Memories of...BCT Cadre

Dave Clough

Mark (Beesley) was a damn good trooper in Patrolling in Jack's Valley both summers. I don't remember if that episode was '73 2-degree summer or '74 1-degree summer. Probably '74 since I was CIC and he was a firstie on the cadre. I remember he kept track of the ammo dump (which summer WAS that? – crap, I don't remember!) and ran one of the teams. Lots of admin things slid under the needles on the forest floor that summer. Mark must have dragged in late after oversleeping or a little R 'n R in town. As long as he was there when we needed him, no problem. 

The really important things were: safely training up the doolies, keeping ammo safely stored and accounted for, getting half the Cadre team back from the bars in town before they went out as Aggressors in late morning and avoiding the Dancing Bears whose only goal was to inspect Cadre rooms in Vandy and hand out Form-10s and rake up their quota of D's.

One team of our guys got to the dorm rooms every other night for only a few hours after being instructors that day. The other team who were Aggressors that day slept at Firebase Dodds, ran the classes the next morning, and took the doolies to the lanes for Patrolling exercises in late morning and afternoon. 

The half who slept in the dorm (or occasionally in town) got out to the Valley in time to draw weapons, hoof it to the ambush sites on the lanes, shoot 'em up, head back to Firebase for the night assault exercise then slept there and became the next day's instructors. Nothing better than night fire fights and M-60s with red hot barrels to keep the morale up! That rotation system was used because everyone liked being aggressors and also wanted some time out of the Valley.

One day, the Bears got into the Cadre dorm rooms, found some violations of AMI order & ordered me to gig 'em. I was at the Firebase 24/7 and never saw the rooms (big mistake). At the nightly standup after the doolies left, I gave out Form-10s like Academy Awards to almost everyone (for a token 1 D each including all the firsties) and kept a light tone but reminded everyone that we had no rear guard at Vandy. The dorm rooms were an exposed flank and would have to be kept in AMI order. It worked, no further Bear problems (don't leave food out and the Bears will stay away). (May 2008)

Comments powered by Disqus