Thursday, June 14, 2018

June 14th... the US Army's Birthday.

Also Flag Day.
Photo ©2010 & 2018 Mrs. Drang & The Cluemeter.
I hear it's also President Trump's birthday, although TBH I don't generally celebrate the birthday of folks I don't know personally. (Note it, sure, but celebrate, no.)

Here are a few pics I just dug out of the archive:

Team Spirit, 1986:
Photo ©1986 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
My Motley Crew for Team Spirit 1986. 3 KATUSAs and two round eyes, on a mountain for two weeks. Part of why I laugh when I hear people speak nostalgically about MREs, or act like ramyun* is a gourmet delight...
Photo ©1986 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
I wish I could remember this guy's name, he was a Ground Surveillance Radar operator augmenting my team. Good guy, despite the (mostly) good-natured rivalry between the "Electronic Grunts" and us SIGINT Geeks.
Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
Here I am, a year or so later at Ft. Ord, the 7th Infantry Division (Light) "Fight Light, Freeze at Night!"(I can pinpoint this as to date because I am wearing OD green "jungle fatigue" trousers, still authorized for field wear at the time. They got destroyed at the National Training Center soon after this.)

Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
My buddy, Steve W. If you recognize him, have him drop me a line.

Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
IIRC, Steve M. (on the left) and Dave J. (on the right.) No, that's not a duffel bag full of poagie bait, it's the 50+ pound direction finding antenna.

If The Steves and Dave look like drowned rats in these, it's because it was raining non-stop. We were supposed to be dropped in an airmobile insertion, move cross-country, and then get picked up. Somewhere in there, the skies opened up and the pick up got cancelled, and we spend a miserable night under poncho hooches. (Actually, IIRC, it was one big hooch and we pulled the Heinlein Starship Troopers thing where we huddled together...)

Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
This is my ruck. There are many like it, but this one was mine. PRC77 radio with KY57 crypto device, a week's worth of batteries, MREs and water, poncho and poncho liner, and one change of socks.

≈125 pounds.

Tactical Hipsters can speak of their "woobie" like it's some sort of security blanket, but I spent too many nights freezing under one to get all misty-eyed.

Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
Airmobile insertion, waiting for the bird to pull pitch...
Photo ©1987 & 2018 DW Drang & The Cluemeter.
All the pics (except the one at the top, taken by Mrs. Drang), were taken on film, before consumer-priced digital cameras were even science fiction. The ones from Ft Ord were taken with a Vivitar pocket 35mm, that just fits in a 20 round M16 magazine pouch. I'm pretty sure the ones from Korea were taken with a Nikon SLR, otherwise I couldn't have gotten that time-delay group pic. No idea what lens either camera had/has.

*Ramyen -- or "namyun" -- is Korean, Ramen is Japanese...

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