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NEXT ASSIGNMENT ???

All during this period January through April, 1969, and right in the middle of my TET Briefing Road Show I got notifed and the Powers that Be thought I should be assigned to be put on the Faculty, as an Army representative, at the Naval War College.

Big Surprise. It may have come from my long and complex article about the emerging new Spectrum of War - from an Army perspective -  that was accepted and run in the prestigious periodic US Naval Institute Proceedings. The Navy's think book.

So in late March I got Official Orders for the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island.

Sounded like a cushy assignment after a year of war. I would lecture Naval War College students.

I spent the next 3 months, long distance to Patsy by mail, going over what she has to check out for our Move there. Housing, schools, what to do with our house.

But then on the 20th of April, I was visited, at II Field Force Headquarters by none other that Major General Roland Gleszer, Class of 1940 West Point, whose son Captain Peter Gleszer had been under my Wolfhound battalion command in Vietnam just months before.

Gleszer wanted to tell me he had been assigned to command the 5th Mechanized Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colorado, and he wanted me for HIS 'G-3'!

Wow, what a switch! War College to another Army War-Fighting Unit.

He got my Army orders changed! He did not know I was from Colorado, but I knew he knew my combat record in Korea, and Vietnam. And when he had been a Tactical Officer at West Point in 1958, and I was an Instructor there, he heard my presentation about 'combat leadership' to a whole class of new Plebes at West Point. Which was cited as outstanding.

So my changed orders were to the 5th Mechanized Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colorado, just outside Colorado Springs.

Back home, but also back into another busy Army command.

Later I wondered if he thought that I had been able to turn his son - who, though also a West Point grad Captain did not look or seem like a cracking combat infantry leader - . While his dad had been just that, as a battalion commander at Normandy. I think Gleszer thought I made son Peter into a combat leader.

And I wondered if Gleszer's wife - Peter's mother -  was grateful I didn't get him killed on the many heliborne combat assaults I sent him out on.

Whatever. My orders required me to report to Fort Carson by August  1st, 1968.

What I knew about Mechanized warfare units you could put on the tip of a bayonet. And I doubted Gen Gleszer knew much more. So once again here comes a steep learning curve assignment. From a boots on the ground Infantry unit in Korea, Airmobile Infantry unit in Vietnam, and a Mechanized Infantry Division in Colorado.

Cest la guerre.

With all that, my combat tour in Vietnam came to an end, and I flew back to America - into as I recall, the Washington DC airport, where Patsy, and all three of my kids - David, Rebecca, and Edward met me. Also relieved that I made it through another year of war virtually unscratched.

 

 

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