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You know you're an Old Soldier if...

Pulling JimC's comment up from Warrior Wannabe post...  I would note I still know how to assemble a tactical nuke and do the fire planning and how to compute firing data.  Though I'd probably have to check the book to do "nuke K-transfer" data for an 8inch round.

And in the spirit of the post and as a tribute to my generation of Americanische Soldaten

You are an OLD Soldier if…



You know what GDP means and still remember where yours was and how long it took to occupy.

You remember when we had tactical nukes and really planned to use them.

You remember spending hours in MOPP4 and doing M256 kits.

You remember when the M8 Claymore and M72 LAW were part of CTT.

You remember when ARTEPs were 36 hours long and you had fun.

You know what a Gamma Goat and Goer were and could fix an M151A2 to run off one prop shaft.

You remember when the Israelis were bad-asses and we all wanted to be like them.

You remember when Saddam Hussein was our loyal ally.

You remember when “Airland Battle” was a new concept, and everyone religiously read FM 100-5.

You know what the 'Cap Wineberger' Doctrine was.

You remember when the M16 was a plastic carbine, and you hoped for an M14.

You can remember going to the Club at Graf, drinking, and watching Margaret.

You personally knew Margaret.

You know the difference between the VRC-46, VRC-47, PRC-77 and VRC-160 and the requisite installation kits.

You know what a CEOI is and you can encrypt grids.

You remember when NTC was a new and cool concept.

You remember when it was real cool to go to SAMs or be an OC at NTC.

You remember when as a new LT/CPT you could go out and train your soldiers and not have an OC tell you how screwed up you were.

You remember BN Cdrs and 1SG's who were Vietnam Vets.

You remember Bn Cdrs who drank, swore and mentored.

You remember Bn Cdrs who were ruthless about tactics, but didn't give a crap about admin BS.

You remember when 2LTs and CPLs demanded respect from PFCs and got it.

You can navigate at night without a GPS.

You can remember OPDs about Clausewitz (aka dead Karl) which usually ended with beer drinking at the O' club.

You can remember when “lane training” was a neat concept.

You can remember when FM 25-101 was a new concept.

You can remember when the defense budget was 7% of the GNP.

You can remember when the “Main Battle Area was the only fight.

You can remember when every ones career track was 10 years in Germany

You remember when the Soviet Union was a major super power instead of being a basket case for the IMF.

You could remember studying German concepts like “mission tactics”, and “commander's intent” and it was cool.

You could remember reading military history and going on staff rides because the Chief of Staff of the Army did it.

You could become a Bn S3, Bn XO, Bn Cdr, or Bde Cdr without being Resident CGSC graduate.

You could remember BN and BDE Cdr's who were proud of being "non-resident" CGSC guys.

You could receive a couple of "2-blocks" and it would not force you to look for employment on the outside.

You remember when privates bragged about the challenge they got in basic training, and how tough their drill sergeants were.

You remember when “Sensitivity Training” was something your wife did.

You remember when Values Cards meant credit cards.

You remember when going to the Pentagon was not cool and did not help your career.

You remember when PowerPoint was what a Private did on butcher paper taped-up on a board with "hundred-mile-an-hour" tape.

You remember when you could say hooah, because the Chief of Staff of the Army said it.

You remember when women in combat were just a bad idea that would soon fade away.

You remember when being “hardcore” was cherished.

You remember that going to Ranger School was cool and not for career progression.

You remember that more than one company command was what studs did.

You could remember that going to Korea was like going to the field for twelve straight months, and only the hard-core guys extended.

You could remember when you could maneuver anywhere you wanted in Korea and it was not a big deal.

You could remember when "maneuver damage" was paid lip-service.

You could remember when you could "Major" in ROTC.

You remember eating C-rations in the field.

You wore the "banana suit" to PT.

You wore the "pickle suit" to formation.

You remember taking the five-event APFT.

You remember when a PFC/SPC made presentations using a Leroy set instead of CPTs/MAJs using PowerPoint.

You remember when camouflage nets were made of cloth.

You remember when the Army's vehicles ran on gas.

You remember when cigarettes were in C-rations.

You remember how to report for pay and what a pay line was.

You remember beer machines in the barracks/dayroom.

You remember when Clothing Sales was run by Army soldiers.

You remember when there used to be enlisted, NCO and Officer Clubs.

You remember the Women's Army Corps (WACs).

You remember when stripes were worn on the sleeve.

You remember when you ran PT in boots, white T-shirt and fatigue pants.

You remember when Jungle boots were green.

You remember when Jump boots cost $16.50 a pair and you shined the whole boot instead of just the toe and heel.

You remember when cigarettes were $2.00 a carton.

You remember what an alert was.

You remember when Sergeants ran the Army.

You remember Disposition Forms (DF’s) instead of memorandums. (That would be DA Form 2496!)

You remember when a one line correction on a document was sufficient, instead of correcting it on a word processor and running off 20 copies

You were allowed to wear foreign jump wings or a RECONDO badge on your fatigues.

Only elite forces wore a beret.

You carried a .45 cal pistol instead of a 9mm.

You could shave, bathe and cook out of your helmet.

You remember when 5 tons ran on gasoline.

You remember when F-4 Phantoms mock attacked your convoys.

You remember wearing duty uniforms that weren't camo.

You remember painting Dragons on your 2 1/2 ton to keep the Korean slicky boys away.

You remember when Agent Orange was just a weed killer.

You carried a twenty round magazine.

You drove a 113 on more than one REFORGER.

You are a life member of the division association.

You remember how to set up a footlocker and wall locker display.

You remember using coke cans to neatly roll your T-shirts and boxer shorts for your footlocker display.

You remember the only space you had in your footlocker for personal items had to fit in a space the size of a cigar box.

You remember needing a pass to leave post.

You remember getting stopped by the MP's to check your pass.

You know what bed check is.

You know what fire watch is.

You remember being on KP in garrison.

You remember Saturday was for inspections and Monday thru Friday was for training.

You remember when an Article-15 did not end your career and all good enlisted men had at least three which were removed from your 201 file upon transfer.

You know what Blood Stripes are.

You remember not being thrown out of the army for fighting downtown.

You remember when people went to prison for desertion.

You know what a T-10 parachute is.

You remember being dragged to safety by an overweight medic.

You remember when every Post had a Stockade and used them.

You remember being detailed to guard a work detail from the Post Stockade with a loaded shotgun.

You remember pulling guard duty with a loaded weapon.

You remember what the "Colonel's Orderly" was.

You remember being issued handkerchiefs and using them.

You remember having a shaving stick and why you had it and not a can of shaving crème.

You know what an M-79 is.

You know what a "Mule" is (not the four-legged type).

You remember when you didn't have to be "somebody" to be buried in Arlington.

You remember draftees.

You remember your serial number and know what the RA or US in front of a serial number means.

You remember when food was not allowed in the barracks.

You remember the back cover of Soldiers Magazine was a Playboy Bunny or someone's girlfriend.

You remember "Turret Talk" wasn't a friendly conversation.

You remember Connie Rod had big boobs.

You were allowed two beers for lunch.

There were beer machines in your barracks.

You knew the difference between a "Radborro" and a "Marlborro"

You remember The "Wall" wasn't a movie about Nuremburg.

You remember strippers were in the NCO clubs in Germany.

Your Bde Cdr told stories of how he jumped into France on D-Day.

You remember the "Polish National Guard" in the training areas.

You remember Twenty Mark Strasse in K-town.

You remember a Pig wasn't your buddy's girlfriend, but a weapon.

You remember Beef and Boulders came in a can that was hell to eat cold.

You traded your 4-pack of cigarettes from your C-rats for a beer.

You didn't stay very long in places called Leesville, Nolensville or Radcliff.

The company's copier was carbon paper between two sheets of paper in the typewriter.

You remember tankers jackets.

You remember John Wayne bars.

You remember what LSMFT stands for.

You remember doing a barracks search in Germany and finding a 35 mm camera film container with hash or marijuana in it.

You remember 50% high school grad enlistees.

You remember SADMs and MADMs.

You remember unannounced IG inspections.

You remember a 'C ration' breakfast of melted cheese over scrambled eggs.

You remember Motor SGTs who could jerry rig anything to run.

You remember riding in the front seat of an M151 with no canvas and windshield down in a snow storm

You remember Khakis.

You remember gas generator powered pop up targets in holes you dug.

You remember “Grease Guns”.

You remember "Coal Bin Willie" ordering all the 82nd Airborne Division coal bins to be whitewashed. (That's right: coal bins.)

You remember when the American flag flew proudly over the Panama Canal Zone

You can call old friends at 0344 and announce "Lariat Advance."

You can tell the story about accidentally entering the 1K zone with a full combat load during a sector alert.

You know that a “Stovepipe” was the 90 MM Recoilless Rifles that you lugged everyday, but only got to live fire it twice a year.

You know where you could find the John Wayne bars in the B-1, B-2 or B-3 units.

You found out the hard way, that a mess kit could collect more water then food if you did not keep it under your poncho.

Everyone donated money to the Platoon Sgt when someone parents died.

The mess sergeant would give groceries to the young Private and his wife who just got into country.

Seeing someone with an ARCOM was a rarity.

Your ARCOMs was signed by a four star general.

You remember looking for a spoon buddy with the other Shelter Half.

You owned a P38 and wore one on your dog tag chains.

You've eaten the OD Green paint shavings of a C-rat can.

You remember the SQT.

You remember military hospitals made of wood at major installations (Ft Polk, Ft Gordon, etc).

You remember getting promotion points for time in service and time in grade.

You remember “Bird Sergeants” with the ranks Spec 5 and 6 & 7

You remember when the Stars and Stripes was not just a Newspaper, but also a book store.

You remember organization days with beer.

You used brasso and kiwi daily.

You broke starch.

You dressed up to go to the Club for dinner.

You remember shaving your AWOL and then escorting the dumbass to become a CCF Ranger.

You remember “Night Acquisitions” from the PDO yard.

Challenge coins got you a beer or cost you one.

Caps had Ranger eyes.

Starched fatigues rubbed your nipples raw on long runs.

You know what a "Supernumerary" is, and tried hard to get it.

You sang cadence about the temperature of a certain part of the anatomy of a female Eskimo.

You could change filters in your M17 mask in under a minute.

You know what signing a Statement of Charges means, and you signed a few in your day.

Your Sergeant put a pencil under your boot heels to see if your boots were still "serviceable".

You know what it's like to ride in the back of a 2 1/2 Ton when it's 13 degrees below zero.

You know you got troubles when there is an alert and you are stationed in Seoul with no weapon.

22 Comments

You carried a SMLM card in your wallet.
 
 Gah!  How'd we miss *that* one!?!
 
The bad part about this list is I'm a retired squid and remember half of them despite "Joint tours" being unfashionable them days...
 
Wool field pants liners, short tube M109s, Sunday brunches at the club, white bag powder cannisters dated 1953, reversible camouflage covers, "It's ten o'clock in central Europe, do you know where your children are?", shirttails out or in depending on where you were stationed, whitewashing the bottom four feet of tree trunks, Cav units with M114s, and 18 divisions.  And I still have my first P-38 from 1974.
 
Yeah, I do, At least the stuff that doesn't post-date my time in. TM 9-1100-218-12 Thanks for the memories.
 
 Hmmm ... nope, don't remember.

Cheers
 
 Remember when Robert McNamara was SECDEF.
 
 Wow. Flashbacks. Except for Korea all hit home!
 
Does it count that I score about 80% from that list? 

For example, I ate C-rations, but they had pulled the cigarettes out a few years before, something that the NCOs bitched about constantly.  And I never hit Korea, save one exercise. 

But I do remember the SMLM, and the BC's standing bounty for one of the plates. 

 
Damn, John, I freakin' well MUST be old now:  I got a GO on 105 of those...

Somewhere around here I still have some blank DF's, just so I can prove to people that the Army used to have a form to use when there was no form specifically prescribed for what you wanted to do.

Which reminds me:  my handwriting is terrible, really hard for anyone but me to read, so I learned to type long before I joined the Army.  (For some reason I forgot to mention this when I was in the MEPS station.)  I was sitting in my barracks room after supper one day in early 1979, typing a letter to someone, when there was a knock at the door.  I open it, and it's my platoon leader, a West Point graduate from a long line of West Point graduates.  He says "Kirk, was that you typing?"  I look around.  I'm the only one in the room.  I say "Yessir."  "That your typewriter?"  I say "Yessir" again.  "Okay," the lieutenant says, "just checking."

That was Tuesday.  On Wednesday afternoon at the regular company officers call, my lieutenant is boasting to his peers that HE has a soldier in HIS platoon who not only can type, but has his own portable typewriter.  On Friday morning I was summarily transferred to the company HQ section and assigned as the XO's driver, with it having been clearly explained to me that I was NOT the company clerk because we weren't authorized a company clerk...    

And my first parachute jump, and my last parachute jump six years later, come to think of it, were made using T-10's.

I remember laying out helicopter LZ's at night using C-rat cans filled with sand and a couple spoonfuls of MOGAS, and lighting them off when the birds were 1 minute out.

I remember driving the GamaGoat, AND the Mule, AND jeeps which NEVER had windshields or canvas.  And I know that no matter what it says in the manual, a Goat will not float...   ...and that none of those vehicles had automatic transmissions or power steering.

And I remember not being able to stop at the grocery store on the way home because I was in duty uniform.

I remember a company party where we drew 24 cases of beer and 2 cases of Coke for 117 soldiers.

I even remember having a battalion CSM who was also a Major, USAR, since his battlefield commission wasn't worth much when the post Vietnam RIF's hit.
 
when losing turret power while downrange on your Table VIII qualification run merely meant you would be doing a LOT of manual cranking and flag waving, but the run still continued.
 
I get about half of these!
I remember picking up a WAC date at the hospital (which became the Infantry Museum) at Ft Benning.
I remember manhandling our gama-goats around corners on trails too tight to drive down at Camp Rilea.
We ran our jeeps on the front axle whenever the U-joints on the rear axle failed. When the front U-joints failed on my motor officer's jeep, he had to walk over the ridge overnight. His VRC-160 was out of range.
Nobody wanted to ride in my jeep - no sidecurtains in the winter so I could see traffic.
One of the trucks in my first Guard unit had a data plate that said 'Studebaker'. 
My first platoon sergeant as a new lieutenant was a Korean war vet, rumor was his unit had used bayonets there. 
I was there for the barbecue when they stood up the 75th Ranger Regiment. I had typed orders for most of their personnel with DF's. 
I remember when Clothing Sales was only open during duty hours, so you could only go there if you had the day off. And the other customers that day were escorted prisoners.
 
OK, I'll bite.

I wore an Eisenhower Jacket as an item of unitorm.  Ditto, the long sleeve khaki shirt.

Earned spending money hanging around the quads cleaning M1s, BARs, M1919A1s

I used bedroll straps and know how to attach them to LBE

My pile cap had rabbit fur on the front flap

One of my platoon weapons was the 3.5 inch rocket launcher with ammo dated 1953.

I pulled KP

I was well into my second company command when our first Gamma Goats showed up

Payday was once a month and everyone except officers were paid in cash.

Club membership and savings bond participation was always 100%



 
I lost my P-38 months ago (it fell off of my defective keyring) and am still feeling all butthurt and despondent about that. The Semi-Sweety (formerly Ex-Sweety, previously Sweety) has said she will get me another one, but I haven't heard from her lately.
 
Speaking as a miserable civilian...

I knew cloth cammo nets from all the WW2 photos from when I grew up in the 60s, including the TV show Combat! 

I knew about cigarettes in C-rations because my mom had a 1st Edition copy of Up Front which I read & re-read religiously. (Bill M. mentioned in his book that the pouches on his ammo belt were the perfect size to hold a pack of cigarettes)

I remember my dad (once) mentioning the "Y years, M months, D Days, H hours, and M minutes" he spend in the Army. It was one of the only two times he ever mentioned his time in the service in WW2.

I remember carbon paper. And mimeographs. :)

I know what the other P38 is.

I've used Brasso and Kiwi.

By the way, JTG, you do know you can buy new (repro, I think) P38s online, right? As well as P51s. They're all over the place.

 
 "You broke starch."  It was the starched boxers that was rough! 
 
I'm from the intermediate gen, I think.

But, I do remember when it was rip stop cammies and satine covers. The covers had to be blocked and starched, daily. And, when stationed in the tropics (Okinawa), that meant a daily facial glaze of melted starch and sweat.

I remember when we trained as much with how to utilize C Rat and ammo cans as improvised munitions as we did with regular issue munitions when training for assault and/or anti tank demo.

I remember the lectures regarding the reality of having to rely on Close Assaut, Anti Armor if "the day comes" due to the lack of supply in actual anti armor weaponry in the available log chain.

I remember 4 years as a Dragon gunner and never once having seen an actual Dragon round, let alone ever seeing one fired, not to mention ever firing one myself.

I recall ammo available for rifle range training being cut in half due to budget constraints.

I recall the livid outrage when they replaced our C Rats with MRE. 
Same for the change from rip stop cammies to woodlands.
Same for steel pots to the kevlars.

I recall when body armor was called flack vests and the vests issued to a platoon varied between the old type with overlapping plates that klanked when walking, the version stuffed with what looked like cotton stuffing, and the newer issue with ballistic mesh.

I recall when cold weather gear, temporarily  issued for cold weather training only, nearly always had old, faded blood stains and sewed up holes in them.

I recall when "catching a float" meant only that your battalion was gonna spend some time on ships and then get batches of hella good liberty. Oh, and some extra training, but nothing ball busting. And, MEUs were called MAUs. At least, that's what we grunts called em. Never knew what the official des was.

And, I recall when we trained to fight the Sovs as if they were the NVA/VC with lots and lots of tanks.
 
Hell, I'm a 68 yr-old old ex-zoomie but even I remember well over 75% of even the exclusively Army stuff! Time flies..tho I STILL have the P-38 on my old Dog-Tag chain.. And the old-style flack vests with plates (we got ours from the USMC in I-Corps) were best utilized by we FACS in O-1/O-2s by sitting on one while wearing a second, lol.
 
I remember everything except the O Club at Graf and Margaret.  Never got to Graf or Vilseck, just Wildflecken and Bad Kreuznach training areas.

Anyone like to share some Margaret stories?
 
Old Ex-Major Unger, my roommate years ago, was a Lieutenant and Captain back in the fifties. He had an old-fashioned First Sergeant, the kind with scars on his knuckles. Said Sergeant claimed that he had the best company clerks in the Army,  His system was, "I look at the records of all the new guys, and pick nice Jewish boys with English degrees from Columbia or CCNY, and I terrorize 'em." (This was back when we had conscription, of course.) This same Sergeant reputedly threw a Private through a screen door, the door and the Private landing several yards away.
 
Ouch, confronted with reality sucks. Getting old really sucks.
I had a vendor come in recently that had been Navy. He had supported Seal Teams inculding HALO jumps. I piped up with T10-Charlie model, he looked at me.....HUH????
I thought I was being current, he had never heard of T10, much less specfic models. I knew the military had given up shining shoes, but thought they still used round canopys. I was offended....:)
Also always called my trucks Duece and a HALF's......
Jerry

 
When we speak of "breaking starch" I'm reminded of the financial sacrafice that young military families made back in the day so that Dad could "break starch" daily in hopes being noticed and getting a much deserved promotion.

I, for one, am glad those days are over for this generation.