Side Trips from Ft. Benning GA

Being soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division, we were expected to become expert mountain climbers and ski troops, following in the distinguished footsteps of our predecessors. Climbing mountains and skiing sounds like fun unless you take into account the extra 100 lbs. of equipment and ammunition for our M224 60mm mortars that we carried.

Arctic Light Fighters Course, Ft. Greely AK 1987

In January and February of 1987, Co. A 3-14 Infantry deployed to Black Rapids Camp in the Talkeetna Mountains of central Alaska. Our first training day, the temperature was 55 degrees below zero. While there we learned to climb mountains on skis and live in the field. The final exercise was a 50 mile squad movement on skis south of Ft. Greely. Each nine man squad had to pull a 400 pound "achio" over rough terrain during the three day course. Foregoing sleep, my squad completed the march in 36 hours, half the time.

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Pictured is one of the Quonset huts that soldiers live in at Black
Rapids Training Center
Pictured is the bottom of Black
Rapids Glacier in Spring


Colorado: Ft. Carson, Camp Hale, & the Continental Divide 1987

In June of 1987, 3-14 Infantry deployed to Colorado, the first home of the 10th Mtn Div. At 6,200 feet, Ft. Carson was at that time the home of the 4th Inf Div. We maneuvered and fired weapons while acclimating to the elevation. Then we deployed to the Continental Divide between Leadville and Vail at 11,000 feet elevation. While at Camp Hale, we conducted small unit training and participated in climbing competitions. My 1st Mortar Squad and I were attached to one of the only two rifle squads in the entire battalion that completed the "mountain walk" up to 12,500 feet at the top of the Continental Divide.

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Pictured is an Army climber on the cliffs
above Camp Hale.
Pictured is Camp Hale as it was in the 1950's. To the right
are the peaks where we climbed. At the base of the hill is
the headwaters of the Arkansas River.


Ft. A. P. Hill VA and the Fredericksburg Battlefield 1987

The legacy of the 14th Infantry began with the Civil War. At the end of the war when the Army of the Potomac marched in review, the 14th Infantry was afforded the rightmost position in the parade, the position of honor, earning the motto "Right of the Line." During our deployment to Ft. A. P. Hill in support of the Army Reserve, we had the opportunity to tour Fredericksburg and the nearby Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Courthouse battlefields. Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park

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This is a painting of Union engineers bridging the Rappahannoc River during the Battle of
Fredericksburg. The 20th Maine spent an entire night under fire at the bottom of the hill on the far side of the river, waiting to advance.
This is a photo of the "sunken road" from which
Confederate infantry slaughtered over 12,000 soldiers of the Army of the Potomac as they attempted to assault up the hill. The original road was considerable deeper than the current path, providing better cover.


Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield, Atlanta, & Stone Mountain GA

Living in South Georgia, life wouldn't be complete without visiting the Atlanta area. Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield, located just north of the city, was the last major battle fought by the retreating Confederate Army of the Tennessee before Sherman's "March to the Sea." Atlanta is a great city. My first time in Atlanta was probably the best, as that's where I met my wife. Stone Mountain is the largest granite monolith in the world. Carved on the north face is a tableau featuring Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Nathan Bedford Forrest. The carving is visible from ten miles away.

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Pictured is the tableau at Stone Mountain Pictured is the City of Atlanta as seen from
Kennesaw Mountain National Park


Jump Status, INFBD, Ft. Benning GA

While assigned to the Infantry Board, I was required to "volunteer" for jump status with the Airborne Test Platoon. Our platoon was a composite of soldiers from each test division in the unit, and our mission was to attach some new piece of army equipment to our bodies and then jump out of an aircraft. We were the first to try out the equipment before it was purchased for the rest of the Army.

Can you do this?

Play Airborne Video

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