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The Wolfhounds

After my brief but illuminating assignment with the New Zealand Army I was promoted to Major, and was snapped up by a real field soldier Colonel Bill  McKean who commanded the 27th Infantry Battle Group of the 25th Division. He wanted me for his 'S-3' plans and operations officer.

The 27th Infantry 'Wolfhound' Battle Group was originally a Regiment, formed in 1901 to operate in the Philippines to put down the Insurrection on Mindinao.

But it got its 'Wolfhound' name and a Russian Wolfhound head profile on its Regimental Crest, from being part of the American Expeditionary Force sent to Siberia in 1918, landing at Port Arthur (today's Dalian, China) and fighting with the 'White Russians' (loyal to the Czar) and their Admiral Kolchek to stem (fruitlessly) the Bolshevik Communist Revolution coming into the Far East of Russia.

The Bolshevik Forces admired the 27th Infantry troops enough while fighting them, they nicknamed them the 'Wolfhounds' - after the Russian iconic dog.

The name stuck, and a Wolfhound's head in profile is part of the official Regimental Crest. With the motto "Nec Aspera Terrent" - Hardships Do Not Deter Us, which irreverent soldiers whose Latin is a little fuzzy, branded it as "Don't forget the Dog Food."

A white large Russian Wolfhound is also the pet of the Wolfhounds in Hawaii, and his name is 'Kolchak' 

My assignment as S-3 - or 'Operations Officer' of a combat arms battle group was a significant step up in my military career.

My one chance to visit the 'Big Island' of Hawaii - which still has an active volcano - came while I was the S-3. It was just a training planning trip, but I well remember walking through the Lava fields while there. And realizing how difficult it would be to maneuver an Infantry company or battalion over such 'ground.'

The irony of being in a Battle Group, optomized for fighting a conventional war with nuclear weapons support, was that the war we were about to fight would be neither conventional nor nuclear.

 

 

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