It sounded like a good option so at 22 I became an E-1, then an E-2, and finally marched across the base to OCS. Thus, the saga of area beautification operations, shaving drills, woolly buggers, monster control officers, dining on toothpaste, white glove inspections, early morning 5BX and jobs, marching for hours on the ramp and all the other fun things we endured together began. I must say in retrospect that the OCS experience was one interesting ride that, in looking back, I view with a positive sense of accomplishment and great respect for my classmates who had worked hard for the opportunity to attend.

Upon graduation, I was assigned to the combat Defense Squadron at the SAC 17th Bomb Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Thus, I became the only officer on the entire base who wore combat fatigues and on occasion sported a steel pot and a Colt 45 automatic. As the only shave tail in a combat Defense Squadron of 180 men, I immediately became the Operations Officer, the Range Officer, the Pistol Team Officer, the Training Officer, the PT Officer, the Firing Range Officer, the K-9 Officer and, best of all, the Harsh Hour Inspection Officer. Thank God for the NCOs who ran the place and kept me out of trouble. As it turned out, the NCOs really watched out for me because I came out of the enlisted ranks rather than ROTC and had gone to OCS. The highlights of the tour were: A) taking a loaded M-1 Carbine away from a sleeping trooper during the wee hours of the morning without getting shot; B) having the head of one of my senior NCOs nearly blown off by a 45 slug that was accidentally discharged during an inspection. We both later said that we could feel the breeze from the slug as it went by!

Eventually, I was reassigned to Headquarters Command at Bolling Air Force Base where, as a First Lieutenant, in total contrast to my active life in Combat Defense, I faded into the Air Force Washington bureaucracy ending up in the State Department, and retired from there, after my enlistment was up.

 

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