“GUNNER – COAX – TROOPS!”
Thirty years ago I was an Army Reservist. Most of my weekend drills and two-week annual trainings were at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, a small base just a few miles north of the border with Mexico.
I was a tank gunner on an M60A3 Main Battle Tank and heard the phrase “GUNNER – COAX – TROOPS!” frequently. It was the command my tank commander would call out when we came across the simulated infantry targets scattered throughout our tank gunnery practice ranges. Read More
I was prepared.
In 1992, when I was 24 years old, I could take apart, reassemble and do a function check on a Colt M1911A1 .45 caliber pistol in less than 45 seconds.
I was prepared.
I had qualified as an Expert shot every time I went to the range with the Army, even knocking down my targets while wearing a gas mask. When I pointed a pistol at targets they went down. Read More
25 years ago a white Army van dropped me off on the corner of Division and Faith.
I was 25 years old and had just come on Active Duty with the military after experiencing the most difficult year of my life. In the previous year I’d lost my father, a marriage and my job and I was looking for a fresh start. A new direction. A rebirth. Read More
Hurry up and wait.
During my years in the Army this was probably the most common phrase I heard and one of the few phrases used throughout all the branches of the military. We had different missions, different uniforms, different ranks, different words for the same things, even everyday things like where we went to the bathroom (we called it a latrine, the Navy called it a head, the Air Force called it who knows what and the Marines just go wherever). Read More