I joined the Army while still in High School under the Delayed Entry Program where I was lucky enough to have Airborne and Special Forces training written into my enlistment document, and in August of 1984 I boarded a bus for Ft Benning, GA for Infantry Basic Training. 13 weeks later I loaded another bus and headed to Jump School and earned my jump wings and was then ready to proceed to Ft Bragg, NC for the Special Forces Qualification Course (SFQC), which I graduated in September 1985 as an 18E10 (the MOS for enlisted soldiers as a Special Forces Communications Specialist).
My first duty station was Ft Devens, MA and I was assigned to the 10th Special Forces Group Airborne’s (10th SFG(A)) Signal Company in what they then called a Base Operations Platoon (BOP) 1. There I was trained to operate the Communications Central AN/TSC-99
The AN/TSC-99 has long since been retired, but at the time it was how Special Forces A-Teams communicated with the Special Forces Operation Base (SFOB). Back then allowed A-Teams deployed hundreds of miles behind “enemy lines” to report current status, request aerial resupply and exfiltration, and was the best technology available at the time.
After spending the required time in Signal Company I was off to my first A-Team, SFODA-011 in Bad Toelz, GE. During my time in Signal Company I went from PFC to SSG, the rank required for a Jr Special Forces Communications NCO. I was fortunate enough to have a Team Sergeant that was as good as they come, even within Special Forces, and I was brought up right so to speak by a Vietnam vet who had served in Delta Force and as a Special Forces SCUBA instructor, as well as one of the operators sent in to free the Iranian Hostages under President Carter.
I remained in Bad Toelz until the Kaserne was closed in 1994, but not before being sent to the Turkish border with Iraq for Operation Provide Comfort. Closing Flint Kaserne in Bad Toelz was a sad chapter in Special Forces history, and the new base we were assigned to was Panzer Kaserne in Boeblingen (just south of Stuttgart).
After finishing my second overseas tour in Germany I was sent back to Ft Devens, which also was closing and off we went to Ft Carson, CO where 10th SFG(A) remains to this day. I had made the rank of SFC by that time, so I was the Sr Communications NCO for SFODA-093, 3rd Bn, 10th SFG(A).
More to come…