• WTB / WTS / WTT ADS
    All Advertisements, including Want to Buy, Want to Sell, Want to Trade, Belong in the MARKETPLACE ONLY. Any new threads posted offering an item for sale, looking to trade or buy an item which are posted outside of Marketplace will be deleted without notice or warning. Existing threads will be moved to marketplace.
  • Marketplace Feedback Ratings
    The Marketplace feedback ratings system is now back. You can now leave feedback for your Buy / Sell / Trade transactions. Instructions on how to leave feedback ratings can be found HERE

Question for Combat Arms Vets circa late '70's early 80's.

L Haney

Seriously Ponderin'
Silver Contributor
FALaholic #
20446
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Posts
19,817
Location
NW Ga
Feedback: 8 / 0 / 0
I was in an Air Defense Artillery battalion attached to 1st Cav from November 1978 to December 1981. Went from E-1 to E-5 (yes, I did BNOCS there too) during that time frame.

My question for you guys is, how uncommon was it for one fucker to be in the same unit for thirty seven months during these years. Reason I ask is I've had a couple of (vets) people tell me, "no way dude" when I tell them how long I was there.

I don't have to argue, I have the DD-214 that has it in black typewriter ink.

Just want to know your take on a single unit three plus year assignment at the time.
 

SAM1965

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
68344
Joined
Feb 9, 2012
Posts
3,577
Location
Arizona
Feedback: 5 / 0 / 0
My limited experience (Army) was 3 years or so assignment then a transfer. However I did hear of guys staying for up to 5+ years in some locations. Mainly in Europe. Maybe if you knew the right NCO/OFC and your unit C.O. pulled some strings up the chain... assignments could be lengthened?

Thought I read you did some testing/secrete squirrel stuff...? Maybe you were valuable and they kept you? Or expendable and you got lucky? 🙃😋
 
Last edited:

Frenchkat

Well-known member
FALaholic #
17396
Joined
Apr 29, 2005
Posts
991
Feedback: 40 / 0 / 0
I was assigned to an Air Cav Squadron at Bragg in the spring of 91. Unit changed designation about a year later. During the next several years I came up for CW4. Got passed over. Kiss of death - no change of station, no schools, nothing. A year later, I got passed over a 2nd time but due to being over 18 1/2 years I was allowed to remain on duty Until 20. On my 3rd look, I got picked up for 4. Because I wasn’t Regular Army, I was allowed to only serve two years as a CW4. Finally got a school, the Ops Officer course. Spent my last two years a the Squadron Flight Operations Officers.

All in all, I was in the same unit for 7 1/2 years. I did get credit for two changes of station, moved with the unit from Bragg, then Ft. Polk, then Bosnia and finally back to Polk for retirement.

There were guys in the unit that were in it when I 1st arrived, PCSed, then came back.

I will say I had a weird career.

eta, I did stay in the same company in Alaska for almost four years as a paratrooper.
 

yellowhand

Well-known member
Silver Contributor
FALaholic #
67949
Joined
Nov 26, 2012
Posts
36,106
Location
Sierra Vista AZ
Feedback: 265 / 0 / 0
I was in an Air Defense Artillery battalion attached to 1st Cav from November 1978 to December 1981. Went from E-1 to E-5 (yes, I did BNOCS there too) during that time frame.

My question for you guys is, how uncommon was it for one fucker to be in the same unit for thirty seven months during these years. Reason I ask is I've had a couple of (vets) people tell me, "no way dude" when I tell them how long I was there.

I don't have to argue, I have the DD-214 that has it in black typewriter ink.

Just want to know your take on a single unit three plus year assignment at the time.

For Airborne assignments, seemed we'd stay put damn near forever, until we took a bad dump, came off jump status for 90 days or more, etc.
I did three assignments for plus 3 yrs or more, over 24 AD.
One of them for 5 years or so...
We had a plt Sgt that we all believed was born in the unit when he began speaking about the "old days", an old E7, that never went anywhere, maybe 12/15 years in one unit...Was there when I arrived, still there when I left, hell, he might still be there, or buried out back of the motor pool...
 

WrenchNHammer

Well-known member
FALaholic #
86989
Joined
Sep 20, 2021
Posts
446
Location
OCONUS
Feedback: 1 / 0 / 0
For the Marine perspective - I was infantry from 1976 to 1980. After boot camp I was in my first unit for 20 years then sent to Okinawa (different unit) for a year then up to a different unit at Camp Fuji, Japan.

When I got back to the US - just a week to finish admin for my discharge - I checked in om my old unit. There were probably a dozen or so guys who were still there out a unit of maybe 70 guys. So it was pretty much YMMV. Most guys usually were in three units during a four year enlistment but there were some who never got orders for anywhere.

But I'm glad I got those orders for Okinawa. It changed my life in a lot of ways and it gave me more opportunities for promotion in the Marines. Had I stayed in my first unit it would have been with a bunch of Marines with the same or more seniority. Moving into different units gave me a fresh start in seniority each time.
 

FP1201

Well-known member
FALaholic #
4995
Joined
Dec 21, 2001
Posts
2,185
Location
South of the Thousand Islands Bridge
Feedback: 31 / 0 / 0
Former BIL was in the same Active Duty Army Unit for right at 7 years, now granted the unit moved from Colorado to New York and did the meals on wheels program in Haiti and a rotation in the Siani, but his dumb ass wasn't going anywhere.
I came to Drum after Basic/AIT and would not have gotten orders to another Post had I re-upped, guys I served with were still there 4 and 5 years later. Fort Drum is the "Hotel California" You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.
 

SpringerXD

Well-known member
FALaholic #
86823
Joined
Aug 15, 2021
Posts
878
Location
Southeast
Feedback: 0 / 0 / 0
I was in an Air Defense Artillery battalion attached to 1st Cav from November 1978 to December 1981. Went from E-1 to E-5 (yes, I did BNOCS there too) during that time frame.

My question for you guys is, how uncommon was it for one fucker to be in the same unit for thirty seven months during these years. Reason I ask is I've had a couple of (vets) people tell me, "no way dude" when I tell them how long I was there.

I don't have to argue, I have the DD-214 that has it in black typewriter ink.

Just want to know your take on a single unit three plus year assignment at the time.
I did two active duty terms in the USAF, almost eight years, with only one permanent duty base: Bergstrom AFB near Austin, TX. People are shocked that it was my only permanent duty station for two full terms of enlistment.

Some coworkers used to make comments about how I was "lost in the system" or whatever, and they may have been right.
 

Aeroscout

Well-known member
Contributor
FALaholic #
67625
Joined
Oct 29, 2012
Posts
3,199
Location
REPUBLIC of Texas
Feedback: 172 / 0 / 0
1st CAV, then I assume that was Fort Hood?

A guy I went to AO school with ended up getting stationed with 1/7 CAV after AIT. I went to Hood also but was assigned to a unit going through the Apache Training BDE. This was the late 80's when they were fielding and deploying Apache units. After ramping up and going through our units train up, we deployed to Germany (WW Saudi while there) and then finished my 3 year tour (married). Then went to Schofield on Oahu for 3 years. Got stationed back at Hood, and old boy was still there....and stayed there for a total of 9 years, in the same Troop.

Maybe its a 1 CAV thing? Dude was from Waco, so he was in hog heaven just being an hour from his home town. They didn't move him and he was happy to stay. Why did it happen? Who knows.
 

Andy2205

Well-known member
FALaholic #
26110
Joined
Feb 16, 2007
Posts
5,788
Location
Fl. Panhandle
Feedback: 5 / 0 / 0
Seven years at one command in the Navy. A special navigation unit under the Oceanographic Office. The unit had two different UICs, one sea and one shore. Finished a shore tour and rolled to the sea side UIC. Friggin detailer told me that wasn't going to happen "needs of the Navy". Reminded him it was listed as "arduous sea duty", changed his tune. Seems not too many people want duty were they embark on a ship to be inserted by helicopter into remote locations to support ocean surveys. I loved that command, traveled everywhere.
 
Last edited:

1gewehr

Well-known member
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
2004
Joined
Jan 2, 2001
Posts
2,304
Location
TN
Feedback: 21 / 0 / 0
Not unusual. Duty station moves were longer due to budget issues at that time. IIRC, stateside tours were 3 years and overseas were two years. I was 1st Cav at Hood from '80 to '83, 1/12 Cav. Went USAR after that.
 

tac-40

Moderator, Armed Curmudgeon
Staff member
FALaholic #
12090
Joined
Oct 14, 2003
Posts
12,034
Location
SC-Low Country
Feedback: 84 / 0 / 0
Around 1975 or so, the Navy came up with a novel way to stay where you where (location not the same unit). They called it the Homesteader Program. If the base was large enough, they would move you to the various commands on the base befitting your NEC (MOS), so you didn't have to move your family around the world. The whole point of this was to save money since moving family and household goods was damned expensive when you are talking a couple thousand miles for each move. I was stationed at six different commands at Charleston from 1974 till 1993; 3 subs, 2 tenders, and one training center as an instructor.
 

tommygun2000

Well-known member
FALaholic #
9196
Joined
Feb 1, 2003
Posts
1,334
Feedback: 5 / 0 / 0
I was in an Air Defense Artillery battalion attached to 1st Cav from November 1978 to December 1981. Went from E-1 to E-5 (yes, I did BNOCS there too) during that time frame.

My question for you guys is, how uncommon was it for one fucker to be in the same unit for thirty seven months during these years. Reason I ask is I've had a couple of (vets) people tell me, "no way dude" when I tell them how long I was there.

I don't have to argue, I have the DD-214 that has it in black typewriter ink.

Just want to know your take on a single unit three plus year assignment at the time.
Not unusual at all. During the time frame you list, ADA was a shortage MOS as were other artillery MOS's, 13B, 13E/C (FDC). Reenlistment bonuses were there for the taking.

I was at FT.Hood during part of the time you list. I separated from there as E5 promotable in 1981. HHB 1/82 FA.

I extended my enlistment 30 days for the convenience of the government and was going to reenlist for another 6 years and be promoted to E6 at the reenlistment ceremony.
The division reenlistment NCO gave MY duty station out from under me to 3 other E5s with less time in service and grade. I said fuck this and called the division commander on a Sunday afternoon and demanded my clearing papers. They were in my battery commander's mailbox in the morning, and I was out of the army by that following Friday, for better or for worse. I have no regrets and enjoyed my time in service.
 

ByronF

Well-known member
FALaholic #
630
Joined
Aug 11, 2000
Posts
10,066
Location
PA
Feedback: 60 / 0 / 0
88-94 Navy. Was on a sub, and I dont think they'd ever make you leave until you made Chief then they would not let you stay any longer (once you put on khaki you cannot effectively lead the same guys you "grew up" with). But overstaying ones welcome was NEVER a problem. Anyone who reenlisted on a fast boat did so with condition of a shore billet, or at least a missle boat assignment.

Shore billets were sought after so one could usually only stay for a couple years until you went back to the fleet.
 

Delta-3

Well-known member
FALaholic #
36449
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Posts
5,468
Location
NW Ohio but Wyoming bound
Feedback: 20 / 0 / 0
I was Marine infantry '81-'85 & I didn't know anyone that was reassigned to another unit. Some exceptions were the VERY few of us that were sent to Scout Sniper school or Force Recon but you went to your unit after Infantry school & were there until your enlistment was up. (4 years)
Some of us got our EAS early due to an influx of new recruits. Apparently there were more Marines coming into the FMF & not enough room for all of us so they were giving 90 day cuts & then 180 day cuts to those of us that were close to our EAS.
 

SmokeEater2

Well-known member
Contributor
FALaholic #
10990
Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Posts
5,193
Location
NC Arkansas
Feedback: 71 / 0 / 0
I only did one tour at Hood 87-89 (Thank God) but I knew some guys in my MOS that had reenlisted to stay there and had been there several years.

Everyone has their own preferences but I hated Fort Hood with a passion and couldn't wait to get away from there.

It was a lousy place for a poor ol' dumb Infantry goober.
 

the gman

Well-known member
FALaholic #
5179
Joined
Jan 6, 2002
Posts
8,030
Location
NM
Feedback: 109 / 0 / 0
Wow, reading this I'm amazed at how fucked up the American Armed Forces is with all this moving around. :oops: :oops: I was different because I had a technical trade and so got posted (PCS) from one unit to another as needed for promotion/experience but the units I was attached to weren't and aren't like that. All units in the British Army are designated a home area of the country (usually based on historical events, like who initially raised the unit and so on) and recruit from those areas. Once you joined your regiment, you were in it until you were discharged unless you decided otherwise. It was not unusual to have fathers, sons, brothers and other relatives all serving together. Even if they weren't related, they shared the same accents and geography so you had a shared sense of belonging.

Guys could rotate to training units but they always came back to the unit again. Made it real nice to have that continuity and sense of family. My first unit, the 17th/21st Lancers, had spent 12 years in the same location with many guys being with the unit the whole time. Was my best posting and I truly felt like a member of their family.

I was attached to B Sqn, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for Desert Storm from the 17/21 Lancers. Joined the Sqn in Sept 90, left it right after Desert Storm in March 91. Spent 3 1/2 years attached to an Arty unit then was fortunate to be posted back to the Scots DG in the UK. Walked in day one and knew tons of guys from our time in the desert. Spent another almost 6 years in that location. This form of service builds esprit de corps, and a cohesiveness unmatched by any other system except that in Special Forces. Military personnel don't fight for ideals, they fight for each other and when its like a family, they fight even harder. In the oilfield, the crews that have the lowest rates of accidents are those Hispanic ones were all the rig crew are related because they look out for each other.
 

Captainrotkopf

Well-known member
FALaholic #
88349
Joined
Oct 2, 2022
Posts
83
Location
Massachusetts
Feedback: 7 / 0 / 0
My platoon sergeant made his E-7 in the 505th in 1999. He had been in the same battalion as (I believe) an E-4 during the cleanup after Hurricane Andrew, which was in 1992. He finally PCSed in 2000. When he left, there was an antitank platoon sergeant who'd been in the battalion even longer than he had. That guy had been in the same company the whole time; at least my PSG had bounced around between C and HHC.

It happens in all eras. Depends on MOS, personal preference, chain of command, etc.
 

L Haney

Seriously Ponderin'
Silver Contributor
FALaholic #
20446
Joined
Jul 8, 2006
Posts
19,817
Location
NW Ga
Feedback: 8 / 0 / 0
Can't tell you guys how helpful this has been to put my experience in perspective. I can't say with certainty but I doubt there were more than a scant handful of people that stayed in that command (1/68th ADA Chaparral/Vulcan) longer than I did, if any. Had a lot of people come into the unit, there a year, rotate to a sister unit in Korea for a year, come back and say, "You're still here?". Heard that a lot.

Second Armored Division (2AD, Hell on Wheels) was on the other end of post and had an ADA Battalion that was a mirror image of our TO&E. Like was mentioned above when you get promoted to E-5, normally you get transferred to avoid friction with the guys you used to work with that now you're in charge of. When I got my Buck Sargent stripes pinned the Battalion CSM took me aside and said he just couldn't send me to 2'nd AD. Said he'd rather have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother in 2nd AD. Yeah, there was a bit of rivalry between the two divisions.
 

OMR_RDTandE

Low Speed, High Drag
Bronze Contributor
FALaholic #
4827
Joined
Nov 24, 2001
Posts
1,144
Location
North Carolina
Feedback: 24 / 0 / 0
While in my time, the Marine Corps standard was 3-4 years at a given duty station. However, some things did eventually change. Once the Corps figured out it cost about a million to train a single Critical Skills Operator (CSO), commonly called Marine Raiders, they didn’t send them anywhere. If you’re on the east coast, you get shifted from 2nd Raider Battalion, to 3rd Raider Battalion, then the Schoolhouse, no Drill Field, no Recruiting, no special duty. My son spent the last fifteen years of his career at Camp Lejeune.
 

alphadog58

Well-known member
FALaholic #
9405
Joined
Feb 14, 2003
Posts
7,122
Location
SE CT
Feedback: 6 / 0 / 0
My first duty assignment was Hurlburt Field in the FL panhandle in '72. I probably could have stayed there for my hitch, but after two years there I found out that there were assignments coming up in Europe and England for my AFSC. Volunteered for an overseas assignment and got sent the RAF Upper Heyford. Could have stayed there too if I had re-upped.
Larry
 
Top