Memories of...Summer Programs

Dave Clough


BCT Cadre.  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 1D 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)

Dave White

Summer Research.  [I recently had a] Washington DC layover – not enough airplanes handy, so it's off to the Smithsonian National Air and Space museum downtown. First, the no-kidding ORIGINAL Wright Flyer. Then the X-15 I got stuck in way back in 1974. I was at Edwards AFB for summer research while a Cadet at USAFA and they gave us a tour of the NASA facility, where it was stored. Perry Lamy got in and out okay, as did Mike [McClendon], our other Cadet summer researcher. Not me – canopy locked and I was in there for a little while until they could figure out how to open it. Pretty cool though! (via Facebook, June 2015)

Perry Lamy

Summer Research.  It was Summer Research at Edwards and there were 3 of us assigned to the base (I was at NASA Flight Research Center, as it was known in those days; Dave was at the F-15 Combined Test Force; and, Mike was at Test Pilot School). There are several tales which may be of interest to the interested. 

Here you go Dave. Ship 1, as she appeared during the Summer of '74 at Edwards.


Hugo Gray

SERE.  I was on 3rd Period SERE cadre summer of 1974. After the Compound phase, we went into the mountains to monitor the trek. I went out on safety patrol with another cadre member in one of the jeeps. Within 5 minutes, I lost control, flew off the road, went into the woods, and totaled the jeep after hitting a tree. Fortunately, we had our seatbelts on. No major damage to us. Unfortunately, I ruined the summer safety record for the infamous Captain Pace, Wing Safety Officer. He came to visit me and it wasn't pleasant, but nothing more was said (although the wrecked jeep was put on display outside Mitchell Hall for the march by). 

I hoped that maybe as the academic year started I had "fallen through the cracks". No luck – a CDB notice came to me and I wound up with tours, loss of privileges, and loss of my car for 2 months, right through football season. I'd waited 3 years to drive my "Cadet Girl" in my "Firstie Car" past the underclassmen to Falcon Stadium and I wouldn't be denied. I borrowed a friend's Vette and his "Cadet Girl" for one glorious drive to the stadium for a home football game, parting doolies and appreciating every inch of the trip. How's that for a "wear your seatbelt" story with a happy ending?

Mark Wells

German Airborne. My recollection is that Mark Beesley and I were the only '75ers on the boondoggle. I hadn't jumped since being a brand-new 3-degree at Fort Benning. So we had to practice PLFs on a grassy slope the day prior to jumping out of a C-160 German transport. There was a new second-classman with us whose experience was far more recent. So we let him be our training instructor. I have vivid and lengthy memories of the stay. And, of course, I'm still proudly wearing my German jump wings whenever I get the official opportunity. 


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