Sunday, May 8, 2011

Vietnam Era -- Reporting In To USAICS At Fort Holabird, MD

After less than two weeks worth of off time, I reported to The US Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Holabird, MD.  The actual location was dundalk, MD just south and west of Baltimore.
This was actually a nice location as it wasn't too far away from home.  Just about 106 miles.
It felt really, really weird not being in a combat zone, having to worry about guard duty or for that matter just about anything else that was related to a combat unit.   All I had to do is keep myself from getting into trouble, perform CQ duty and deal with the logistical side of Army Intelligence.
It wouldn't be right to say I was just a paperwork pusher. This job was the kind of job a programmer would love to do. You had data entry, data reports and layers of business logic over top of all of that.
It was also a time where I wanted to start being more social and get married. I wasn't quite sure how all of that was going to work out.
The logistics Colonel didn't quite have an affinity for civilians so he made us all have top secret crypto clearances for all the reports and documents as he know the civilians could get access to those files.
Aside from learning how to dance, listen to a new group called Hall and Oates, enjoying an relationship with a young lady who already had two little boys, photography my first nude through Barbizon -- I was more scared than she was about her nudity, and getting use to the stench of hops eminating from the Budweiser Brewery, I was really beginning to feel like I was starting to move forward with my life.
But we were about to move. The entire USAICS was about to leave the east coast and head for a fort in Arizona. A fort with a wild, wild west reputation. The Fort was Fort Huachuca.
Originally established on March 3, 1877 on the northeast side of the Huachuca Mountains at the mouth of Central Canyon, near the town of Sierra Vista in Cochise County. Originally established as a temporary link in the chain of forts established to protect the US border, it became permanent on January 21, 1878. Of more than 70 military posts constructed during pioneer days in Arizona, only Fort Huachuca remains as an active US Army installation. The fort has undertaking many operations against the Apaches. Troops went out to locate Chatto's raiders, and the Apache Kid in 1887. During the 1880's it was a station in a heliograph network which used mirrors and sunlight to transmit signals across the entire southwest. Cavalry and Infantry soldiers, with their Indian scouts, pursued renegade Indians led by Geronimo during the 1880's. It also saw much action during the Mexican Revolution of 1910 being a point of operation for US forces against Mexico. The Cavalry paraded as a unit for the last time at the fort in 1944. In 1967, the post became headquarters of the Strategic communications Command and Army Intelligence Center. It has an excellent museum.

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