I was in A Co, 1st PLT, 3rd squad, Bravo team and whenever he would make his left nut comments he would always look towards 1st PLT and somehow I got the "eye" of this legendary warrior who lead by example.
I admired the spirit of this man during formations when he would run at roadrunner speed to his post and snap a salute that had a 50mph blast attached. The CO's would almost bolt BUT they were Rangers and stood their ground (heh).
I remember treading lightly in his presence. Unfortunately, I was just a pull-toy RTO and got pulled into the presence of all the bosses many a time and lucky for me, coached in the ways of true leaders of men. (TY LG!)
I remember being asked to take some tests and some days/weeks/lifetimes later being summoned down to the 1SGT's office after being grilled by my team leader Conway, then grilled again by my squad leader SSG Smith , and once again by my PSG, SFC Palacios (Sgt P)(another super warrior from Guam) trying to find out what I did wrong. As a total newb I had no idea and after a few hundred pushups and an eternity in the front leaning rest position I was released to answer to my summons. I remember running down the stairs and thru the halls and actually knocked some LT down and rushed into the offices and reported in the style I had seem LG do every day (hoping for some redemption and mitigation of whatever transgression I had made). Just being summoned was already a stain on my character to my PLT. I swear, he almost smiled but I attributed it to his thoughts of what he was going to do to me...
Seems I had some good score on some tests for USMAPS and the CO wanted to offer me a slot at West Point! The hardest decision and internal war of my life promptly followed. USMAPS meant leaving the BN, not going to Ranger School, leaving my family, abandoning all WE had worked for. I was hoping for a slot to Ranger School but I was just a mere 05B radio operator, not a warrior class 11B. Becoming an officer, would mean a lot to many, but also a loss of many friends. Maybe going to Ranger school meant proving myself, and becoming a man. I couldn't go to Ranger school and then to USMAPS (eligibility or something).
I had my CO extolling the virtues of the officer corp and nothing but the stare and presence of my Top and experiences I had had to date in 2nd BN. I chose to pass on USMAPS. Top didn't say anything really. I was a deer in the headlights. My CO asked me a number of questions and how I could be so calm and collected and make such a snap decision on such an important decision. Calm and collected?? Are you kidding me? My heart was pounding and I thought I was gonna soil myself! I would have attacked a commie division alone and unarmed and been less afraid. My instincts told me these men, WARRIORS really, were the true leaders and they were here, right beside me every day. Why go to USMAPS and West Point to become a "leader" when the greatest leaders on planet earth were already here? Maybe I chose wrong but I did get a slot to Ranger school and I did make it thru. I learned a lot and forever and then some, I owe a debt of gratitude and respect to these men.
I served with legendary warriors like CSM LG, CSM Palacios, CSM Conway and that SGT, Alfred Greg Birch who also went on to become the Regimental CSM. These men are HEROES, each and every one. I went on to different things and applied what they taught me to every battle I face. I am honored just to have been in their presence.
A/2/75, 1st Platoon, 3rd Squad 1980-1982 RTO aka "Bird" and/or "Dorz"