Memories of...The Senior Shuffle

Paul Kent


During the Trivia Challenge, the question came up of “Why did the Senior Shuffle occur?” One might think it was to balance the numbers in each squadron due to the high attrition. But CS-20, for one, lost two and gained two. What’s up with that? One fact that became apparent is that there were emotions and hurts with the shuffle that persist to this day. Those of us oblivious to the shuffle (the self-centered scribe, for one) should now retrospectively appreciate the additional stress some of our classmates experienced while we lived our lives as Firsties. Dave White and Jim Rorabaugh, for two, recently expressed their pent-up disdain of the Academy experience due to the shuffle.

Lance Grace

Jerry Levesque left 08 and went off to the new dorm during the summer of 1974. Turns out that he may have been the lucky one! Ironically, that was just the beginning of the reshuffle for Evil 8. As a result of events near the end of our stay there, the entire squadron was reshuffled (i.e. dissolved) after we graduated leaving nobody returning through the summer of 1975. And the squadron name was also thrown onto the trash heap resulting in the new PC name of Eagle 8 instead of Evil 8. Obviously, we had a rather interesting last year at the Zoo. Unfortunately, I was rather involved in all the nasty events. Finally wrapped it all up one long evening 8 years later when I ran into our former AOC while TDY at Ramstein. When our eyes locked together as I walked past his table in the O-Club, I thought that he was about to jump up and slug me. Instead, he jumped up, threw money on the table and excused himself from his guests, and brought me to the bar to apologize to me over many beers. So it apparently took me about 12 years to finally graduate from the place! I’m sure many others have similar stories.

Jim Rorabaugh

Yes, I was one of the firsties who got moved. I went from Stalag 17 to 11, and you're right about the disconnect. I sort of felt isolated from both squadrons, and it took me over 22 some years to revisit the Academy. Sorry I haven't made any of the reunions. I'm in a surgery practice with Dave Arbutina ('76er) in State College, Pennsylvania (Happy Valley, Penn State, JoePa, etc.). I can't promise anyone tickets to the Notre Dame game, but any '75er is more than welcome to bunk at our home.

Paul Narzinski

Was senior shuffled from 11 to 18. Haven't been back (to the zoo or in touch with classmates) yet. Happily USAF Retired, volunteering for the local VA Hospital, and caddying for my high school daughter who helped win Nebraska Golf State Team Championships last two years (shot 71 and 76) and KICKS this ole' USAFA Soccer's butt in golf any time she wants. That's not right for a daughter to do that to her Dad. :) Best Alive

Jim Carlson

I think Jim Rorabaugh captures very well the feelings that resulted from the "senior shuffle" when several of our classmates were sent off to other squadrons during our firstie year. In my mindless and relentless pursuit of classmates for whom I have no contact information, I find that many of the ones that were harder to find seem to be those who were 'shuffled'. It was a real shame to do that to friends who went through 3-degree and 2-degree years together. But with over 3 decades of life since 4 June 75, the entire class needs to be connected under one umbrella – to reminisce over the good times and relish the friendships that quite easily and readily become renewed whenever we make the effort . . . and that genuinely endure.

Mark Volcheff

I too was part of the Firstie Shuffle (3-17-17-13). With the reasons given to me that they needed to rebalance the squadrons it made no sense to me to learn that apparently those who left CS-17 were replaced by others (if that is true). I was hugely disappointed at the time and left some really good friends in CS-17, but made great friends in CS-13 as well. To their credit, guys like Bruce Mitchell and Dave Sprenkle continue to keep me informed to this day of everything going on with CS-17 alum even inviting me to squadron reunion events. Bruce Fritzsche takes the lead keeping me informed of CS-13 goings-on so the benefit of it all is being a part of two families. It was sad at the time, but in the end, broadened my close friendships within the class.

The Shufflers















Jerry Macken entered with the Class of '74 in CS-10, left the Academy, and re-entered with the Class of '75 3rd Class year.










Ralph Paul entered with the Class of '73 in CS-24, left the Academy, and re-entered with the Class of '75 3rd Class year.

















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