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End of mission. Close station, march order.

 Young Lieutenant Donovan got off the airplane at Frankfurt, he and the other Lieutenant Donovan were picked up by 1LT Pete Hansen, the rear detachment commander of the 1st Battalion, 22nd Field Artillery.  Pete motored us to Monteith Barracks, near Nurnberg, home of the 1st Armored Division's Division Support Command (DISCOM) where little Johnny drew his TA-50 issue.  Pete then drove us over to Pinder Barracks, home of 1/22 FA, 6/14FA, HHB DIVARTY, 595 MP, and a Corps maintenance company whose number escapes me for the moment.  

There I got in a jeep and headed off to Grafenwoehr and the FIST TOC, where I was informed I had radio watch for the night.  I hadn't been in Germany 10 hours yet.  That would be the famous night where I told the idiot blowing into his microphone on the battalion net that it was not necessary to inflate his radio prior to use.  Apparently LTC Becker, the battalion commander, liked to inflate his radio before he used it and he did not take kindly to my admonition.  Fortunately, he didn't catch my callsign, either.

Such was my introduction to the 1st Armored Division in 1980.

Three weeks later the battalion is back in garrison and 1LT Pullen, the Brigade Fire Support Officer I worked for (yes, a 1LT (P) brigade FSO, we were short-handed back in the day) informed me that I should report that afternoon to the Pinder Theater for the DIVARTY commander's welcome brief.

Seated with all the other newbs, the DIVARTY commander stumped out on stage, looked us over, and said in a gruff voice with an odd accent:

"The mission of the 1st Armored DIVARTY is to go east, and cancel Czechs!"

That was my introduction to Colonel John M. D. Shalikashvili, who would later manage to make his way to the top of the military ladder as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. He was born in Warsaw, Poland in 1936, son of Georgians who had fought against the Bolsheviks -  I heard his stories of the war, and he wasn't shy about some of the uncomfortable twists in his family's experience of the war.  While his post-career politics didn't exactly align with mine, he was an able commander who cared for his troops, which is more than I will say for several other officers I served under who later wore four stars.

Regardless - it was a memorable mission brief, and a good introduction to the Cold War.  Hoist a stein of Zirndorfer down at Fiddler's Green for me, General.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam of General John M. D. Shalikashvili, who taught me military banking the 1st Tank way!

11 Comments

" Well done, to the General."  
 
Glad you broke listening silence again for this. Shalli couldn't ask for more than this fine rememberance.

Whoever McGuffin is he needs to discover th \e superior power of the written word and imagination.
 
Used to see him occasionally at the Ft Lewis barber shop before he had his stroke. Gruff old guy and a true patriot. Rest in peace. 
 
 Wow, really small world. I was just down the street at Nellingen Kaserne in Stuttgart in 1980. I had no idea Shalikashvili was there at the time, but so were so many other luminaries, past and future. FM Rommel's son was the mayor of Stuttgart, Patton's son had a slot with VII Corps, on our base, Colin Powell was there somewhere around the same time, my old company commander (Now LTG) Ben Freakley was introducing the Bradley with the 2/30 INF, there was one of the famed WWII Luftwaffe fighter pilots commanding the F-104 squadron over at the Stuttgart airport (though I forget which one at the moment), and there's undoubtably a bunch of others worth mentioning. 
 
RIP, General.  He got to Washington shortly before we left.  He seemed like a decent sort; one of those salt-of-the-earth types.
 
RIP, General.   He had already left Pinder and been replaced by COL Beavers by the time I got there, but the maintenance company on post was the 156th.
 
156 Maint!  That was it.  Thanks, Frank.
 
 I didn't know he was a Red Leg. RIP General.

As for politics, we can't all be perfect.
 
What got him, if that's not too rude to ask? Hey, I'm 60, and trying to stick around a bit longer.
 
*Someone* doesn't click the links...  stroke, JTG.  His second one. 
 
Sorry about that, Chief.  Must remember to eat an aspirin tablet now and then.