18th Infantry Regiment Association

Newsletter 1999

December    October    June

Association Newsetter

December 1999

Readiness and Percentage Fill  
18th Infantry News from Germany
18th Infantry -- December 1862  
18th Infantry Golf Shirts  
Membership Report  
Society of the First Infantry Division
Annual Officer's Dinner  
Honorary Sergeant Major  
Company A Reunion Notice  
Looking for...  
Secretary Change of Address  
Holiday Greetings  


     Is the 1st Infantry Division ready for war? You may be aware of this recent controversy. In response, MG John P. Abizaid has written: "The 1st Infantry Division IS ready for war. The fact is, for over 82 years, we have never stopped being ready for war. Every one of our soldiers deploys ready to fight. Our combat teams can fight and win anywhere in the Balkans; and, given time to reorient, we can fight and win against anyone, anywhere in the world." However, the 1st Brigade is deployed to Bosnia, the 3rd Brigade is deployed to Kosovo, the 2nd Brigade just returned from a rotation in Kosovo, and, under current (classified) criteria, the 1st Division has just received the lowest possible rating for readiness. Many veterans of the Big Red One took this as a personal and professional insult to a great American organization. It is not!  MG Abizaid has the professional integrity to make an honest evaluation and the moral courage to tell it like it is. There are many factors involved in this rating, not the least of which are the operational tempo and percentage fill issues. Those of you who attended our annual meeting in Louisville are well aware of some of these difficulties our soldiers face. You received a "heads-up" during the Honorary Colonel's comments made there. While he noted and praised the hard work and high morale of our soldiers, he spoke directly to the "percentage fill" issue. I asked him to write down some of those comments for the newsletter. They appear below:

     "Following my last visit to the 18th Infantry in Germany in June, I was struck with the seriousness of the lack of strength in the Battalion. This is commonly called 'percentage fill.' Our Battalion at that time was authorized a fill of 85%. By the time the support and extra duty folks are taken out, and considering those on leave, sick, & Etc., on any normal day the fill is about 75%. Take this and add to it the lack of proper rank structure (E-4's doing E-5 and E-6 jobs) and you have a serious situation. Our Battalion is strung out all over the place. We have folks in training in a number of locations, both in Germany and in the United States. This means that we have less troops doing more, while at the same time they do not have the rank/experience structure to lead them.

     "This also means our soldiers are not at home for any length of time with their families. Now I know the old Army maxim, 'If the Army wanted you to have a family, they'd have issued you one.' But we do have a higher percentage of soldiers today with families than we did 10-15 years ago. So the situation is not going away. Our soldiers are doing a great job for this nation. A lot is being asked of them every day. I know that we all applaud their total commitment. 

     "Upon my return in June I sent a personal message to the Army Chief of Staff and asked him to please leave a note in his top desk drawer for his successor to look into this problem. He sent me a reply which said that I had hit on the most serious and difficult to solve issue in the Army today. Take all of this and add to it the recent admissions of the Army that the 1st Infantry Division and other Divisions are not at the proper level of readiness and I rest my case.

     ''The inability to reach a C-1 rating in readiness is due to many factors, but one of the most critical is the strength (or fill) of the unit. The new Division CG, MG Abizaid, recently sent out a letter to address this readiness issue. He talked of the large number of missions that the Division has and the up-beat spirit of the Division. I met the Division Commander before he assumed this duty. I can say that in these critical times, the Division is in great hands. It was reassuring that MG Abizaid took the time to address this readiness issue head on. I am certain he is doing all in his power to keep the Division in as high a state of readiness as he can. Perhaps we can help, by communicating with our Congressional representatives and urging a greater fill for the 1st Infantry Division. This would go a long way in lightening the load our great soldiers carry every day. 

     "Duty First!  Phil Pryor, HCOR, 18th Infantry Regiment"

     Phil's personal message seems to have gotten through. The first thing the new Army Chief of Staff, General Shinseki, announced concerning his new vision for the Army was his priority commitment to bring all Divisions and Armored Cavalry Regiments to full strength - 100% fill. However, that has not happened yet. Just note the beginning comment of LTC Murray's update on page 3. The 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, is still accomplishing the mission with only an 85% fill. Therefore, the current readiness rating does not mean our soldiers are not disciplined and trained professionals, willing and able to fight and win, with high morale and a strong Esprit de Corps. In large part it means that there are just not enough of them, and just moving some rear echelon troops into Division slots won't solve the problem. Congress needs to give attention to this problem, take appropriate action, and fund adequate remedies. We need to educate the public, those we know and associate with every day, and we need to inform our representatives in Congress that we will accept no less than enough soldiers to do the job. In addition, it might be beneficial to communicate with the Commander-in-Chief, and those aspiring to become Commander-in-Chief, and let them know your views on the subject. No mission too difficult. No sacrifice too great. Duty First!

back to top


18th Infantry News from Germany
Excerpts from Commander's updates that LTC Murray regularly supplies the newsletter

    End of October

1.  Battalion is now operating at about 85% of its authorized strength (in the aggregate). Keep writing your congressmen and women .. the stress of operating at the pace we do - at this strength - takes a toll.

2.  Company A was in Vilsek this week working on a new simulator called CCTT (Close Combat Tactical Trainer). All 14 Bradley Crews operate in mock-ups of the Bradley Crew Compartment and "fight" utilizing computer simulations. Proved to be a great training event. Without rolling any vehicles out of the motor pool they got a chance to work on Company/Team level Movement to Contact and Hasty Attack. Makes clean up real easy!

3.  Companies B & C were busy with local training. Each got some good work on dismounted battle drills and squad/platoon level collective tasks. Training focused on night movements, squad/platoon ambush, squad/platoon hasty attack, operating in an Urban Environment IMOUT training), and clearing a trenchline.

4.  We will roll into Gunnery right after Thanksgiving Weekend.

5.  Battalion is on line for Thanksgiving Dinner in the Dining Facility and for our Holiday Food Basket Program. My wife, Jane, will organize delivery of Food Baskets. Names have already been turned in by the First Sergeants to CSM Forest. Really a shame that we have to do this but, I can guarantee you, we have families that really need this help to make it a good holiday for them. We all recognize and appreciate the support the Association provides to this program.


1.  The Battalion Battle Staff conducted a four day CPX (Command Post Exercise) using the newest computer simulation available. We set the Operations Center and Admin/Logistics Center up (tents) and planned / fought a Task Force Level Delay and Defense in Kosovo. Utilized this terrain to familiarize the staff with the area of operations that the rest of the Brigade is currently operating in. Great exercise and we even brought in some civilian observer / controllers to point out our mistakes and help us get better. My staff is very young (all LT's) so it was a great learning experience for them.

2.  The Mortar and Scout Platoons were out in the local training areas conducting platoon level training. Mortars worked on displacement techniques, laying in the guns, local security, and gunner's exams. Scouts worked on area and zone reconnaissance. Scouts were apparently successful, as when I went out to check on them I could not find them!

3.  Last week we began serious preparation for the upcoming gunnery density. Also conducted a field sanitation course for about 30 of our soldiers to got them ready for the field.

4.  Currently have 97 soldiers about 7 hours South of Schweinfurt to support the International Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LLRP) School. They are "playing the enemy" and are focused on patrolling to catch the students who are trying to escape and evade. Soldiers are having a great time as they get lots of time on helicopters and out in the woods.

5.  That's it for now. Soldiers continue to do great things and let me assure you that they represent you well.

    End of November

1.  Great two weeks of training for the Vanguards. We got a chance to use the newest in simulation .. the Precision Gunnery System (PGS). Although no live "rounds' are flying down range the crew actually sees and hears them while in the turret. Also gives us the opportunity to use full scale targets and actually "kill" them when you score a hit. Adds a lot to the realism of the basic Bradley tables. The Bradley Gunnery Skills Test also went very well. It is a "gate" of 14 stations that each gunner and Bradley commander must pass before going into live fire gunnery.

2.  Got our first snow fall of the year .. about 1.5 inches Friday night. Highs have remained at about 35 degrees through-out the weekend. Keep your fingers crossed for cold weather during our gunnery density - should help to keep the fog down and keep us on schedule to have everyone back for Christmas. Most of the soldiers have been deployed during 3 of the last 4 Christmas Holiday block periods so it is one of my top goals.

3.  As I write this your Vanguards are loading the Bradley's onto railcars to ship them to Vilsek. 2-2 IN graciously agreed to let us stage them in their motor pool so I would not have to have soldiers railing them out over Thanksgiving. We will depart from Schweinfurt on Monday, 29 NOV and to be back NLT Tuesday, 21 DEC. 

4.  Had the first ever "Vanguard Dinner" a week ago last Wednesday, a nice formal, sit-down dinner in Wurzburg. Started the evening by presenting toasts and had select reading of the Regiment's History throughout the dinner. Capped it off with a dance. Watching the young Lieutenants and their ladies on the dance floor made me feel older than I have felt in a long time!

5.  Had to say goodbye to four great officers and several great NCO'S. 1 SG Campbell (HHC) gave up the company to 1 SG Smith this past week. 1 SG Campbell has been a Vanguard for over 4 years now and will be sorely missed. Always hard to say goodbye but always refreshing to see equally great soldiers step forward to fill some mighty big shoes.

6.  Lastly, a deep and sincere thank-you for the assistance you have provided the soldiers over the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays. We conducted a 'food drive' over the last two weeks and, along with your generous donation, were able to put together 26 Holiday Baskets for our most needy soldiers and their families. Absolutely amazing when you look at the demographics .. E3's (Pvts) with wife and 4 kids. Each will receive at least a Turkey, stuffing, vegetable, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, rolls, and frozen pie. Did not have to "force" any of our soldiers to donate food .. just explained to them what it was for and the donations came rolling in!  Best of all - only had to use about $300 to purchase the Turkeys. This will allow us to use the remainder of the Association's donation at Christmas (won't have time to conduct a food raiser then). Should be able to help an equal number of families, plus Vanguard 6W (Jane - my wife) intends to get all the ladies together and fix some baked goods for the single soldiers. Should make for a great Christmas for all.


1.  Things are going very well at GRAF .. weather is cooperating and no injuries to date (knock on wood). Roll up includes:

- 44 Bradley Crews all qualified 
- Scout Platoon qualified 
- Conducted 9 iterations of the CSS Livefire. Neat concept where our 5 ton drivers (mostly supply clerks) and drivers/fuel handlers get to fire the MK-19 and 50 Cal MG from the ring mounts on their trucks.
- Every rifle squad got a chance to work through lanes we set up - included: knock out a bunker, movement to contact, and initial breach of a wire obstacle.
- Fill complete the Squad Live Fire Attack. Challenging scenario that includes dismounted movement to contact, knock out an observation post, breach a wire obstacle, and knock out a squad/ bunker. For the night iteration they will set a hasty defense and defend against a squad sized attack.
- Qualified everyone on just about every weapon we own. Mortars have fired more rounds than I can count.
2.  Talked to Jane this morning. She and a couple other of the wives baked 1,000 cookies yesterday. 400 will go to HHC and 200 apiece to each of the line companies. Used $90 of Association money to buy the supplies and when the soldiers return from GRAF they will be put out with a sign that says, "Compliments of the 18th Infantry Association". With the rest of the money we bought twenty-five $20 vouchers from the Commissary. Will go to our most needy families, compliments of our great veterans, for use over the holidays.

back to top



18th Infantry -- December 1862

     The 18th Infantry Regiment came into being by Presidential Proclamation on 3 May 1861 -- the darkest hour of our national history, the onset of the Civil War. In December 1861, the 18th Infantry took the field. It was assigned in the western theater to the Army of the Ohio. To their disappointment, it proved not so easy to close with, much less destroy, the enemy. Opposing Confederate forces had chosen to utilize their superior intelligence and maneuver capabilities to avoid major battles in the west. The 18th Infantry became seasoned campaigners while pursuing the enemy, utilizing the time to train and learn the discipline necessary to successfully employ their warfighting skills. Nevertheless, after a frustrating year in the field, they had yet to be tested in a determined fight with enemy forces.

     In general, the war was not going well for the Union. In October, the Army of the Ohio was ordered to find and engage Braxton Bragg's Confederate Army of the Tennessee, which it did undecisively at Perryville, Ky. However, Bragg quickly disengaged and retreated from Kentucky with his Army intact. By December 1862, reorganization put the 18th Infantry into the newly created Army of the Cumberland, commanded by MG William Rosecrans, which was assembling near Nashville. Intelligence reported that Bragg was gathering his forces near Murfreesboro, just south of Nashville. During the reorganization, Rosecrans decided to bring his Regular Army regiments together where he could utilize them more effectively. It must be remembered that the vast majority of Union soldiers who fought in the Civil War were in State Volunteer Regiments, not Regular Army organizations. On December 18, Rosecrans issued the order to create a separate brigade containing the 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th Infantry Regiments, and Company H, 5th Artillery (these were all the Regular Army Infantry regiments he had). He intended to use the "Regular Brigade" as his special reserve force. It was attached to MG Rousseau's 3rd Division, of MG George Thomas's Centre Corps, which was redesignated the First Division of the XIVth Corps. On December 23, the 18th Infantry detached from it's old brigade and marched south to join it's new brigade. On December 25, Christmas Day, the 18th Infantry crossed the Cumberland River northeast of Nashville and joined the Regular Brigade. The Regulars were happy to be together and they developed an especially strong Esprit de Corps. LTC Oliver Shepherd, 18th Infantry, assumed command of the Brigade. At this point in the war, the 15th, 16th and 19th Infantry had only their 1st Battalions organized and in the field. The 18th Infantry had both it's 1st Battalion and 2nd Battalion in the field, with elements of it's 3rd Battalion attached, making it the equivalent of two regiments. Regimental strengths (officers and enlisted present for duty): 15th Infantry (320), 16th Infantry (308), 1-18 Infantry (288), 2-18 Infantry (314), 19th Infantry (208), and Company H, 5th Artillery (123).

     By December 30, Rosecrans had his Army in place opposite Bragg's Army at Stone River on the outskirts of Murfreesboro. The Regular Brigade was in reserve with the First Division at the center of the Union line. Independently, the two Generals determined to attack their opponents Right Wing at daybreak. The advantage would fall to the one who attacked first, and that happened to be Bragg. About 7:00 am, Hardee's Corps attacked the unsuspecting Federal Right Wing. Regiments, then Brigades, then Divisions were driven back. Sheridan's Division of McCook's Corps offered more determined resistance, but the Federal right was collapsing back upon the center. By 9:00 am the situation was desperate and Rosecrans committed his reserve, Rousseau's First Division, to support Sheridan's right flank. The Regular Brigade, on the extreme right, formed line of battle on the Nashville Pike, then marched 500 yards across a cotton field and into a cedar thicket. The trees were so thick that command and control was impossible to maintain, but there they met and managed to severely blunt the initial Confederate advance. As Sheridan's Division ran out of ammunition and withdrew, the position of the Regular Brigade became untenable. The 15th Infantry, on the Brigade's extreme right, was soon being flanked by the Confederate attack and was forced to give ground. The 16th Infantry, next in line of battle, had better results from defensive positions among rocks in the thicket, but was becoming isolated. Finally, the order was given to withdraw. The 18th Infantry received the order first and complied. The 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, followed. The 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, received a confused order. The 16th Infantry did not receive the order at all. Fortunately, the 15th Infantry was already retiring on it's own. Because of the dense trees, the 16th Infantry had become separated from 2-18 Infantry to it's left. When Maj. Townsend, commanding 2-18 Infantry, received the garbled message, he sent his adjutant, 1st Lieutenant Phisterer, to confirm. 1Lt Phisterer rode directly into Confederate soldiers who were about to envelop the 16th Infantry. He somehow avoided being shot or captured and reached Maj. Slemmer, commanding the 16th Infantry, who immediately initiated an orderly retreat. Otherwise, the 16th Infantry would have been surrounded and destroyed by the advancing Confederate forces. 1Lt Phisterer then returned again through enemy fire to inform his commander of the situation so that the 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, could safely retire. Years later, Phisterer was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this action, the first Medal of Honor awarded to a soldier of the 18th Infantry.

     In little more than an hour, McCown's Division had driven Rousseau's First Division from the cedars and back to their line of departure at the Nashville Pike. Unfortunately for them, the Confederate forces attempted to carry their momentum on across the cotton field, only to be repulsed by the deadly canon fire of Company H, 5th Artillery. At last, the energy of the initial attack was expended. McCown's Division retired to regroup. A temporary lull fell upon this portion of the battlefield, as the attack passed to the center and a small patch of timber known as the Round Forest, where Col. William Hazen's Division anchored the Federal line. Rosecrans had to form a new line of battle along the Nashville Pike, and he had to do it quickly. If Bragg renewed the attack and cut the Nashville Pike, not only would the Federal supply line be cut, but any hope of an orderly retreat to save what was left of the Army of the Cumberland would be lost. It would take time to move and properly position his troops. Bragg's inevitable attack upon the Nashville Pike had to be delayed. This was just the sort of situation for which Rosecrans had created his Brigade of Regulars. Therefore, he ordered Thomas to send them back into the cedars. Thomas is reported to have ordered Rousseau, "Put the regulars in the cedars and drive those devils back." About noon, Shepherd marched the Regular Brigade across the cotton field and back into the cedar forest. Penetrating less than 50 yards, retreating elements of Federal units told them that Bragg had renewed the attack and contact with the enemy was immanent. The Regulars lay down, took the best available positions, and waited. Shepherd let the Confederate line advance to within 100 yards of his position before giving the order to fire. Volley after disciplined volley devastated the advancing enemy over a quarter mile front, but soon return fire was devastating the Regular Brigade. The carnage was terrible on both sides, and the Regular Brigade was vastly outnumbered. Soon after the fight began, the color bearer for the 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, was killed and the colors lay upon the forest floor. 1st Lieutenant Phisterer ordered Corporal Paul Fisher to retrieve the colors, which he did, but the colors then became entangled in the trees. As Phisterer assisted Fisher, his horse was shot from beneath him. He called to 2nd Lieutenant Bisbee for assistance. Bisbee then took the colors and carried them for the remainder of the fight. (Note: there is a similar story of the valor of the 1st Battalion color guard. However, I have not been able to confirm and document the 1st Battalion story and, therefore, have not reported it in detail). After about 20 minutes it became apparent that the Regular Brigade must give ground. Shepherd ordered the retreat. Each battalion retreated as best it could.

     The 500 yards across the cotton field was a killing zone. Mounted officers were prime targets. Maj. John King, commanding 15th Infantry, was struck 3 times in his left arm as soon as his battalion left the cedars. Maj. Adam Slemmer, commanding 16th Infantry, was severely wounded in the left leg just below the knee. Capt. Henry Douglass, commanding 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, went down shortly after his battalion entered the cotton field. Maj. Frederick Townsend, commanding 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, crossed unhurt. However, Maj. S.D. Carpenter, commanding 19th Infantry, was shot six times and fell from his horse dead upon the field. There were many instances of heroism that day. 2nd Lieutenant Henry Freeman dismounted, picked up the wounded Capt. Douglass and carried him on his back through a hail of bullets across the open field to the safety of our lines. For this brave act he was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the second 18th Infantry soldier to be so honored.

     The unexpected and determined stand of the Regular Brigade caused the advancing Confederate forces to pause to regroup. By the time they debauched from the cedars, the Federal battle line was ready and waiting. Four times the Confederate battle line formed and bravely charged. Four times they were cut to pieces and forced to seek cover back among the cedars. The Federal line resolutely held at the Nashville Pike. Finally, as dusk fell at about 4:00 pm, Bragg called off the attack and pulled back to the safety of his prepared rifle pits. The battle would continue into the new year, but not with quite the same desperate intensity, and the night of January 3rd would see Bragg's Army quietly retreat, leaving the bloodied Army of the Cumberland to claim an immensely important and much needed Union victory. The cost was over 13,000 Union casualties (and as many Confederate).

     The Battle of Stone's River tested the 18th Infantry Regiment as a fighting unit. The 18th Infantry entered the cedars with approximately 30 officers and 600 enlisted men. Of this number, only two officers and 58 enlisted men were killed during the battle. However, a total of 284 casualties from the 18th Infantry (about 45% casualty rate) were reported in the official records, and many later died of their wounds. The fight at Murfreesboro in December 1862 was our baptism by fire, the first terrible battle in the long and proud tradition of the 18th Infantry Regiment. Today, our Colors bear a blue and gray battle streamer inscribed "Murfreesboro" in honor of our heroic stand among the cedars. Today, soldiers of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, stand ready to do the same. In Omnia Paratus! Vanguards!

back to top



*** 18th Infantry Golf Shirts ***

     We have located a supplier for 18th Infantry Golf shirts embroidered with our distinctive unit crest on the left breast, the words 18th INFANTRY REGIMENT above and IN OMNIA PARATUS below. The shirts are Hanes Activewear 50/50 jerseys. Our "standard order" is light blue color, sizes M, L, XL, and XXL, without pocket. Available for shipping in APRIL. The cost is thirty dollars ($30), shipping and handling included within CONUS.

     With your help, several options might become available at the same cost. One option is a pocket. Another option is white or black color shirts. 3XL may be obtained, but at a slight additional cost. Women's shirts also, if enough interest is shown. Let us know if you want caps embroidered as above. Baseball caps, one size fits all: Cotton cloth = $10. All wool (six panel) = $15.

     Our plan is to make a production run early in April based on prepaid orders received by the end of March. With enough prepaid orders, certain options could be included in this run. Otherwise, the Association will make only a standard order, including an amount of shirts it expects to sell at the Philadelphia reunion.

     Make checks payable to 18th Inf Reg't Assoc, copy and complete the order form below and send to:

George Gentry
1331 Hackett Ave
Long Beach, CA  90815

Fax: 562-596-0150
E-mail: Ggentry@aol.com

 (Jim: You might consider putting this on its own page, make it easier to print?)


Enclosed is a donation to the 18th Infantry Regiment Association. Please send me a light blue 18th Infantry Golf shirt embroidered with our distinctive unit crest on the left breast, the words 18th INFANTRY REGIMENT above the crest and IN OMNIA PARATUS below. PLEASE SHIP TO:

NAME: ________________________________________________________ 

ADDRESS: _____________________________________________________

CITY: _________________________________________________________

STATE: ________   ZIP: ________

TELEPHONE: ( _____ ) ________________   E-MAIL: __________________

SIZE: (circle one)    M     L     XL     XXL

If you want more than one shirt, please be sure to specify how many and the size of each. 

Certain options may become available if enough orders are received (check the options you want):

with pocket_____     3XL size_____        white color_____      black color_____

women's shirt_____  cotton cloth baseball cap_____ 

all-wool six-panel baseball cap_____

Make donation checks payable to: 18th Infantry Regiment Association. Copy or cut out order form and send to:

George Gentry
1331 Hackett Ave
Long Beach, CA  90815
Please include your phone number and e-mail address, and don't forget to enclose your check. Orders shipped in April.

  back to top



At present, we still have about 200 paid members and about 200 delinquent members. Get the word out!  Encourage others to join up. There are so many out there who don't even know we exist. Our membership goal is still to reach 500 paid members. We can do it!



Louis Johnson, our Honorary Sergeant Major, is having a serious problem with a detached retina. Therefore, he did not submit a column for this issue. However, I am sure that he would want to extend his usual Christmas greetings and best wishes to all of you.

Good wishes may be sent to him at the following address, or just give him a call:

Louis Johnson
3664 Wallfield Road
Houlka, MS 38850
Phone: 601-568-7726



The Big Red One Reunion is scheduled for September 1-5, 2000 at the Adams Mark Hotel, Philadelphia, PA. Note that is over the Labor Day week end!  Plan now to attend!  For information, contact Rosemary Wirs at the Society Office: 1933 Morris Rd, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Phone; 1-888-324-4733 or E-mail: soc1ID@aol.com


Company A Reunion Notice

The 1965 Class of Company A, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Vietnam vets is holding a reunion at Pigeon Forge, TN between 22-24 September, 2000. Contact person is CP Pedersen, phone: 715-462-4125.



Our Treasurer, Jim Stone, has changed his address to:

258 Pells Rd
Rhinebeck, NY 12572-2113

Phone: 914-876-7676
E-Mail: ston093@attglobal.net


Mark your calendars. The 81st Annual Dinner of the Officers of the First Division will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2000 at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency Hotel in Arlington, Va. Contact Phil Pryor via E-mail at: PPryor58


Did you know Sgt. Louis Glavan?

Tony Glavan would like to contact someone that was with his uncle before he was killed in Germany during WWII. If you knew him, contact George Gentry.

Sgt. Louis J. Glavan, 
serial #37327912
Company A, 18th Infantry
KIA 30 March 1945

E-mail: Ggentry@aol.com or jerynaus@juno.com

back to top



Holiday Greetings from Germany

     Please pass on my sincere wishes for a great Christmas and happy holiday season to all the members of the 18th Infantry Regiment Association. Your generosity and efforts made for a very happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas for some very deserving soldiers and their families. God has certainly blessed me and the current Vanguards with the support you all provide....please include a wish for a great holidays season for all the members from me and every soldier in this battalion!


Sincerely, LTC Murray Vanguard 6

And to all of you, from the Association officers, 
the Honorary Colonel, 
and the Honorary Sergeant Major:


18th Infantry Regiment Association Newsletter

October 1999


Your response last year to the Thanksgiving/Christmas Project was outstanding and the project was a great success.  The 18th Infantry Regiment Association was able to send $1000 to assist our soldiers at this time of year. The money we sent was well received, put to good use in purchasing needed food baskets, and much appreciated by our soldiers, many of whom were deployed to Macedonia. As you know, the living situation for our soldiers in Germany is quite different from soldiers in the United States, and some of our soldiers (usually because of circumstances beyond their control) find themselves needing a little assistance during the holiday season in order to have a traditional holiday meal for their families (On average, a couple of families per Company).

The current members of the Battalion do what they can to take care of their own, but they appreciate the participation of veteran members of the Regiment. Therefore, we have cheerfully committed to do it again this year, trusting in your generous support. There is a system in place to identify individuals at the Company level and discreetly provide assistance. CSM Forest, Chaplain Nay, and Mrs. Jane Murray, leader of the Family Support Group (FSG), have agreed to coordinate the project in Germany. We appreciate their efforts on our behalf, and especially on behalf of our soldier families who would otherwise not have such a nice holiday season.

Again this year, we need your help to cover the expenditure, and we ask you to please contribute generously toward our Thanksgiving/Christmas project. You may send your donation to our Treasurer, or include it with your membership renewal to our Secretary (addresses below).  Please mark the memo line on your check: XMAS PROJECT.




The 18th  Infantry Regiment Association held it's Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY on August 6, 1999.  The meeting was called to order and all stood as the Regimental Colors were posted by representatives from our First Battalion. 

Welcome and introductions followed. We were honored to introduce three representatives from 1-18 in Germany: 

SSGT Glenn Beem (B-1-18) 
SSGT Geoffrey Klaus (B-1-18) 
SGT Renato Zappala (A-1-18) 

The Honorary Colonel reported on his visit to our active-duty battalion for the Change of Command ceremonies held in June. He also gave an excellent briefing on the subject of "percentage fill" and the effect of that practice on battalion and division readiness. The Honorary Sergeant Major also gave a report on his experiences in Schweinfurt during the Change of Command ceremonies.

SSGT Beem, SSGT Klaus,
SGT Zappala, SPC Hobson

We then received a report on the status of our troop's morale and esprit given by SSGT Glenn Beem, a squad leader from Company B, who is the 1999 lst Division NCO of the Year, followed by brief personal comments from SSGT Klaus and SGT Zappala. Unfortunately, LTC Norman was unable to attend the annual meeting. Therefore, his presentation was 
rescheduled for the next day at the CP (see HCOR and HSMOR comments). Discussion of Association business followed. Minutes of the July 1998 annual meeting were accepted by acclamation. The Secretary, Larry Van Kuran, gave the membership report - 181 paid members and 228 delinquent members, for a total of 409. Renewals and new memberships are coming in very slowly. Our goal remains 500 paid members. We can count on about 100 delinquent renewals from our active duty battalion, but that means we still need over 100 new veteran members.
The President and the Treasurer presented our financial report and requested that the 98-99 Budget categories and amounts be carried over another year. This was approved by acclamation. Projected revenue is dependent on membership dues and donations. 1998-99 was a good financial year because of significant donations. However, we failed to 
LTC Norman holds forth in the CP
meet our 98-99 membership goals, and, therefore, we are unable to expand our budget at this time. Our basic budget includes $1000 for newsletter printing and postage, funded from dues revenue, and our soldier projects, funded mostly from donations. All Association Officers are unpaid volunteers.

In 98-99 we met our goal of $2500 in donations for soldier projects. Thank you for your generous support of our soldiers. We retain that goal again this year in order to provide for the following projects -- $500 each for the Thanksgiving and Christmas projects, a "Single Soldiers" initiative, and bringing a soldier to the 2000 reunion in Philadelphia. Projected expenses for projects will not be made unless the projected revenue is received.

Officers were elected (see above) and other subjects were briefly discussed: selection of Distinguished Members of the Regiment; better communications of 18th Infantry activities at the reunion (there is still a lot of confusion about the difference between the Society and the Association); and Association recognition and awards for an 18th Infantry soldier/NCO of the year. Then the meeting adjourned. See you next year in Philadelphia!

[Comments and suggestions by our members are listened to and improvements are being made. We have unit crests, and we are working on obtaining 18th Infantry Polo shirts and baseball hats. If interested in purchase of these items, please contact me or Larry Van Kuran. More in the December newsletter.]



18th Infantry Regiment Association Elects Officers

At the 1999 Annual Meeting, the following officers were elected for two year terms (1999-2001):
George Gentry
1331 Hackett Ave
Long Beach CA 90815 
Ph: 562-596-8097
Naman Carter
8502 Quail Tree Rd
San Antonio TX 78250
Ph: 210-680-0264

Larry Van Kuran
6378 Jamieson Ave
Encino CA 91316
Ph: 818-881-8524

Jim Stone
35 Pells Rd
Rhinebeck NY 12572
Ph: 914-876-7676

Previously appointed under authority of AR 600-82 for three year terms (1997-2000):
Honorary Colonel:
Philip A. Pryor 
210 Waterton
Williamsburg VA 23188
Honorary Sergeant Major:
Louis H. Johnson
3664 Walifield Rd
Houlka, MS 38850




LTC Murray reports that all is well with the Battalion. We have not yet received orders for Kosovo duty. However, intensive training continues. He reports that the Battalion is on track for an early December deployment to GRAF (7th Army Training Center), where gunnery and dismount tables will be run. In addition, he reports that the Battalion just completed a very successful EIB train-up and test period. Out of 188 candidates, we awarded 86 ElBs (45%). That is an outstanding result, indicating motivated soldiers, excellent leadership, and some extremely hard work. Congratulations to all our soldiers who proudly wear the Expert lnfantryman's Badge!

NEW CSM: In ceremonies on September 24, the transition of authority between CSM Kolhof and CSM Forest occurred. CSM Kolhof leaves the Battalion for Kosovo to assume new duties in the Brigade S-3 shop.

Command Sergeant Major James H. Forest Jr. is a native of Rock Island, Illinois. He entered the United States Army in August 1976 and has served in every leadership position in the Light Infantry to include, Fire Team Leader, Squad Leader, Platoon Sergeant, First Sergeant, and Interim Command Sergeant Major. In addition, he wears the Drill Sergeant Badge and the EIB, and is a graduate of the Sergeants Major Academy.

CSM Forest is married to the former Beverly Ann Snow. They have three children: Angel, James III, and Audrey. The 18th Infantry Regiment Association welcomes CSM Forest, his wife and children, to the 18th Infantry family.

FAMILY NEWS: BG Eric T. Olson (2-18, Gulf War) completed his tour of duty in Schweinfurt as Assistant Division Commander (Support), lst Infantry Division, and has returned to the United States Military Academy to become West Point's 67th Commandant of Cadets, replacing MG John P. Abizaid (CG, 1ID).




At present, we have about 200 paid members and over 200 delinquent members. It seems that there is still a lot of confusion about the Association and it's relationship to the Society and other groups. When talking to friends, ask them if they get the newsletter. If not, they aren't paid up members, so encourage them to join up, and send their names and addresses to Larry Van Kuran, Membership Secretary, 6378 Jamieson Ave, Encino, CA 91316. Phone: 818-881-8524. Email: vankuran@ix.netcom.com

Membership in the 18th Infantry Regiment Association is open to ALL who have served with the 18th Infantry or any of its battalions, in peace or in war, their spouses or those who were married to a Regiment member now deceased.

We need volunteers to: 1) find Army orders and other documents that identify former members of the 18th Infantry by name and service number, 2) search the Internet for addresses and phone numbers, 3) send letters and do follow-up phone calls to delinquent members and prospective members, and 4) answer inquiries from people seeking information about the 18th Infantry and it's former members. In addition to building our member data base, we would like to build a data base of all former 18th Infantry members. The information is available, but the process is time consuming and labor intensive (i.e., obtain a company roster from Cantigny Museum, search the Social Security death records to see if they are deceased, search the Internet to see if their address and phone is listed, make contact, follow-up). If you are willing to take on any of these tasks, please contact George Gentry, address & phone on page 1, e-mail: Ggentry@aol.com



Change of Command

On August 3, 1999, ceremonies were held at Division Headquarters in Wuerzburg, where MG David L. Grange relinquished command of the Big Red One to MG John P. Abizaid. MG Abizaid's last assignment was Commandant of Cadets at West Point. It has been announced that MG Grange is retiring to accept a position with the McCormick Foundation.

The  18th Infantry Regiment Association wishes MG Grange well in his retirement and welcomes MG Abizaid to the First Infantry Division family. No Mission too Difficult, No Sacrifice too Great, Duty First!




The 81st annual Big Red One Reunion was held in Louisville, KY from August 4-8. In all, there were over 1000 in attendance. About 80 former members of the 18th Infantry signed in at the 18th Infantry CP, and there were several others in attendance who didn't sign in. This year we had a large room for our CP, and it was very active. Our thanks to Andy 

Bob O'Connor A26, Jim Stone RTO,
SSGT Beem, George Gentry A36

Anderson and his detail for keeping the room open and well supplied. There were some first time Vietnam vets there. One in particular, a platoon leader from A-2-18. The last time I saw him was when he visited my bedside at the 93rd Evac Hospital in Long Binh. That was Christmas 1967. He also linked up with his RTO, whom he had not seen in
over 30 years. Moments like that make these reunions very special.
Due to the recent change of command and deployment of the 2nd Brigade Task Force to Kosovo, the 1st Division Commanding General could not be present. However, the Command Sergeant Major, CSM Montgomery, was in attendance, and reported upon the current status and activities of the Division. With him came the Division Soldier of the Year, SPC Frank M. Hobson (1-6 FA) and the NCO of the Year, SSGT Glenn A. Beem (B-1-18 IN). In addition, CSM Wells brought the Soldier of the Year and NCO of the Year from the 1st Brigade at Ft Riley, as well as a sharp and proficient Color Guard.

A good time was had by all. Next year the reunion is scheduled for September 1-5 at the Adams Mark Hotel, Philadelphia, PA. Plan now to attend! (Note: This is the Labor Day Week-end). For information on the reunion, contact Rosemary Wirs at the Society Office: 1933 Morris Rd, Blue Bell, PA 19422:. Ph: 1-888-324-4733 or
E-mail: soc1ID@aol.com




Army Regulation 600-82 makes provision for the appointment of an Honorary Colonel (HCOR), Honorary Sergeant Major (HSMOR), and Distinguished Members of the Regiment (DMOR). The appointment is an honor that is conferred in Army Orders issued by the Chief of Infantry, upon approval of recommendations submitted by the Commander of the Regiment's Color Battalion. The Battalion Commander generally relies upon advice received from the HCOR, HSMOR, and the Regimental Association in making his recommendations.

Guidelines for selection have been proposed. They include such things as: honorable period of service with the 18th Infantry; some outstanding accomplishment during or since that tour of duty; demonstrated interest in promoting the history and traditions of the 18th Infantry; and be of a general personal character that reflects credit on the 18th Infantry. An unstated criteria would be, of course, to willingly accept the responsibilities of a DMOR.

A DMOR of the 18th Infantry is expected to be an example, both for our active duty soldiers and for our veterans. Therefore, DMORs will be asked to participate in activities that perpetuate the history and traditions of the Regiment, to contribute funding for annual awards and/or recognition of outstanding 18th Infantry active duty soldiers, and to support the goals of the 18th Infantry Regiment Association. Nominations should be submitted in writing to either Phil Pryor or George Gentry.


Regimental Flags for Reunion CP

We now have A thru E, G and H Companies. These add significantly to the atmosphere of the CP. A guidon set, including stand, pole, Army spear tip, and guidon (to Army specifications) costs $150. If you would like to sponsor a guidon set for your company, or contribute toward a complete display of 18th Infantry guidons, or a set of Regimental Colors, please contact Larry Van Kuran, 818-881-8524.

Veteran's Day Ceremonies

Veteran's Day ceremonies are held each year in Washington DC. Always moving events and well worth attending. Jim Stone (C-2-18, RVN) is coordinating 18th Infantry activities there. Volunteers are needed. If you plan to be in Washington DC on November 11, please let Jim know. Address above. E-mail:


Annette Shutters is looking for anyone who knew her brother of circumstances of his service in Vietnam.

1LT Patrick A. Shutters, B-1-18, (12-29-67 to 3-15-68).

1LT Shutters was KIA on 3-15-68. Please write her at: 6530 Calamar Dr, Cumming, GA 30040 or e-mail me at: Ggentry@aolcom.




The 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, is authorized 36 Officers, 1 Warrant Officer and 666 Enlisted. Total = 703. It is composed of HHC and 3 maneuver Companies (A, B, & C), utilizing 44 Bradley Fighting Vehicles and a number of Humvees and other vehicles. A Company consists of 5 Officers and 130 Enlisted, with 3 Platoons utilizing 14 Bradleys. Each Platoon has 4 Bradley crews and 3 nine-man Infantry Squads. HHC contains the command group and staff, the Scout Platoon, Mortar Platoon (120 mm), Medical Platoon, Sniper Section, and other support personnel.



First Tour of Duty - Battle Streamer inscribed "ILOHO"

The Peace Treaty signed in Paris on December 10, 1898 officially ended the War with Spain. One of it's provisions ceded the Philippine Islands to the United States. Spain was anxious to surrender it's Philippine garrisons to the US, as most of them were besieged by the ragtag army of the Philippine Independence Movement led by Emilio Aguinaldo. Therefore, the 8th Army Corps ordered formation of the First Separate Brigade, including the 18th Infantry Regiment, to occupy the Visayas Island group. On Christmas Day 1898, the 18th Infantry embarked on the USAT Arizona to relieve the Spanish garrison at Iloilo, on the Island of Panay, the principal city of the Visayas. Unfortunately, the Philippine people felt that they had earned independence and were not inclined to exchange Spanish domination for American imperialism. During tense negotiations, the 18th Infantry was confined on board ship at anchor in the Iloilo harbor for over a month. On February 4, 1899, negotiations ended and the Philippine Insurrection began when fighting broke out at Manila. On February 11, the 18th Infantry disembarked into battle at Iloilo, driving the Insurgents from the city, and earning for the Colors a battle streamer inscribed "ILOILO".

The year 1899 found the 18th Infantry engaged in a number of nasty guerilla actions in the jungles of Panay. The ragtag army of "Insurectos", armed mostly with muskets, shotguns, machetes, and Bolo knives, were no match for the well armed and disciplined soldiers of the 18th Infantry. However, hit-and-run jungle ambushes resulted in many casualties, and the Bolo Knife was so feared and effective that it came to symbolize the Philippine Insurrection on the distinctive unit insignia of many of the Army units that fought there, including the unit crest of the 18th Infantry. In June, COL Van Valzah retired and COL Gilbert S. Carpenter assumed command. COL Carpenter enlisted as a Private in Company F, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, in September 1861, receiving a field promotion to Lieutenant in June 1862. During the Philippine campaign he had risen in rank to Brigadier General, USV, but resigned to accept command of his old regiment. In October, COL Carpenter created a "mounted" detachment of the 18th Infantry. Known as "Gordon's Scouts" for it's commander, Captain Walter H. Gordon, it ranged freely and effectively through the jungle in pursuit of lnsurectos. In December 1899, the 18th Infantry changed station from Iloilo to Capiz, still on the Island of Panay, where COL Carpenter was promoted Brigadier General and retired with 40 years of honorable service. The 18th Infantry would endure two more years of guerilla combat on Panay before the end of the Philippine Insurrection (if it can be said that it ever really ended), and two more tours of duty in the Philippine Islands.



Explanation of Heraldry

AZURE (BLUE) BACKGROUND: In the US Army, blue is the color of the Infantry -- Queen of Battle.
CROSSED BARS: The saltire cross represents the 18th Infantry campaigns of the Civil War, the struggle that gave birth to our great Regiment.
In Omnia Paratus CROSSED ARROWS: Two arrows (for 2 separate time periods) represent the campaigns of the 18th Infantry on the great American plains during the Indian Wars.
FIGURE EIGHT: The badge of the Eighth Army Corps (Solid White for 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division) represents the 18th Infantry campaign for Manila in the Philippine Islands during the War with Spain.
BOLO: The symbol of the 
Philippine Insurrection represents the 18th Infantry campaigns at Iloilo and in the jungles of Panay (Operations in the Visayas).
NOTCHED BORDER: Symbolizes the trench type fortifications the 18th Infantry surmounted in fighting its way across France in 1918.
FLEURS-DE-LIS AND RED BAND: The chief bears the red band of the arms of Lorraine between the fleurs-de-lis of the arms of Soissons to represent the 18th Infantry campaigns in World War I (and 2 awards of the French Croix de Guerre for our Colors).
(Note: the unit insignia was adopted in 1923.)



CSM Louis H. Johnson, USA/Ret
Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment

The Louisville reunion was good. As always it was good to see old friends and meet new ones. The highlight for me was when LTC Norman spoke to us in the CP. His talk was informal and he took any and all questions from those of us present. He is indeed a dedicated and professional soldier, who spoke to us openly and from his heart about the soldiers who served under his command, the missions being assigned, and conditions in the Army today. You just don't get that opportunity that often. I wish all of you could have been there. Don't miss Philadelphia! Duty First!

Louis Johnson, HSMOR, Ph: 601-568-7726



Message from the Honorary Colonel
COL. Philip A. Pryor, USA/Ret.

As has been reported elsewhere in the Newsletter, we had an excellent turnout for our reunion in early August. The location, in Louisville, KY, was a good choice - excellent hotel, ideally situated in relation to the Ohio River, lots to see and do, and we had plenty of room in our CP. The Division had an excellent turnout for the reunion, as did the 18th Infantry. George Gentry, your President, did another magnificent job in organizing the activities during the reunion. We were pleased to have LTC Bryan Norman, our most recent Battalion Commander, attend the festivities. He drove all Friday night, arriving at 0400 hrs Saturday from Carlisle Barracks where he is attending the Army War College. He gave an excellent update to our 18th Infantry group on the battalion activities in Germany, Kosovo and Macedonia. LTC Norman visited with all of our veterans during the day, attended the dinner on Saturday night and then spent most of the evening in the CP talking to those gathered. We appreciated his efforts even though he had little sleep.

During the reunion, we were happy to have 3 soldiers from the battalion come from Germany. Each of them were extremely pleasant to meet, easy to talk to, full of stories of life today in the battalion and presented, at all times, a truly professional bearing. The Honorary CSM and his wife, George Gentry and his wife and I took them out for dinner one  evening. They were the only ones in the restaurant in blue blazers, 1st Infantry Division crests on their pockets and ties. You knew who the Big Red One folks were. These young soldiers were truly an inspiration to all of us. We were so impressed that we hope to begin a new tradition this year - the presentation of a replica Iron Mike statue to the Battalion Officer, NCO and Soldier of the Year. We will work out the details with LTC Murray.

Please put the next reunion on your calendars. I know you will be glad you did. All the best. Vanguard!  Phil
18th Infantry Regiment Association Newsletter
June 1999



    As we go to press, no official word has been received that 1-18 IN will deploy to Kosovo. However, it appears likely that they will. What we know about Kosovo is that NATO forces are deploying, that the 1st Infantry Division has been designated to supply most of the US contingent to KFOR, and that the 2nd Brigade has been tapped for this mission.

     What we know about the 18th Infantry is that it recently returned from a mission in Macedonia and that the training schedule has been intensified and the time table advanced, even the change of command was moved up. LTC Norman reunified the command, made the conversion to LCD XXI (see below), and began intensive training for "possible deployment of ground forces."

     Then he took the battalion to the field at the 7th Army Training Center in Grafenwohr. With gunnery completed, 1-18 IN returned to Schweinfurt with only a few days to clean, repair and refit equipment for a rotation to Hohenfels. During these few days, LTC Murray arrived and the change of command was held on June 11 (see below). LTC Murray then deployed the battalion to CMTC immediately after the change of command ceremonies. These are uncertain times for our soldiers. The chaplain summed it up in an e-mail message, "Pray for our 18th Infantry families. It is rather hard for the younger soldiers who were in Macedonia and now are in the field and who knows where they will be next month."



Reported by COL Robert J. Fulcher, Jr.

I commanded the 4th Battalion, 18th Infantry, from 8 March 90 to 15 November 91. During that time we were in 2nd Brigade, 3rd Armored Division. The Division commander was MG Paul Funk, the Brigade commander was COL. Robert W. Higgins. Maj. John Kling was the battalion XO, Maj. Jim Fitch was the S3, CPT Miles Cantrell was the S1, CPT Bob Carter was the S2. The Company Commanders were: CPT Ken Bernstein, HHC; CPT Charlie Forshee, A Company; CPT Tony Phillips, B Company; CPT Tom Long, C Company; CPT Joe Presbyzewski, D Company. For a short time in garrison we had an E Company, commanded by CPT Ed Turski (E Company did not deploy to war). The scout platoon leader was LT Mike Hamer (more courage than brains) and the mortar platoon leader was LT TJ Jones. During the war, my task organization was increased by two tank companies; one each from 3-8 CAV (CPT Clay McDaniel) and 4-8 CAV (Joe Herdad, the most proficient CPT I have ever seen at killing the enemy with tanks). My attached Engineer company was commanded by CPT Tillotson, great engineer, and my attached artillery battery was commanded by CPT Rand Rodriguez. Additionally I had an ADA platoon attached. I have up an Infantry company (D Company) to 4-8 CAV. I think we had the singular largest task force in the war. No official words, but I think we had the most awards for valor of all the units in the Division, save maybe the Divisional Cavalry Squadron.

Clearly the Brigade was in sustained action longer than any of the other Brigades, and the battalion was engaging the enemy throughout. The Brigade spearheaded the attack into Iraq. Task Force 4-18 secured the Division left flank and maintained contact with 1st Armored Division during the initial movement into Iraq. As the movement increased, we left the 1st Armored Division behind, made contact with the enemy, and started a long night of killing Iraqis and destroying the Iraqi capability to fight. Several difficult and magnificent maneuvers were executed by the Brigade in order to position sufficient killing power on enemy positions. We had one KIA, (minefield), and later three WIAs (another minefield.) The success of the battalion in combat is directly related to the training received prior to deployment. The task force was formed, trained, deployed, specific training continued, then committed to combat. It gets no better than that -- In Omnia Paratus! Thanks for letting me share the accomplishments of these great soldiers with the rest of the Regiment.

[Editor's note: COL Fulcher is currently Chief of Staff for 7th Army Training at Grafenwohr, Germany. Four battalions of the 18th Infantry were engaged in combat during the Gulf War -- 1-18 and 2-18, 197th Infantry Brigade (S) attached to the 24th Infantry Division (the left hook that drove deep into the Euphrates Valley), and 4-18 and 5-18, 3rd Armored Division (who drove straight into the Iraqi Republican Guard).]




The 1st Infantry Division is a mechanized infantry, or "Heavy" division, and it is currently making the conversion to the new Force XXI design. The new design makes several important changes. At the battalion level, it decreases the number of companies, but increases the size of the remaining companies. This process is commonly known as LCD XXI. 18th Infantry LCD XXI conversion began on May 7, when Company D was deactivated and cased it's Guidon. 1-18 IN now consists of HHC, A, B, and C companies. LTC Norman reports, "We have taken a Company away, but added an additional 9 Man squad to each Platoon. Now each Platoon will have four M2 Bradley's, one 9 man Weapons Squad, and two 9 man Maneuver Squads."



                 On June 11, LTC John M. "Mike" Murray assumed command of 1-18 IN, vice LTC William B. "Bryan" Norman. LTC Norman will attend the next class at the Army War College in Carlisle, PA. Congratulations and best wishes to LTC Norman in his next assignment.


                On May 25, CSM Robert Schofield moved from 1-18 IN to Command Sergeant Major for 2nd "Dagger" Brigade, vice CSM Dwight Anderson. CSM Anderson has been assigned as an instructor at the Command Sergeants Major Academy at Ft. Bliss, TX.

                1SG Kerry K. Kolhof has moved from Company D to become Command Sergeant Major for 1-18 IN. CSM Kolhof joined the Army in 1979. His first unit was the 1st Bn, 75th Ranger Regiment, where MG Grange was his Company Commander. He arrived in Schweinfurt Germany in September 1992 and was assigned to Delta Company, 1st Bn, 15th Infantry Regiment, as a Platoon Sergeant until May of 1995, and then served as the Battalion Operations Sergeant. In April 1997, he was promoted to 1SG and took over Delta company, 1st Bn, 18th Infantry Regiment, where he served until the Delta Company Guidon was cased to come on line with the LCD XXI conversion.

LTC Murray graduated from Ohio State University,with a BA in Marketing, and was commissioned through the ROTC program in 1982 as a 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry. Following IOBC and Ranger School, LTC Murray reported to his first assignment as a Platoon Leader in C Company, 4Ih Battalion, 10" Infantry in the Republic of Panama. After 3 years in Panama, LTC Murray completed IOAC and reported to a staff assignment with 1-12 INF at Ft Carson,until he assumed command of C-1-12. During this time he was selected for "Project Warrior". In 1989, he moved to Ft Irwin for a tour of duty as an Observer Controller at the Army's National Training Center (NTC), and in 1 991 to Ft Benning as an Instructor at IOAC. In 1994, LTC Murray attended the Army's Command and General Staff College. He then reported to Ft Hood, where he served as III Corps Gl Plans Officer and as Executive Officer for 1-5 CAV, with whom he deployed to Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Strike 96. Upon returning from Kuwait he reported to the US Space Command, where he served for two and a half years as a Space Control Officer.
The Murray Family

(Back row) Jennie, LTC Mike Murray
(front row) Jessica, Jayna, and Jane
LTC Murray is married, with three daughters. The Murray family constitutes a formidable command team. Mike is a native of Ohio and grew up in Kenton. Jane is a native of Pennsylvania and grew up in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York, moving to Kenton, Ohio for her Junior and Senior years of High School. Jane also attended OSU until Mike's graduation and their marriage. While accompanying Mike to his assignments and raising a family, she also managed to continue her education and completed her nursing 
degree in 1995 at Central Texas College. Besides her family and profession, Jane enjoys reading, needlecrafts, and collecting Longaberger Baskets. Jennie, the oldest daughter, was born in Panama. She is 15 years old and an excellent student in High School. She enjoys sports,especially playing softball, volleyball, and competitive swimming. Jessica, the middle daughter, is 12 years old and was also born in Panama. She enjoys playing soccer, softball, and competitive swimming. Jayna, the youngest, is 10 years old and was born in Colorado Springs. She enjoys soccer, competitive swimming, reading, and playing with her many friends. The Murray family looks forward to this tour of duty in Germany with the 18th Infantry. They will be a worthy addition to the Schweinfurt Community.

The 18th Infantry Regiment Association, welcomes LTC Murray, his wife and children, to the 18th Infantry Regiment and the First Infantry Division family.



by LTC William B. Norman

On the eve of my change of command, I first and foremost want to thank the 18th Infantry Regiment Association for their support and sincere care of our soldiers and their families. The 18th Infantry truly has a great Association. Caring is the key, and caring for each other has made our organization stand out. In all my career, I have never been part of something that has given so much to our soldiers and has been as active as the 18th Infantry Regiment and BRO Associations.

Just a few weeks ago, I took the Battalion  Officers and Senior Noncommissioned Officers on a staff ride to Normandy. We followed in the footsteps of our Regiment from Omaha Beach, up through the E-1 draw, Formigny, Fonteney, Govile, Vaubadon, Ballerroy, Planquery to Caumont. We remembered in ceremony our honored dead, and we were received in the town of Caumont with tears of joy. We read our Medal of Honor citations on the very same ground where our heroes, under all adversity prevailed.

We recalled, and will not forget, our legacy -- a legacy that binds us emotionally and spiritually together. This linkage with our past helps us focus on the present and what is expected from our Battalion. It makes us proud and builds our Esprit de Corps. Again, the Association helps do this so well.

As we move into the millennium, and more technology replaces our systems and equipment, the one constant will be people! This will never change. People -- our teamwork and our brotherhood -- will win the next fight. We are about people, and our history is proof that people, not equipment, win the battle. Again, our Association is about people and keeps this legacy alive.

1-18th Infantry CSM Schofield's favorite saying, and I believe it is appropriate here, "from this day to the ending of the world, we in it shall be remembered, we band of brothers." (Henry V, Shakespeare). We will never forget those who came before us, and the 18th Infantry Regiment Association helps us do just that.

Again, thank you for all the support while we were deployed in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Hope to see many of you in August.

Vanguards, In Omnia Paratus, Duty First!

LTC Bryan Norman



Comments from the Honorary Colonel
COL Philip A. Pryor, USA/Ret.

I was honored to recently visit our soldiers in Germany. Accompanied by the Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment, CSM Louis Johnson, USA/Ret., we were there to participate in the 1/18th Change of Command. While there, we were able to meet with and talk to many of the soldiers and officers of the battalion. We were impressed with the high morale and the complete understanding of the missions and needs of the battalion that were expressed by the soldiers of the 1/18th.

The Change of Command Ceremony was a professional event from beginning to end. LTC Bryan Norman has done a superior job with our battalion. He has impressed, not only the soldiers of the battalion, but all who knew him in the Division as well. He was honored to have MG Grange and BG Ric Olson attend the ceremony, especially given the busy state of affairs in the Division as they deploy to Kosovo. LTC Mike Murray made excellent and to the point remarks at the ceremony. As LTC Norman said, "with LTC Murray at the helm our battalion can only improve its already excellent record. We should al be pleased to have such a great soldier as our new battalion commander." LTC Murray hit the ground running. He left that night with the battalion for the training area at Hohenfels.
I wish LTC Bryan Norman all the best as he leaves for the Army War College, and I know the battalion is in good hands as LTC Mike Murray starts his command tour.

During the ceremonies, we also represented the 18th Infantry Regiment Association in presenting certificates to 3 Distinguished Members of the Regiment. They were LTC Norman, COL Robert Fulcher (Commander of the 4/18th in Desert Storm) and CSM Schofield (who has left the 1/18th to become the new Brigade CSM). Assisting us in the DMOR presentations was Walt Ehlers, 18th Infantry Medal of Honor recipient, who was in Europe for the D-Day events at Omaha Beach.

The day we arrived, the 2nd Brigade received orders to begin deployment into Kosovo. However, 1/18th must first go to the Hohenfels training area (CMTC), as they have recently come out of Macedonia and needed the time to train. Keep our soldiers in your thoughts and prayers as they go about their very busy life in training and then as they deploy into Kosovo.

Best regards - Phil Pryor - HCOR


Words from the Honorary Sergeant Major


I just had the pleasure of spending three days with some of the finest Soldiers, NCOs and Officers that I have had the privilege of meeting -- members of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry. During my short stay with them, they continually demonstrated to me the professionalism, dedication, and courage that is instilled in each member of this great unit.

I arrived in Frankfurt on June 9, where I joined COL Pryor to attend the change of command ceremony. We were met by our escorts, LT Brown and SGT Freeman, and driven to our rooms at the Bradley Inn in Schweinfurt. That evening we had dinner with the soldiers in the mess hall. The next day, we had breakfast in the mess hall and conversation with soldiers in the battalion area. Later in the day we were taken to Wurzburg for a tour of the Division Museum and Victory Park. In the evening we had dinner with LTC Norman, CSM Schofield, CSM Kolhof, LT Brown, SGT Daniels and CPL Mercer. A great time, with great soldiers.

On June 11, as luck would have it, we were greeted by drizzle after 2 very fine days. The day started early for soldiers who had spent most of the night loading vehicles at the railhead. Rehearsals for the ceremony began at 0600 hours. At 1000 hours the change of command occurred. Fortunately, the drizzle had let up by that time. The Commanding General and ADCS were present. The Brigade Commander passed the colors and LTC Murray assumed command. DMOR certificates were presented. A reception followed. All of this in the middle of deployment to a major training area and possible deployment to Kosovo. Afterwards, advanced parties departed for Hohenfels, to be followed by the rest of the battalion on Saturday.

Despite the busy schedule and the hard work they were doing, our soldiers took every opportunity to show us their hospitality, respect, and care for our every need. They took advantage of every minute they could spare to spend time with us, which we appreciate very much.

So, to LTC Murray, LTC Norman, CSM Kolhof, CSM Schofield, the Officers, NCOs, and Soldiers of the 1st Battalion: Thank you and God Bless you! These young soldiers truly represent our Regiment's traditions of pride and excellence in all they do.

Duty First!

Louis H. Johnson, CSM/Ret., HSGMOR



On June 11, the following three individuals were recognized as Distinguished Members of the Regiment at Change of Command ceremonies held at Conn Barracks in Schweinfurt, Germany:

Robert J. Fulcher, Jr.  COL Fulcher commanded the 4th Battalion, 18th Infantry, during Desert Storm.

William B. Norman.  LTC Norman commanded the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, during deployment on Task Force Able Sentry in Macedonia.

Robert L. Schofield.  CSM Schofield was Command Sergeant Major of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, during deployment on Task Force Able Sentry in Macedonia.

Leighton Barracks, Wurzberg

Victory Park, near Division headquarters in Wurzburg, commemorates the Big Red One. The First Division Victory Lady stands atop a granite pedestal in the place of honor at the center of the park. Victory Walk continues to grow, as Big Red One units and soldiers are memorialized by bricks purchased for that purpose.

Recently, a new feature has been added -- unit crests for every regiment in the Big Red One. MG Grange has chosen the 18th Infantry to be the first regiment so honored. Our Unit Crest, about 12" x 12", is beautifully displayed, attached to a large rock, in it's place in Victory Park. For information on brick purchase or contributions to Victory Park, please contact George Gentry.


Ceremonies marking the 55th Anniversary of D-Day were held in Weymouth, England and Normandy, France. The 18th Infantry was well represented during these activities.

CSM Kolhof escorted the 18th Infantry colors to Normandy to represent the Regiment in Division ceremonies on June 6, 1999. In addition, he place Flags on 18th Infantry graves at Omaha Cemetery. In the early morning on June 6, he hit the beach in a landing craft and proceeded up to the 1st Infantry Division Monument, 
where there was a wreath laying ceremony in honor of
the great sacrifices made on that day in 1944. Walter D. Ehlers, 18th Infantry, delivered one of the keynote speeches and several other 18th Infantry veterans of the D-Day landing were also present.

A few miles inland, Andy Anderson and Jack Bennett (Company E) were welcomed, and treated as heros and honored guests, in the village of Saleen, liberated by the 18th Infantry on June 12, 1944.


Peter J. Gonzalez (Company E, WWII) passed away in April 1999. He was buried in Arlington.

We received the sad news that Don Ockerman, our last World War One veteran, passed away peacefully at home on March 29, 1999.

May they rest in peace!

back to top

page update 10/28/2013