Just out of curiosity………when did all you guys arrive at the 2/75? I got there on or about 14 Apr ’75, fresh out of Jump School and a 10 day “leave” athome. Not many people there yet….at that time. Old barracks at North Fort, Cpt Kelly was still the Co C “CO”……
Happy Anniversary!!! For what it is worth, I signed on to 2nd Batt while at jump school in march of ’75, a SSG Barbeau gathered all of us headed to 1st Batt (yech) and made us an offer. Dave Lukoskie, and I as well as some others jumped on the chance. We got there about mid April, just after they got back from cadre training. Joined B Co Wpns on a 90 crew. What a place and time to learn to be a Soldier! Especially a RANGER!
Please attach this to whereever this post is circulating.The long, strange trip of Doc Burns to the 2nd Ranger Battalion.
Roque Moguel and I were walking around Ft. Campbell one day mid-summer 1974, hating life generally and the Army particularly. The 101st was in horrible shape. Our unit only had 2 NCOs present for duty, our 1SG and an E-6 supply or Motor-T NCOIC, I can’t remember which, who was later arrested for selling heroin, running a prostitution ring and bigamy. We had to lock all our belongings in our wall locker every morning, drugs were being used and sold openly int barracks, race problems were out of control. This was not what we had expected when we enlisted.
On main post we saw an Airborne Ranger Officer in jungle cammies, and a black beret. Talking to him, we found out that he was recruiting for the 1st Ranger Battalion, and we both went to hear his pitch. A medic and a cook wanting to be Airborne Rangers. He basically ignored us but the hook had been set.
My Company CO and the Bn CO had both arranged to get me an interview to enter the Military Prep Academy for eventual appointment to West Point. My Company CO’s brother was going to be the Cadre Commander the year I would start West Point. My future was set.. My congressional staffer came to interview me the same week that I heard that a 2nd Ranger Battalion was starting up at Ft Lewis. I talked to the Bn CSM and got an appointment to talk to the Old Man. After listening to my impassioned plea to go be a “hairy chested commando” instead of an officer and a gentleman he reluctantly agreed to help me get to the 2nd Ranger Battalion. The best he could do was a PCS to Ft Lewis (see attachment 1).
Arriving at Ft Lewis on 31 Oct 74, I found myself assigned to the 9th Med Bn, A Co. (see attachment 2) What a buncha ragbags! No military courtesy, long hair greased up under their ‘baseball” caps. I refused to quit wearing bloused Corcorans, my “cunt cap,” and didn’t sew on a 9th ID patch. I kept telling everyone, my CO, the 1SG (an old 5th SF guy) that I was only there for a short time until I could get into the 2nd Ranger Battalion.
I immediately went up to North Fort and made an appointment to talk to CPT “Doc” Wentzel. In his gravelly voice he told me, “Doc you come here, there ain’t no f***king college, but I garan-fucken-tee you a Master’s Degree in soldiering.” And on 19 December 1974 I reported in to duty at the 2nd Ranger Battalion at North Fort Lewis. (see attachment 3) There were no individual companies, we did PT, runs and daily dozens in the AM, volleyball in the afternoon and built wall lockers all day. This was more like what I expected from the Army.
ON 16 Jan 1975 teh individual Companies were broken out (see attachment 4 for the original 25 EM’s of Charlie Co,) Our CO was 1st LT Hamilton (I had met him when still assigned to the 9th Med BN when I played on the Ft Lewis Rugby Team) and shortly PSG Allchin(?sp) joined us as our acting 1SG. I made the mistake of telling them I had been to teh Army Typing and Correspondence Course while at Ft Campbell. The next 1 1/2 years were spent as the Charlie Company Clerk.
One day I was on Main Post when I heard someone yell “Cuñado!!” and there was Roque. He had finished Jump School and was coming to the Bn as a cook. In 1976 he joined Charlie Company, 2nd Platoon as an 11B Fire team leader. Yeah, good times.
I remember one day on North Fort, one of my first PT runs (what happened to the Airborne Shuffle!!??) I was in the middle of the formation looking for a hole to drop out. PSG Allchin happened to be running next to me. He saw me looking and said, “Doc, don’tcha just eat this shit up!!??” How the hell could I drop out now, this “old man” cruising along next to me grinnin’ like a 14 year old in a whore house. I finished the run and never dropped out of a run after that. Thanks, Top!
CSM Roy D Smith (retired) and I mean it
In August 1974, I received a call from senior NCO assignments that would I consider going to Fort Lewis and help in the start up of the 2nd Ranger Bn. I thought my days of volunteering were over with after spending three out of five years in Korea and Vietnam.I was married to my wife Carol with four children,two in high school and two in middle school. So it was a tough decision! So I pulled the kids out of school and we arrived in Ft lewis several days after activation. I had the pleasure of serving with the greatest group of soldiers in the army. Just look at the great leaders both commissioned and enlisted that served with us.
2nd Lt Eldon Bargewell, LTC Baker, General Magruder, the list goes on and on, all of them went on to wear many stars on their collars. We enlisted swine did okay also two of my classmates at Ranger school in 1963 went on to become Sgts major of the Army. retiCSM Gates and CSM Kidd. You all had some of the best leaders in one place at the same time.You all were by far the best soldiers that I have ever served with. I am only listing names with in B Company. But what I am saying applies to each and every one of you and your leaders. Many of us shared the same experiences in the early days of the Ranger Bn……………These are memories that we all will cherish forever!!!!!
Ranger Wm Ohl
Dave, This has been pretty neat reading! I was recruited by LTC Baker out of the Senior Tac’s job in Ranger School. He promised me command of a company. When I reported in at North Fort he told me he had filled the companies already-which really made me mad. He said he had a more important job and I had to be the biggest A-hole in the battalion. He wanted me to be the S3-Air and if I did my job right, every single soldier in the battalion, officers, NCOs, and troops would hate me, but we would jump the same in every company and not like the “Rookie-Ass” way the 82nd jumped, (i.e. yanking on static lines, screaming etc,) which is where Baker, Williford and Powell had come from. I was pissed but saluted and tried my best to live up to his charge-worked pretty well, no friends as S3-Air! Ranger Ohl
I marched in the activation then was TDY to Yakima, came back and there was no B Co. I had been assigned to 3-39th and technically AWOL. I talked to the ROCK and was assigned to B Co 2nd Bn. 2 Lt Bargewell was acting Cdr and SSG Maxin was acting as 1SG. I ended up being the company clerk out of necessity. That’s why the files were messed up for a while.
Like 2 weeks later..will have to check parachute school cert to get exact day….early May though and Hilburn too
Ranger Rock Shiffer
Happy 35th anniversary Ralph!
Dave, to answer your question about when we all arrived at 2d Ranger BN, Dan Ferguson and I signed in on the same day and we were the first two enlisted t sign in and Bco told us to go on leave. I had just been on leave and so I stayed and Dan went on leave. There wasn’t anyone there except guys from B company, 75th, 9ID and I was there alone for about a week until someone else came there. I recalled I was cleaning things and doing a lot of push ups for some of those Bco guys.
I had signed up on the 2d or 3d of OCT 1974 at the Airborne Dept. And they told me I was the first to sign up there.
I guess it was about the middle of OCT that we signed in. Dan signed in first and I signed in second. CPT Howard had recruited me when I was trying to join his unit at Benning and he told me where to sign up. CPT or COL (R) Howard promoted me to SGM the day before I reported to the Sergeant’s Major Academy on 4 Dec. 2003.
On 23 Sept. I had a great day with 2d Ranger BN’s Delta Company, as they trained out on FT Lewis ranges into the evening. Their Commander, MAJ Robert Shaw and his 1SG showed me what our great Rangers can and will do for our country. I couldn’t have had a better day!
Thanks to all that allowed me some quality time with the super, Ranger Soldiers, NCOs and Officers of the 2D Ranger BN.
Ah, to good old days. I remember being in awe that there was a place in the Army where officers and NCOs actually took care of their soldiers. And other things from the first few years:
-Moss on my feet and rust on my body in the BG days (yeah, boys – Before Gore-Tex!)
-Bad Bob’s bayonet assault course escapade
-the 1-2-3 Club
-The nurses of the Madigan Club
-Oh, hell – the Madigan Club
-Everything on Lewis painted black and gold; towers, fences, doors, range markers, cars
-Rock’s rockin’ the 1-2-3
-The polar bear and battalion PT
-1SG Block and Bad Bob Demoisey and hand to gland
-And while we’re at it, Demoisey’s dog sniffing your ass when you were doing pushups in those sexy green cutoff pants and gray sweatshirts
-Yelling “Hang it. Fire. Splash. Boom”
-Getting to jump a Dash 1
-Getting to make a fun jump – no ruck or rifle, but you had to wear camo
-Running road guard with BFRs that we actually used …
-Boom-Boom Mattoon, Popeye, The Barge (yes, you!), Big Al Childress (RIP), The Rad, Tribble, Mean Joe Heckard, The Moonwalker, CW, Ed Omdoll
-The Red Roof Pub, the Outback Saloon, Ponder’s Corner, Galloping Gerty, Baby-O’s, Night Moves
-Silverside rides to McChord, long walks home
-Learning the Ranger Creed while we ran a very long battalion run …
-Dennis Thompson running by me during battalion PT saying, “Man, I wish I could have run like this a few years ago …”
-Longer hair than we want to remember (look at the friggin’ yearbook!)
Hugh “Skip” Schumacher
Okay, 35 years ago, I went down to the recruiters office and signed the papers. Did the delayed entry program and shipped off on October 21, 1974. Met Van Arsdale at Reception Station, Fort Polk, LA. He had long red hair down to his waist before he went into the barber shop. I met Bill Shutler on the Mortar Square. I had signed up to go to the 1st Bn. At Jump School, CPT Magruder and some other folks came recruiting. They were back at Ranger School for Cadre Training. When we completed Jump School, we flew back with the cadre to Fort Lewis. We were the wide-eyed newbies watching these guys go crazy as they got ready to jump. They had been gone for six weeks. We landed with the luggage at McChord and came back to North Fort on top of the duffel bags in trucks. They had a party with kegs of beer and food brought in by the wifes over on North Fort. Shook hands with LTC A.J. Baker as he welcomed us to the bn. The companies had just moved into their own areas. I spent the first two-weeks with PT and wall-locker assembly!! Our orders had us checking in on 2 April 1975. We were about three days early. Went over to Bn HQ and talked to SP4 Rush about when we had to report. He asked Maj Powell. Powell said when our orders said we had to. We all took off to the winds for those three days. I was there in Weapons Platoon when some knuckle-head named Dave Lukowski came walking in.
Oops, need more coffee!!
Weldon E. Dodson A 2/75 Wpns 6-76
I got to A 2/75 Wpns in early 1975, I don’t remember the exact date. They were still on the old “North Fort” or whatever it was called. We had the open bay style barracks over there, sort of like basic training. We had just a few people in our platoon then, maybe ten or twelve or so. We started to get more and more over the next few months, had a lot of turnover, but eventually we filled out nicely. I remember we had a lot of the Vietnam guys with us at the time. The old NCOs were mostly from that group. I spent most of my time wandering around, scared, trying to make it from day to day. I don’t know about you guys, but all that stuff was hard for me. It was everything I could do just to get through each day. The runs were hard. The field exercises were hard. It was all hard. Eventually, they sent me off to Ranger School (6-76) and I struggled through that, but passed, and I left the service after my time was up. I took a lot with me when I left that place (a LOT!) and I often wish I could have given back more. To me, most of you guys were bigger than life and I really admired being among that group. Although it was a real challenge for me, I was proud to contribute my tiny part.
I arrived June 5, 1975. 3d herd was filling up fast. After meeting Roy D in the old N fort barracks, (scared me shitless) I got my first taste of my dear friend and God father of my son, the infamous Ranger Samec! I am proud to say we become good life long friends. He’s living the dream in MT about 2 hrs from another infamous character, Tommy Gould, my best friend during our Ranger days and another life long pal. The three of continued to serve in SF together until we retired. As only Tom could say, “thems were the days!”. Ahhhh…Quinlan and Harding….I fondly remember Brian on the weekends…more fights than I care to remember and the frequent weekends of seeing our Irish fighter wakeup bloody and beaten only to go do it again!!!!! Of course then there was Bell and Lewis at VIPs, Buffin tommy guns, and Lisi, LISI, LISI
My first day with the 2nd Battalion was 11 Jun 75. But, my first interaction with Rangers was while at 525 Replacement Quinlan and Nees and I went to shoppette naturally sporting our high speed new berets (which apparently we were wearing improperly) and in our pickle suits. SSG Demoisey observed us while driving some kind of VW thing swerved out of traffic, maybe jumped a curve, but turned around and collared us. I don’t remember the details but remember thinking afterward, what had I got myself into, I also wanted to be in this B company he had explained to us was the one to ask for if they asked us.
Actually, a little quick research helps me remember his heartache involved us having berets with Ranger tabs and Ranger school flashes. But since we hadn’t known any other way he didn’t beat us up right there.
Congratulations 2nd Ranger Battalion and the many Hooahs who made it work.
12 Jun 75 right before the move from N. Fort. I spent an entire week buffing floors and painting curbs for the legs before I could go to the Bn. After months of striving to do all those things required that my body kept screaming about, I finally reached my goal. And then I was like Obama on his first day as president: “What happens now?”
I arrived at BN on 30 Jun 75. BN was just finishing individual training and was in the field. CQ runner took me up to the 1st squad room in 3d Plt. Mel Hughes was profiling in the room and a few minutes later Jimmie Bynum came in with what he claimed to be a “rolled dobie” he’d found outside the door. Hughes preceeded to sweat bullets for the couple minute grilling he got till Jimmie admitted he had made it from a c-rat Lucky Strike.
Good times, Jimmie – still miss the little card shark.
Peter S. Parker
C-2/75 75-79 Class 8-76
I got to C-2/75 about a month after the move to Main Post – 24 JUL 75. It was the day before the first Bn Mass Tac Jump. Since they didn’t have Jump orders cut for me, they wouldn’t let me jump. Bastards!
Happy 35th Anniversary, boys, If some of you weren’t so fugly, we’d be famous by now!
Late August ’75 … right after I finished up Jump School. I remember it felt soooo good to get out of the heat & humidity of Ft. Benning. I got hung up at that stupid brick transition center for the weekend because they didn’t have anyone to process me. I ended up buffin floors all weekend … damn I couldn’t wait to get to BN. They finally sent a driver and lugged my ass over to C Co. where I was humbled in proper fashion by 1SG Schalavin and introduced to myplatoon sergeant … SFC Mattoon … enuff said :~P (1st Squad / 1st Plt) Spidey issued me a dirty M-60 and I was on my way …
The Beast – Class 7-76
Got there Oct. 75, 3rd Plt. Taken to a room with Marshall, Harding and Quinlan. Marshall says,” fresh meat”. So I told them,” None of you could beat my ass in a fair fight”, Quinlan and Harding jump up, oh is that right. Yep, It ain’t right to chase a man down and beat the shit out of them. Harding says, I like you.
I got there…OCT 78′ to Wpns Sqd, 3rd PLT, B Co…..
first night watched Jeremiah Johnson on TV in the day room the night the Co got back from the Company (?) Arteps…then went on the Bn Artep – jumped into Dugway UT….found out I was the only MG (A-gunner) guy – but I had only the barrel bag/tripod + my .45…to set up the perimeter….in a blizzard……….dem some characters…..!
After I watched Jeremiah Johnson in the day room I was called to the 3rd PLT CP then sent to “help out”…..Tom Gould, Ozbourne, Hicks, etc….had my sorry ass helping them clean weapons (Tom’s M14!) in the 3rd sqd room after returning from CO Arteps…..then they all left me to go to Denny’s??……2PM…typical……
early next morning (or soon after) Lisi woke me up coming back from Ranger School………loud…..!
Jose Torres C 2/75 Nov 76
Like a non-English speaking midget in a land of giants…. That’s what it was like walking into the battalion for the first time. I was assigned a sponsor and for the life of me I wish I could remember who it was, I remember he said he was my sponsor because he had taken Spanish in High School. I reported to Bn in Class A unifrom becasue the airline had lost my luggage. My class A’s that I thought were so squared away had the wrong unit patch (not the scroll) and my beret had the wrong flash (bastards at Ranger Joe’s in Columbus sold me the wrong shit..) 1SG Schalavin was sitting at his desk with his feet propped up. I was assigned to 2nd Platoon and after speaking spanish to SSG Luis Palacios for about five minutes non-stop, he told me he did not speak Spanish, because he was from Guam…Not a good start. Today I have the privilige of standing up a new Civil Affairs Battalion and many of the things I have implemented and the way Soldiers treat each other and their leaders, would be very familiar to anybody that served in 2nd Bat (One is for show, two is for GO!!) around the mid seventies….I grew up in the Battalion and it, and the people I served with (Spiderman, Smithlin, Shurson, Yates, Doc Burns, Woody, Acheson, Ahearn, Abizaid, 1SG Rivera, 1SG Schalavin, 1SG Barrios, 1SG Mattoon, Lt Abizaid, Lt Karhohs, LT Patternoster, CPT Ohl, CPT Jackson, CPT Wagner, etc will always be a very important part of my life.
Late December ’76,,,,fresh out of totaling my 240Z with all my stuff in it after being transferred from Bragg,,,,acting CSM Schalavin took one look at me after I left Madigan and said ‘awww, Jesus,,,,’ everybody else was in Alaska,,,only guys I remember being around were Doc Burns and SSG Sparling,,,remember him??
Hell boys you have better memories than Parker. I had to think a bit about the month and year I arrived. Pretty sad! I arrived in Feb 77. I also spent time in the 525 and got shipped to BN just before the weekend. I ended up in 1st platoon C Co, Mattoon’s platoon in Mike Ray’s squad with Pat Gallagher as my Team Leader. I wasn’t scared, but was wondering if I could hang. I did for a while. Them runs kicked my ass. Took me about six months for my legs and shin splints to quit hurting. I thought I was done, but I hung in there and eventually it seemed to get easier. Even Fun. Little did I know this was training me to do anything I wanted. Nothing in life seemed to be harder that that first six months. Sure I had a lot of things that were harder, but I always compared it to those early years and knew if I could make it through that I could do anything.
In the begining I had trouble getting up the stairs after PT and slept through lunch. After a few months with you fellows, I was out drinking untill 3, Getting into my PT clothes and sleeping on top of my bunk, so I wouldn’t have to make it. Running PT and not remembering the first mile or so. Rangering all day and doing it all again.
Do you fellows remeber those Rucksack Runs Mattoon used to take us on. Full uniform, Boots, Rucks, Weapons and a couple miles. Ahhh what fun we had.
What is going on here? Do you post to this thread or the blog? This internet thing sure is a fast mover. Anyway, I arrived at C 2/75 in March 78 after a little AIT and jump school. I came in as a prior service leg E-4 (Aug 74-Aug76). After a little RIP, I was first assigned to 1st platoon. I found out that time in grade and time in service didn’t mean do-do, to time in Battalion. That was fine. I tried to maintain a low profile, but after a short stay with 1st platoon, a newly arrived NCO SSG or SFC Guthrie came in and for some reason decided I would serve the company better by carrying a 90mm with Weapons Platoon. I must have had a premonition when I first went to the field and saw the guys humping 90’s and wondered who did they piss off to get stuck carrying thatbitch. Well, I made some good friends after they realized that not everyone from Chicago was a gangster or liberal. I guess after I started chewing theyfelt I could be trusted. I can only echo what has been written about the great NCO’s and officers and the enlisted that I met. I’d just like to say a quick thanks to Pete Parker and others that got us all to link up in the early listserver days. RIP Eli and his wormpit.
I got there Sept of ’78. A few days at 525th Replacement, then taken to Bn and Co C Weapons Platoon. Chester Hill’s 90mm gun team.
I’ll always remember those years.
It was a time I walked among giants.
My name is Vic Pierce. I’m a retired Army warrant officer and provided direct operational support to the Spec Ops community for a number of years as acounterintelligence/positive human intelligence “specialist” (if you catch my drift) and retired at Ft. Lewis in 2000.
Harry Bell (alias Smud the Magic Turd….God of Anal Disorders and Nocturnal Emissions) has been one of my dearest friends for years. Harry and I graduated from high school together and attended the University of Nevada/Reno as fellow fraternity brothers and ROTC drill team members (Harry was the team drunk, I was the team pimp). Frankly, if Smud had been a better student, he would have gone on to do other things and you may have never had the chance to know him. But, as fate would have it, although a certified genius, Harry had difficulty in grasping rather rudimentary concepts (he still thinks asphalt is a rectal disorder!) and quit school to fulfil his dream of being a Ranger. After a serious training injury during OCS, I was unable to fulfil my own dream of being a Marine recon officer and eventually enlisted in the Army. Harry and I always stayed in touch and I remember his stories about LT Bargewell and others.
Years later, I had the opportunity on a number of occasions to meet and talk with GEN Downing when he was SOCOM Commander when he would visit our office at Ft. Meade. What a funny guy! US Army Ops Group was commanded by his former S2 at 2/75, then CPT (ret COL) Dennis Basset (anybody remember?). I remember hearing countless stories about 2nd Bat when both were there and recall thinking what a great unit it must have been to serve in. I envied them both and worked with several fellow Rangers from the “old days” during my career…..Georgeovich, Holt, Sullens, Harvey, Rollins, Opalenic. Maybe a few of you guys remember me.
Before retiring in 2000, I ran the security and counterintelligence effort for the Ranger Support Element and since 2006 I’ve been a contract background investigator conducting security clearance investigations at Ft. Lewis. Occasionally, I have the opportunity to go on the compound to conduct interviews and I’m humbled to walk on what I consider hallowed ground. I’m all to familiar with what kind of soldiers have walked (and continue to walk) on these sidewalks, and I always call up Harry after my visits just to let him know where I’ve been, talk about the old days, and that I’m thinking of him. Unfortunately, there are so many that have no concept of what it means to serve and sacrifice. I get recharged and refocused after spending time with these brave young men….they remind me that my years of service to this wonderful country were worth every fucking second and that my freedom rests with such capable professionals!
Congratulations for being part of something so special, gentlemen! God bless each and every one of you! RLTW!
CW3, USA (ret)
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