft and ground to a halt. They couldn't raise comm with the Marines inside, so they ran out there and found them both semi-conscious and dazed. Nobody ever knew whether or not the story was true, but it sounds more believable after hearing your story, LOL. Good one.

I wonder if that's the REAL story why RipperTOW took out that tractor in DS 1. He was one of the Marines in the above tank ??

NDD...GREAT story.

Team Sergeant
02-03-2004, 20:59
I've got tears in my eyes.... NDD that was funny as hell!!!!

Roguish Lawyer
02-05-2004, 09:00
Great story!

Ghostrider
02-05-2004, 21:53
That is a GREAT story NDD....but, it seems to me that you just may have an underlying need to be a DAT.;)

NousDefionsDoc
02-05-2004, 21:55
DAT? What dat?

Ghostrider
02-06-2004, 09:42
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
DAT? What dat?

Well "I've heard" that some people call us Dumb Ass Tankers.....of course we look like geniuses when it's cold and windy and we start up that turbine and all you see is a flock of grunts getting warmed up behind the exhaust, OR the fact we don't have to worry about how much gear is in our ruck, OR about how tired/sore/blistered our feet are.

Oh yeah, for future reference, those little sleeping bag hats don't offer the hearing protection of actual CVCs (or earplugs for that matter).:p

Team Sergeant
02-06-2004, 10:00
Originally posted by Ghostrider
of course we look like geniuses when it's cold and windy and we start up that turbine and all you see is a flock of grunts getting warmed up behind the exhaust

You just haven't lived until you've been warmed up by the heat of a tank engine.....

The Team Sergeant

(I do not recall ever being refered to as a flock.)

CPTAUSRET
02-06-2004, 10:40
Originally posted by AProfSoldier


The Team Sergeant

(I do not recall ever being refered to as a flock.)

A gaggle, perhaps??

Terry

NousDefionsDoc
02-06-2004, 13:56
Originally posted by CPTAUSRET
A gaggle, perhaps??

Terry

Herd?

Pride?

Column?

Air.177
02-06-2004, 14:00
Pack perhaps?

Ghostrider
02-06-2004, 14:13
How about:

a cluster or huddled mass? Although I think gaggle is an accurate description. Btw, fwiw, I'm NOT one of those TCs who has the driver shut down the engine when said "gaggle" huddles behind my tank.

CPTAUSRET
03-11-2005, 10:58
Bumping this thread.

NDD's story is funny as hell!

Terry

Pete
03-11-2005, 11:21
That was a great story. You should send it to Texas Jim for the next Tales Book.

Pete

Sigi
03-12-2005, 14:43
I remember reading this when you first wrote it, NDD. Great story.

Question: What exactly were you training for?

NousDefionsDoc
03-12-2005, 15:34
I remember reading this when you first wrote it, NDD. Great story.

Question: What exactly were you training for?

Training to stop the Soviet Hoard at the Fulda Gap of course. :lifter

Bill Harsey
03-12-2005, 19:15
I've got tears in my eyes.... NDD that was funny as hell!!!!
ME TOO!

Thanks NDD!