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Veterans’ Tales by Allen Ness

I spent the first half of 1998 in Sinai, Egypt as part of the Multi-Force Observers.  It was an awesome deployment, great training that we made up ourselves and absolutely amazing time off.  23 days of one squad all alone on a remote site, patrols, training, guard duty, all opportunities to build on the basics.  Then two weeks of challenging training, live fires, maneuver live fires, marksmanship, physically brutal stuff late left you full of piss and vinegar after a good nights sleep.  Then a week of travel, Cairo, the pyramids, Israel, the Holy Land, Jordan…  It was the final fun peacetime deployment I had.  After that it was shithole after shithole if I can accurately borrow President Trumps description.

I was a Sergeant First Class with nine years time in service, I had a habit of walking hard heeled down the sidewaqlk but most Paratrooper NCOs are like that so it was no big surprise to anyone.  Shortly before we rotated back to The Division at Ft Bragg they sent some instructors and allowed some of us to go to Jump Master School.  I was one of the lucky few, it’s considered an embarrassment to have a Platoon Sergeant who sports Basic Wings on his uniform and you cannot serve as a First Sergeant or Company Commander without graduating Jump Master School.

The Instructors were quite proud of their success rate, somewhere in the 30% range.  Its not a mark of poor instruction and I would never accuse them of such a thing, they were outstanding instructors and NCOs.  Its a matter of pride because the Standard Must Be Met[…]

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*Allen Ness is a retired Army Master Sergeant, Jumpmaster- Paratrooper, CIB, several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, a marvelous artist with ink, paint and music, a military historian par excellence, and as just mentioned, better read than most English Lit professors at Dartmouth or Military History instructors at the War College…. (Source: Veterans’ Tales)