Being a junior officer meant getting all the extra duties no else wanted
to do, especially being OD over the weekend. The Bttn. had duty on Saturday
morning so if I pulled OD on Saturday morning or Sunday your weekend was
who made up the roster was the Sgt. Major. He disrespected (probably for
good reasons) junior officers and like Col. McFadden would ride around
the base on a bike to catch anyone who wasn't doing their jobs and chew
out their butts.
More than once the Sgt
Major would pass me and not salute. One day I stopped him in front of the
mess hall and asked him what was his rank. He loudly said Sergeant
Major and I replied he should be proud but understand hat he wasn't a Major
and that I was an officer and he should salute me. He was very PO and I
pressed him further by telling him to address me as Sir and to salute me
before I dismissed him .
revenge was to ensure that I always got OD on the weekend. I suffered
for about two months never having a weekend off. It was in
late January 1965, bitter cold and damp nights
with little snow and I was OD again on the weekend. Payday, that
glorious once a month celebration fell on that day. Everyone was
anxious to get their hands on the greenbacks and head to town
after duty hours. Col McFadden was
away and the base CO was Major Friedlein (sp?) but as OD after 430
I was legally the base CO.
It started to drizzle
at about 1600 hours and the road to town became a little icy. Black
Mercedes diesel taxicabs were waiting outside to pick up the guys who were
heading out to the bars and restaurants.
I sent an MP patrol
to Herzo town and told them to report on road conditions. They returned
about 15 minutes later and said "Sir, the roads are icy." I replied
since I am the Base CO I order you to "seal off the base." The MPs were
stunned and I repeated, "seal off the base." They went outside to
close the heavy iron gates but they were stuck in inches of asphalt
that had been added over the years.
the MPs to get axes and chop the gates free and then to padlock and seal
the front gates. They did and I retreated in the Guard House and
had to be protected by two MPs from the many men who wanted to ****
the **** bastard who sealed off the base on payday.
came over and told me to open the gates and I said "with all due respect
sir, as OD I am the base commander for the weekend and have decided to
protect the safety of everyone by sealing off the base." He was fuming
but could do little.
morning I ordered the gates to be opened as the new OD took my place.
Guess what – for the rest of my tour –about 6 months I NEVER pulled OD
duty again. I think Col. McFadden told the Sgt Major never
to put me in charge of the base again.
LT. John Caruso Jr. 8/6/00