18th Infantry Regiment Association

Newsletter 2001

Published by the 18th Infantry Regiment Association, 
a non-profit organization chartered by the State of Georgia. 
George Gentry - Editor
Editorial offices at 1331 Hackett Avenue, Long Beach, CA  90815

18th Infantry Regiment 
Association Newsetter

January 2001

   140th Anniversary
   Reunion Plans
   Voices of the Civil War
   18th Infantry News Update



****140th Anniversary****

     The United States Army reckons it's beginnings from an Act of the Continental Congress taken on 14 June 1775. During it's 226 year history, this Army has had only three Regiments that were enumerated 18th Infantry. The first to bear this distinguished enumeration was the 18th Regiment of the Continental Line, commanded by Colonel Edmund Phinney. Following it's proud service during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army was practically disbanded, and the 18th Infantry ceased to exist. By Act of Congress on 26 June 1812, the second 18th Infantry Regiment was organized under command of Colonel William Drayton for the duration of the War of 1812, and then it was again reorganized out of existence. It remained inactive until the beginning of the Civil War. When, amidst the greatest tragedy that has befallen these United States, the 18th Infantry would again become active on the rolls of the United States Army, and would remain active to the present day.

     The 18th Infantry Regiment came into being by Presidential Proclamation on 3 May 1861, followed by War Department General Order 33, dated 4 May 1861, and ratified by Act of Congress on 29 July 1861. Henry B. Carrington (private citizen of Ohio) was appointed Colonel and Oliver L. Shepherd (3rd Infantry, USMA '40) was appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 18th Infantry Regiment. The 18th Infantry was organized with three battalions of eight companies each, as opposed to the standard organization of ten companies (one battalion). It was organized at Columbus, Ohio and served in the Western Theater during the Civil War, achieving fame as a member of the Regular Brigade, 1st Division, Army of the Cumberland. Our 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry (Vanguards), is currently assigned to the 2nd Brigade (Dagger), 1st Infantry Division (Danger), stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. Please visit our web page to view the complete lineage and honors of the 18th Infantry Regiment that are posted there, and to obtain information on our history and present activities. The 18th Infantry has a long and proud record of service in the United States Army, and we mark the year 2001 as our 140th Anniversary of continuous and distinguished service to the United States of America.



Reunion Plans Include 140th Anniversary Celebration

     The Annual Meeting of the 18th Infantry is scheduled for 0900 hours on Saturday, August 18, 2001. The location of the meeting will be at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Immediately following the Annual Meeting, we will depart by bus for the Stones River Battlefield in Murfreesboro (about 30 miles south), where we have planned a 140th Anniversary celebration -- a Memorial Service at the Stones River National Cemetery. 1-18 INF soldiers will be present with our current Regimental Colors, as well as Civil War re-enactors, with a representation of our Civil War National Colors. There will be historians, and both blue and gray re-enactors, to help bring the battle alive with tales of bravery and courage, with a "Staff Ride" walk of the battlefield available. In addition, there is a small on-site museum and the normal scheduled Park activities, which include an encampment and demonstration by a Rebel Cavalry unit. A formal 18th Infantry memorial service is planned near the Regular Brigade Memorial. The 18th Infantry suffered its first soldier killed in action (KIA) at the Battle of Stones River, beginning a long honor roll of 18th Infantry soldiers killed in combat. He, along with other brave 18th Infantry soldiers, is buried at Stones River, and it is appropriate on this 140th Anniversary of the 18th Infantry Regiment that we pay tribute to him and remember the long and distinguished service our regiment has rendered to our nation. For accommodations and reservations, contact the Society of the First Infantry Division at 1-888-324-4733 or by email: Soc1ID@aol.com. For additional information, contact George Gentry at 562-596-8097 or email: Ggentry@aol.com. Do not miss this event - it will be very special!



Voices of the Civil War
The Tragic Death of Sergeant Amos Flegeal, C/2/18th  U.S. Infantry

  by Thomas Crew, 18th U. S. Infantry Re-enactor
[In our last issue, we printed the first installment of Thomas Crew's account of the first (as reckoned by Civil War standards) 18th Infantry KIA (killed in action on the battlefield). His information was obtained from the memoirs of Private Robert Kennedy, who also related the tragic story of the death of his Sergeant. Moments after Corporal Thomas C. Long was killed, the Brigade of Regulars was order to advance from the Nashville Pike, across an open field, and into a Cedar thicket. They were the Reserves of the 1st Division of Thomas's Corps, the Center of the Union line, and they were being committed in a desperate attempt to support the collapsing Union right flank. Only Sheridan's Division of McCook's Corp was holding, and they were running out of ammunition and about to be overwhelmed. The Regular Brigade's first foray into the Cedars resulted in Sheridan being allowed to execute a somewhat orderly retreat. The Regular Brigade was also forced to retreat to the safety of their Batteries on the Nashville Pike. However, they were soon ordered back into the Cedars and into a desperate delaying action that preserved the day for the Union Army.]

For Captain Ansel B. Denton's C/2/18 and the rest of the 18th US Regulars the next few hours would be the most costly of the war. Following the Regular Brigade's dramatic and unsupported stand in the cedars, the Confederates aggressively moved to the edge of the woods and poured a telling fire into the cotton field across which the regulars were withdrawing. Denton sensing the danger yelled, "For God's sake men, get back to the railroad or we will all be killed." Sergeant Flegeal was one of the many men hit and left in that field. Upon retiring to the relative safety of the railroad, Captain Denton could only account for ten men from his company. One of these was Private Kennedy, who pleaded with the reluctant officer to be allowed to return to Sergeant Flegeal. Kennedy had promised Flegeal that if he fell he would return his personal effects to his family in Maryland. It was a promise he was determined to keep. Denton finally agreed and Kennedy made a dramatic run under fire across no-mans-land. He found Flegeal who was mortally wounded, the bullet having traversed from his upper left to lower right breast. The sergeant admonished his friend for his dangerous actions while Kennedy removed his gold watch, wallet, and silver-mounted revolver. Kennedy then put a knapsack under Flegeal's head, covered him with a blanket and placed a canteen next to his body. Flegeal "...begged me to leave him and to get back to a place of safety, saying if I did not, I would be killed. I started to run back to the railroad, and then I realized the danger I was in. I thought the whole rebel army was shooting at me. The balls were plowing into the earth on all sides of me. If ever a man ran for his life I did then." Kennedy gave Flegeal's effects to Captain Denton who sent them to the sergeant's mother several weeks after the battle. Flegeal was last seen being loaded into an ambulance that evening and was never heard from again.

Kennedy's compassionate and bold action is likely to have been the cause of an unfortunate event. Amos Flegeal undoubtedly died of his wounds in the post battle chaos to a medical system overwhelmed with thousands of casualties. Kennedy had unknowingly removed the sergeant's identification. So when Sergeant Amos Flegeal joined the regiment's first man killed in action Corporal Thomas Long for his final roll call, he became one of the many unknown burials from the battle of Stones River/Murfreesboro. A total of 102 men from the 18th US were killed in action or died of wounds as a result of the action on New Year's Eve 1862, the regiments first major engagement.

Robert Kennedy went on to make Corporal and fought at Chickamauga in two days of almost continuous combat. Before he was captured near Kelly Field on September 20, 1863, he had fired over 200 rounds of muzzle loaded ammunition, changing rifles several times as they became fouled. He helped save the 2nd Battalion Colors by retrieving them from a pile of captured Colors and tearing them into pieces, distributing the pieces to other 2nd Battalion soldiers who had been captured with him (since they were not in enemy hands, they technically were not captured). He was sent to Danville, Virginia where he escaped and was recaptured before being sent to Andersonville. He survived Andersonville and returned home following the war. Corporal Robert Kennedy, C/2/18, lived to the age of 92 years and his memoir is arguably the best civil war account of any enlisted man in the 18th U.S. Infantry.

The primary source for this information is: That Brave Body of Men, The Civil War Campaigns of the 15th, 16th, 18th and 19th U.S. Infantry Regiments, Regular Army. Written by Mark W. Johnson, currently serving on active-duty with USAREC (formerly in 2-15 INF), this book is being published and due for release in Fall 2001.



18th Infantry News Update

SEP 2000 - Charlie Company and the Scout Platoon returned from Kosovo. While they were deployed they had the opportunity to run several patrols and a couple joint Checkpoints with the Russians (who would have thought that would ever happen)!  I have personally heard from the commanders of TF 1-37 and Task Force Falcon expressing nothing but admiration and praise for the outstanding job our soldiers did. Everyone that came in contact with them were extremely impressed with their professionalism and motivation.

SEP 2000 - As our soldiers returned from Kosovo the rest of the Battalion deployed to Grafenwoehr for yet another gunnery density. Fantastic results on Bradley Table VIII this time around -- only one crew had to fire twice to qualify (compared to 19 crews my first gunnery in NOV 99). Congratulations to 1LT Jake St. Laurent and his crew (C CO) for qualifying as the Battalion Top Gun (perfect score). Rifle squads completed an intense 3 day situational training exercise that culminated in a realistic live fire. Both the new ADC(M) (BG Turner) and the new CG (MG Craddock) watched our squads conduct this live fire and both were extremely impressed with what they saw. This gunnery rotation culminated with something new -- I call it a "platoon joust". Basically, we took a piece of ground (roughly 4 kms square) and put a platoon at either end. On the word "go" it became a force-on-force MILES battle with the winner being the "last man standing". Set up a double elimination tournament so every platoon in the battalion got at least 3 "fights". Congratulations go to 2LT Nagy and 1st Platoon, Alpha Company, for winning this very tough, realistic, and demanding event.

OCT 2000 - As the battalion redeployed to Schweinfurt for our normal After Operations Recovery (maintenance and cleaning of equipment), C CO and the Scout Platoon deployed to Grafenwoehr to complete their gunnery with 1-26 IN (the Blue Spaders). All three battalions in the 2nd "Dagger" Brigade (1-18 IN, 1-26 IN, 1-77 AR) have a fantastic working relationship and often go out of their way to help each other. Charlie Company and the Scouts had a great gunnery density and our sincere thanks go out to the Blue Spaders for their fabulous support,

NOV / DEC 2000 - These two months were consumed by events at the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC). We got the opportunity to send some of our senior NCO's and junior officers over as observer/controllers. CMTC is not manned for their current level of operations so, through augmentation, we got the unique opportunity to see 3rd Brigade, 1st ID, plan and conduct force-on-force
operations against the OPFOR. A professionally rewarding experience for all that were involved. Special recognition goes out to A CO, who provided the bulk of the augmentees, and especially to 3rd Platoon, A CO, who got the opportunity to go and fight with the OPFOR. Once again, I heard, personally, from the OPFOR Commander that our soldiers did a fantastic job -- his comment was "it is always good to work with soldiers that know their job and can execute to standard".

NOV / DEC 2000 - At the same time Bravo Company got a tremendous opportunity to go and fight with TF 2-63 Armor during their CMTC rotation. I spent about a week at CMTC watching TF 2-63, and B/1-18 in particular (can't help it if I am partial), and words cannot adequately describe the phenomenal job they did. Being the only Mech Infantry Company in an Armor Battalion/Task Force is tough, but -- by the end of the 14 day rotation -- Bravo Company was the company that got every tough mission and the company that turned the tide during every battle. Hats off to the "Bad Boyz"!

23 NOV 2000 - We managed to get everyone back to Schweinfurt for Thanksgiving Weekend. As usual, a fantastic job by the soldiers who work in our Dining Facility (DFAC)!  They fed around 400 people (including families, the Brigade Command Group, and several local Germans) and won the "Best Thanksgiving Day DFAC" award. Thanks to the continued support of our Association we were able to provide holiday food baskets to 25 Vanguard families. Each basket contained a Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and a vegetable. Special thanks to SGT Ravenell (Chaplain's Assistant) for putting these baskets together and distributing them to our most deserving soldiers. Your thoughts, wishes, and donations went a very long way toward making it a very special day for these 25 families.

DEC 2000 - Gave the Battalion their Holiday Safety Brief on the 15th and put the soldiers out on a very well deserved 14 day Maximum Leave Period. Just like Thanksgiving, your donation made it possible to put together Christmas Baskets for 25 Vanguard Families. Hats off, once again, to SGT Ravenell for putting this plan together and for distributing the food baskets. Each one contained a Ham and a variety of other food items. This program has gone a very - very long way in making the holiday season just a little bit brighter for these deserving soldiers and their families. Our sincere gratitude, Thanks, and respect, go out to each and every Association Member for your generous support.

JAN / FEB 2001 - The New Year will find the Vanguards back to work early!  We deploy to Grafenwoehr for yet another gunnery density on 8 JAN and, this time, we will go through Bradley Table XII (platoon live fire). Immediately upon completion of that event we will put the Bradley Fighting Vehicles on trains and send them, and the soldiers, to Hohenfels for yet another rare opportunity. We get to conduct Platoon and Company Situational Training Exercises on the CMTC battlefield, against the OPFOR, and with CMTC OC coverage!  No one in Europe has every gotten this fantastic training opportunity and we are all looking forward to getting this unique chance to further hone our warfighting skills.

MAR / MAY 2001 - We're home in Schweinfurt conducting maintenance on our vehicles and cleaning our equipment. Then local area training in preparation for our June CMTC rotation. Highlights for these two months are an Infantry Squad / Section Proficiency Course and a Platoon Joust.

Remarks:  I met COL Layfield last week. He is a former Vanguard Commander, and is now assigned to V Corps. LTC Norman is back in Europe and is currently the G3 (Operations Officer) of the 1st Armored Division. Two great soldiers -- they continue to represent us all in an outstanding manner.

I hope you all had a fantastic holiday season and that this Newsletter finds all in good health and spirits. Please keep the Vanguard Soldiers in your thoughts and prayers during this coming year and we pledge to keep you in ours. Again, thanks for another year of fantastic support for our soldiers. They continue to represent you well - from Grafenwoehr to Hohenfels to Kosovo to Schweinfurt, your soldiers are earning the respect and admiration of everyone they come in contact with. They are truly the best that our great country has to offer and you should be very - very proud of the way they live up to, and build upon, the legacy and heritage you have given them!

FIRST TO BATTLE -- Vanguard 6 -- LTC Mike Murray

18th Infantry Regiment 
Association Newsetter

April 2001

  This Month: 
   Stones River Battlefield Tour -- August 18
   France Honors WWII Veterans
1st Battalion
   Society of the First Infantry Division Annual Reunion
   Association Bi-Annual Elections
   Annual Combat Officer's Dinner
Photo Gallery
   18th Infantry Golf Shirts
   10th Anniversary -- Desert Storm
Contact Us
   18th Infantry News from Germany
   Change of Command -- 15 May 2001
   Colonel's Farewell Comments


Published by the 18th Infantry Regiment Association, 
a non-profit organization chartered by the State of Georgia. 
George Gentry - Editor
Editorial offices at 1331 Hackett Avenue, Long Beach, CA  90815



Stones River Battlefield Tour - August 18

     Our 2001 Annual Meeting is scheduled for 9am on 18 August at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville. Immediately afterwards, we will board buses for a 30 mile trek south to the Stones River National Battlefield. En route, we will stop at the Tennessee National Guard Armory for a picnic lunch and tour briefing by our historians. Then we will proceed a few miles down the road to our battlefield tour. Much of the vast battlefield has been encroached upon by urban development. However, we will have the opportunity to see and experience the Cedar Thicket, sight of the 18th Infantry's gallant and heroic stand, the deadly open field across which we had to retreat, the old Nashville Pike where we formed up, and, of course, the National Cemetery that contains many of our fallen 18th Infantry soldiers from that battle. After our battlefield tour, we will assemble at the Visitors Center, where a Civil War Color Guard in dress uniform will present the Colors, and then we will cross over the Old Nashville Pike into the cemetery for a Memorial Service at the Regular's Monument. Our ceremony will include words from Walter D. Ehlers, 18th Infantry Medal of Honor recipient at Normandy, laying a wreath at the Regulars Monument, Taps, and will conclude with Retreat, where a Civil War re-enactor detachment will lower and fold the flag. Then we will re-board our buses for the trip back to Nashville. Mark your calendars and make your plans to attend. It will be a very special event! Be there!



France Honors WWII Veterans

     The French Government is issuing a certificate to recognize American and allied service members who contributed to the liberation of France during WWII. Eligible veterans must have participated in the Normandy landing and liberation of France, on French territory or in French territorial waters and airspace. The certificate will not be issued posthumously. To apply, eligible veterans must submit an application form with a copy of documented proof of their service in France between June 6, 1944 and May 8, 1945. Please send a copy, the documentation will not be returned. Once completed the application form should be sent to the nearest Consulate General of France. For a list of French Consulates in the U.S. and an application form please visit the following web site: http://www.info-france-usa.org


Society of the First Infantry Division Annual Reunion

This year the Big Red One Reunion is scheduled in Nashville, TN on 17-21 August. Make reservations through the Society. For information, please contact Jennifer Sanford at the Society Office: 1933 Morris Rd, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Ph: 1-888-324-4733 (Toll free), or E-mail: soc1ID@aol.com


Annual Combat Officer's Dinner

The 82nd Annual Dinner of the Officers of the First Division will be held on Saturday, 28 April 2001, at the Crystal City Hyatt Regency Hotel in Arlington, VA. Meet the new 1-18 INF commander, LTC Robert Botters, Friday night at the 18th Infantry CP in room 1811. For information contact Phil Pryor, E-mail: Ppryor58@aol.com


Association Bi-Annual Elections

It is time for the 18th Infantry Regiment Association election of officers. The election will be held at our annual meeting on 18 August. If you wish to run for an office, or have a nomination, please contact Louis Johnson, 3664 Wallfield Rd, Houlka, MS 38850. Tel: 662-568-7726.


18th Infantry Golf Shirts

A limited number of 18th Infantry golf shirts, long-sleeve T-shirts, baseball hats, unit crests and miniature unit crests are still available. See our photo gallery page for details. Get yours now (please allow up to 30 days for delivery). Place your order with Larry Van Kuran, 6378 Jamieson Ave, Encino, CA 91316.



10th Anniversary -- Desert Storm

[Editor's Note: This year marks the 10th Anniversary of OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/ DESERT STORM. During this operation, known as the Gulf War, the 18th Infantry had 4 of it's 5 then existing battalions engaged. 1-18 INF and 2-18 INF were assigned to the 197th Infantry Brigade, attached to the 24th Infantry Division. 4-18 INF and 5-18 INF were assigned to the 3rd Armored Division. 3-18 INF was assigned to the 187th Infantry Brigade, Army Reserve, and was not engaged. This issue features the Desert Storm Report written by BG Eric T. Olson, Commandant of Cadets, who commanded 2nd Battalion.]

At 1500 on the 24th of February 1991 the ground war began for the soldiers of the 197th Infantry Brigade. We were the soldiers of TF 2-18, leading the Brigade's attack on the left, with the words from the attack order written by our Division Commander, General Barry R. McCaffrey ringing in their ears: "Soldiers of the VICTORY DIVISION -- we now begin a great battle to destroy an aggressor Army and free two million Kuwaiti people. We will fight under the American flag..... There will be no turning back when we attack into battle. One hundred thousand American and French soldiers of the XVIII Airborne Corps will fight on our flanks. We have the weapons and the military training equal to the task. We pray that our courage and skill will bring this war to a speedy close."

The attack lasted through the night and progressed without any incident. By midnight we were about 125 km into Iraq. Just prior to daybreak, the TF held up in attack positions overlooking Objective BROWN (our intermediate objective) where we had reports that the Iraqi 45th Infantry Division had taken up positions. This was also where we hoped to link up with the 101st Airborne Division on our left flank. We controlled air strikes into the vicinity of OBJ BROWN and observed several secondary explosions, indicating that there were in fact some military positions in the area. When we rolled across the objective we received scattered small arms fire and virtually no real resistance. TF 2-18 was credited with taking 11 prisoners at the close of the engagement, all of whom were evacuated and interrogated. Later we were to find out that these soldiers  came from an air defense unit, and that the majority of the fighting forces of the Iraqi 45th Division had displaced to the French sector. That afternoon I personally traveled west from OBJ BROWN on a road that led to As Salman to see who I could find on our left flank. With no little surprise, I was able to make contact with and do face to face coordination with my West Point classmate who was the battalion commander from the 101st unit on our left flank.

We declared OBJ BROWN secure at about 1000 hours on 25 February and began to prepare for the continuation of the attack into the Euphrates River Valley. The plan called for a night move into attack positions some 70 km away. By  nightfall a heavy rain was falling and the winds had increased dramatically. Though there was no enemy contact anywhere in the Division sector as we moved into attack positions, the movement was slow and extremely difficult. It wasn't until 0800, 26 February, that the TF was closed in attack positions and prepared to continue the attack. In the attack position, I pulled leaders together for a quick huddle to discuss the upcoming attack to our final objectives. From higher we had received very erratic intelligence reports of several battalion size elements in our sector of the Euphrates River Valley, but no clear picture of where they were or what types of division they had come from. Additionally we had no good information on the nature of the terrain that lay ahead, a factor that would come to significantly bear on the conduct of operations over the next 24 hours. We quickly shared information, did some hasty planning, and prepared for the attack, which we commenced in a blinding sandstorm at 1400 hours, 25 February

We had planned to attack in a task force diamond formation, with a mechanized infantry team (reinforced with tanks) moving in the lead, and infantry teams on the flanks. Our tank team would trail, prepared to "flex" either right or left in reaction to contact with the enemy. The task force formation would be preceded by the scout platoon who would gather intelligence and provide early warning. By nightfall, weather conditions and terrain would conspire to foil our initial plans. The trafficability was so poor that the TF reformed into a single column of vehicles that attempted to wind its way on a trail through dry desert lake beds (sahbkas). On this trail, I was following Team D, our lead company sized element, who was preceded by the Scout platoon. At the time I was receiving reports from 1-18 IN, our sister battalion on the right, that they  were making relatively good progress towards the Euphrates River Valley. They had stopped prior to the final assault to allow the Brigade's DS artillery battalion the time to get into position to provide supporting fires for the assault. Just as I was receiving this report, word came back to me from the TF Scouts that conditions on our trail were deteriorating. I myself had noticed that my command vehicle, an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, was laboring to make its way through the thickening mud. Time had come for a decision about continuing to make our way along this trail, or turning the TF around and trying  an alternate route. 

At this precise moment I monitored a report that the TF 1-18 Scouts were under fire. They had gone out ahead of TF l-18 into the river valley to find a good approach and had made contact. Two men were wounded. The TF commander, my West Point classmate LTC Bill Chamberlain, was calling for artillery fire to support them, but the DS battalion was not yet set. He felt that it would be impossible to continue to advance his TF without artillery support. For me, turning the TF around at this critical time was no longer an option since it would leave the 1-18 Scouts -- the only US forces in the Euphrates River Valley for miles -- alone without hope of protection or reinforcement should their situation worsen. I gave my executive officer the order to take command of the portion of the TF that was behind me, about 3 companies, and to find an alternate route into the valley. The TF Scouts, Team Delta, and I continued to work our way north towards the Euphrates.

The first indication that we were entering our objective area came from the TF scouts. They began reporting sightings of numerous trucks and personnel on the ground in a complex of revetments and bunkers. As they moved into position to better observe, the lead scout vehicles reported that they thought that they were being fired at by small arms. I told the scout platoon leader to hold firm until he was certain that he was in contact with enemy forces. My fear was that we could possibly be engaging civilians (there were numerous Bedouin bands in the area) or, worse, that we might have made contact with elements of our sister task force's scout platoon, who we knew had already reached the river valley. Despite the repeated requests from my Scout PL I had him hold fire as I worked my way to the front of the formation to assess the situation myself. I arrived on the scene at the same time that the scouts made positive identification of enemy vehicles and positions who were firing rockets and small arms at us. I gave the order to open fire and began to move my tanks and infantry carriers forward to join the fight. We were to find out later that the enemy positions we were attacking were manned by the 3d Commando regiment of the Iraqi RGFC. Their soldiers were mostly dismounted and firing at us from bunkers although we spotted several vehicles placed between the bunkers. We attacked the troops and vehicles with small arms and grenades launched from MK-19 automatic launchers that we had mounted on our M113's, 2 per platoon. Eventually the Team D commander moved his tanks forward and engaged the enemy vehicles with effective main gun fires. The TF FSO who was in my command track called for supporting artillery fires which arrived almost immediately and was quickly adjusted onto the objective area, with devastating effect. For approximately 2 hours we battled the enemy in this fashion, attacking by fire and moving only to secure better firing positions. Gradually the enemy resistance weakened, and at about midnight I gave the order to dismount our infantry soldiers and completely clear the objective. The rest of the night was spent clearing bunkers, the majority of which were abandoned or undefended, or manned by Iraqis who proved more than willing to surrender. By daybreak, the remainder of the task force, commanded by my XO, had worked its way along an alternate route and joined us on the objective. We had counted 50 enemy soldiers killed in action and taken no friendly casualties.

In the early morning hours of the 27th as the sun rose over the Euphrates, we reorganized the task force and established a hasty defense facing west prepared to defend the Division's rear as forces moved into the river valley and turned east, prepared to continue the attack towards Basrah. Supplies were moved up, refueling commenced, and a hasty planning process began as word came down that we would indeed be continuing the attack. Some were able to get some much needed rest, as most of us had gone 3 days without any significant sleep. Little did we know that there would be fewer than 24 hours left to fight. In that time the 19th Infantry Brigade would conduct a major attack on an Iraqi airfield at Tallil (executed by TF 2-69 who passed through our formation to execute the attack). The 24th ID(M) would conduct two more major operations -- an attack on Jalibah airfield and a counterattack against retreating Republican Guards forces that would result in the destruction of the better part of 2 RGFC divisions. But for TF 2-18 the fight was essentially over. We would follow and support the attack to the east and did significant duty in taking prisoners and destroying enemy equipment. After the cease fire, we supported several civil affairs operations until we were withdrawn from Iraq on 9 March to arrive back in Saudi Arabia to prepare for redeployment.


Editor's note: During the Gulf War, 1-18 INF and 2-18 INF were mechanized infantry battalions, but still equipped with the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, while 4-18 INF and 5-18 INF were mechanized infantry battalions equipped with the new Bradley Fighting Vehicle. As a result of their outstanding performance in the Gulf, the 197th Infantry Brigade (Separate), including 1-18 INF and 2-18 INF, was redesignated as the 3rd Brigade, 24th Infantry Division, with home base at Fort Benning, Georgia.



 18th Infantry News from Germany
Excerpts from Commander's updates provided by LTC Murray

January 2001: After a much deserved Holiday break, the battalion was on the road to the Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA) on 8 January 2001. Once again, your soldiers excelled during numerous intense blank and live fire events. The line companies (A, B, and C) each completed small arms qualifications (9mm pistol through .50 Cal Machinegun), squad level blank and live-fire assaults, Bradley Tables V-VIII (32 out of 44 crews fired the highest rating possible - Distinguished), and a tough, realistic platoon live fire on Bradley Table XII. This years Bradley Table XII incorporated a live demolitions breach of a wire obstacle, live fire assault on a bunker, and a live-fire night hasty defense. In addition to providing their typical outstanding support, Headquarters and Headquarter Company also completed small arms qualifications, live-fire Scout Tables, 120mm Mortar live-fires, and Sniper Training/ Qualification. Too often this company does not get the attention and thanks they deserve, without them and the support they provide (meals, medical care, ammunition, fuel, maintenance, etc.) this battalion would come to a screeching halt! Upon completion of our training at Grafenwoehr, the battalion loaded the tracked vehicles onto trains and the wheel vehicles road marched to the Hohenfels CMTC.

February 2001: Upon closure of all personnel and equipment at Hohenfels, the battalion returned to Schweinfurt for a well deserved 3-day pass and break from training. From there, we boarded busses and moved back to Hohenfels for the first ever Platoon and Company Level Situational Training Exercises (STX) conducted at CMTC. Fantastic concept, and the common theme coming from the soldiers is that it is the best training they have seen in a long time. Every platoon in the battalion got multiple iterations on training lanes that emphasized: hasty breach of a mined wire obstacle, contact with a moving enemy, attack against a defending enemy, and military operations in urban terrain (city fighting).

After four days of platoon training we moved right into company level STX training and all three companies got multiple iterations on: contact with a moving enemy, deliberate attack against a defending enemy, and movement to/establishment of a hasty defense against an attacking enemy. Overall a fantastic training event/opportunity for our junior leaders (both NCOs and officers) as it gave them a chance to maneuver and command their units on difficult terrain against a very well trained and proficient opposing force. After a safe redeployment to Schweinfurt, the rest of February was spent conducting After-Operations-Recovery (AOR) to get our equipment back into good fighting shape.

January and the first half of February were very demanding on both our soldiers and our equipment - we put an average of almost 300 miles on each Bradley Fighting Vehicle!  Does not sound like much until you consider that, on average, the "typical" infantry battalion only puts about 800 miles on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle in an entire year.

March 2001: A month dedicated to taking care of our equipment. The old adage "if you take good care of your equipment it will take good care of you" holds true today and this was our month to emphasis it. Six Bradley Platoons completed a two-week service on their equipment (vehicles, weapons, radios, NBC gear, night vision devices) and did so in an outstanding manner. It is amazing how much "gear" a Bradley Platoon has .. two solid weeks of working until 1900-2000 every night just to get everything cleaned and serviced. The rest of the battalion focused on supporting these six platoons and on getting some much needed "house-cleaning" done. Even with the emphasis on maintenance, the companies managed to squeeze in some fantastic squad level training and the Battle Staff completed a simulation exercise where we fought two missions, a Task Force Defense and a Task Force Movement to Contact.

As I come to the end of my tour with 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry I would like to close out this article by, first and foremost, thanking the Association for the absolutely superb support they provide our soldiers. I have been in a lot
of different units and I have never seen another association even come close!  This battalion is full of fantastic young men and you should be extremely proud that they call themselves Vanguards. I know, for a fact, that they are proud
to call themselves members of the 18th Infantry Regiment. No matter what you hear or read about the "ills" of today's Army, leaders, and soldiers -- let me assure you -- that if called upon the Vanguard Soldier stands ready, willing, and able to fight and win this nation's battles. These soldiers know their heritage and they will uphold it and make you proud! This is the finest group of soldiers I have ever served with and it will be extremely difficult to say good-bye to them on 15 May. The only comforting thought is that I will hand the colors to LTC "Butch" Botters, an outstanding infantryman who will lead this battalion to continued success. Finally, a personal thanks to COL(R) Phil Pryor, CSM(R) Johnson and George Gentry for the support, counsel, and guidance they have given me over the last two years -- an outstanding group of "old soldiers" that have represented us all in an outstanding manner. And last, but certainly not least, a personal and professional thanks to my soldiers. Everything I have accomplished I have done so on the shoulders of my soldiers, NCOS, and officers -- a finer group of combat infantryman you will not find. I leave them with a sad heart but extremely fortunate and proud to have been a part of their battalion for the last two years.

FIRST TO BATTLE!  LTC John M. Murray, Vanguard 6

Editor's note: Next month's issue will focus on the command changes, with biographies and reports on the ceremonies. LTC Murray's next assignment is as the 10 Infantry Division G-3. A great assignment for a great soldier! Congratulations and best wishes!  LTC Botters will hit the road running -- CMTC from 22 May to 16 June, and GTA from 5 July to about 1 August. Welcome to the 18th Infantry family.


Excerpts from a letter written by Captain Jason T. Garkey, commander C-1-18

"Charlie Rock" has been very busy since I took command on 28 June 00. Our missions have been varied from training to real world. In August, we deployed to Kosovo as part of the U.S. Army Europe's (USAREUR) Immediate Ready Force (IRF). The company was alerted and in less than 48 hours departed Ramstein Air Force Base with all equipment and personnel for Kosovo. This was an unprecedented event for a mechanized infantry company in Europe. We spent approximately 45 days providing peace and stability support as part of the U.S. peacekeeping effort known as Task Force Falcon. Upon redeployment, we promptly recovered our equipment and embarked on an October gunnery density. One of our crews took the honor of the Battalion "Top Gun" for firing the highest score on Bradley Table VIII (Bradley Crew Qualification). November was spent recovering equipment and December provided training for the dismounted squads. In January, we were back at Grafenwohr and gunnery. We not only took the Battalion "Top Gun" crew, but we were the Battalion "Top Gun" company as well. Our rifle squads had a great squad live-fire program allowing them to maneuver and fire their weapons in a tactical scenario (squad attack, knock out bunker). The culminating point for gunnery was Bradley Table XII (Bradley Platoon Qualification). Bradley Table XII combines mounted and dismounted movement to accomplish a platoon attack mission. The platoon leader maneuvers the dismounted section while the platoon sergeant directs the mounted actions of 4 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. After a two day pass, we went to the Combined Maneuver Training Center (CMTC) for platoon and company situational training exercises (STX). The company did very well and learned a lot of valuable lessons about platoon maneuver against an active opposing force (OPFOR). The OPFOR quickly learned the Vanguards are a force to be reckoned with. During aggressive squad actions, the rifle squads destroyed a tank and armored personnel carrier with anti-armor weapons. This is not typical for infantry squads at CMTC and set our infantrymen apart from the rest. We returned to Schweinfurt last Monday (19 Feb) to wrap up the 45-day training cycle. Once again our primary mission is recovery while we prepare for our next mission. As you can see, the current members of Charlie Company are actively keeping the fighting spirit of the company alive. I hope this note sheds some light on the activities of C/1-1 8 IN today. I want to thank you for your continued participation in C/1-1 8 IN, keeping alive the history and brotherhood of the infantry.

Very Respectfully, Rock 6, First to Battle, Rock Solid!  CPT JASON T. GARKEY CDR, C/1 -1 8 IN

Editor's Note: The unit pride is obvious. Our soldiers work hard to uphold l8th Infantry standards and traditions.



Change of Command -- 15 May 2001

There will be change of command ceremonies held on Tuesday, 15 May 2001 in Schweinfurt, Germany. LTC Robert "Butch" Botters will assume command of 1-18 INF, vice Murray. The ceremony will be accompanied by an All-Ranks Ball on 12 May (Saturday night), LTC Murray's Farewell on 14 May, and LTC Botters' Hail on 17 May. There will also be an investiture of our new Honorary Colonel and Honorary Sergeant Major. An "Awards" Ceremony to recognize our soldier/NCO/officer of the year will be at 0900 on Tuesday, 15 May. Any 18th Infantry veteran who can make the trip is invited to attend any or all events. If interested in attending, please contact George Gentry, tel: 562-596-8097 or email: Ggentry@aol.com. These ceremonies are always well worth the trip!  Attend if you can!



Honorary Colonel of the Regiment
COL. Philip A Pryor, USA/Ret
Colonel's Farewell Comments

These will be my last comments to you as the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment. This function is intended to be rotated every 3 years. In my case, as we had some difficulty finding just the right replacement, I continued in the position for an additional year. Our new HCOR will be Colonel (R) George M. Tronsrue, Jr. He has a most impressive military record both in combat and in peacetime, commanding the 1st Battalion in Vietnam. He has equally distinguished himself outside of the Army as a private citizen. We are fortunate to have him come on board this May. He will represent you and the 18th Infantry well.

I must say that my time in this position has been personally gratifying and rewarding. I am proud of our association and its members who support our active duty soldiers in such a grand manner. You have provided a strong link to our past great history and a model for all to follow. Life has never been easy for the active duty force. It is especially tough for our men and women and their families as they serve so far away from home and only a moments notice from harm's way. Both the spiritual and physical support that the 18th Infantry Regiment Association and its members have given has proven that we are one family - the 18th Infantry family and the Big Red One family!

I am proud to have been associated with all the members of the Regiment, both past and present. In the future, I will do whatever I can to continue to promote the very best for our soldiers and the Association. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. God Speed.

In Omnia Paratus!  Duty First!  Phil Pryor

18th Infantry Regiment 
Association Newsetter

July 2001

  This Month: 
   Honorary Colonel of the Regiment
   Annual Meeting Notice - August 18
1st Battalion
   More Desert Storm
   1-18 INF Change of Command
   Association Bi-Annual Elections
Photo Gallery
   2001 Iron Mike Awards
   Combat Officer's Annual Dinner
Contact Us
   Society of the First Infantry Division Annual Reunion
   HQ, 18th Infantry, 1943-44
   18th Infantry Golf Shirts
   Proposed By-Law Changes
   A New 18th Infantry Book
   Germany Ceremonies
   Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment
   Honorary Colonel's Comments


Published by the 18th Infantry Regiment Association, 
a non-profit organization chartered by the State of Georgia. 
George Gentry - Editor
Editorial offices at 1331 Hackett Avenue, Long Beach, CA  90815



Honorary Colonel of the Regiment

 On 15 May 2001, in accordance with Army Regulation 600-82, COL George M. Tronsrue, Jr., USA/Ret, was invested as the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, succeeding COL Philip A Pryor, USA/Ret.

Born 15 July 1930, Colonel Tronsrue was raised in Long Prairie, Minnesota. He enlisted in the Minnesota National Guard in 1947, and the next year received an appointment to attend West Point. He graduated USMA in 1952 and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant, Infantry. After completing Airborne and Ranger training, he served with the 1st Cavalry Division in Japan from 1953-1957. Following a one-year assignment in Brazil, he taught Portuguese at West Point from 1957-1960 and then served with the 2nd Infantry Division at Fort Benning from 1961-1962. His first Vietnam Combat Tour was as a Civil Guard Battalion advisor in the Mekong Delta during 1962-1963. Then followed a series of student assignments at CGSC, Princeton University, and AFSC, and a tour with Infantry Branch personnel operations on the Army special staff in Washington DC.

In December 1967, he assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, in Vietnam. He commanded 1-18 INF during the 1968 Tet Offensive and on 4 May 1968 directed the battalion's engagement in the Battle of Tan Hiep, for which 1-18 INF later received it's second Valorous Unit Award for combat action in Vietnam. In 1968-1969 he attended the Army War College and was then assigned to the Vietnam Task Force in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. He served with the 82nd Airborne Division in 1971-1972 and as Chief of Staff, 4th Infantry Division in 1972-1974. From 1974-1976, he commanded the 3rd Brigade, 4th Infantry Division, at Fort Carson. Then he became Commander, Western Regional Recruiting Command, Fort Baker, California until retirement in 1977. Since then, he has been a personal financial consultant, currently in independent practice in Seattle, Washington. He is married to Judith French Tronsrue and maintains an active involvement in community and military organizations.

Colonel Tronsrue becomes the fifth Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, following in the proud and distinguished tradition of Colonel McGregor (89-92), General McChrystal (92-94), Colonel Jones (94-97) and Colonel Pryor (97-01).



Annual Meeting Notice -- August 18

Our 2001 Annual Meeting is scheduled for 9am on 18 August at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville. It will include: A status report of our active duty battalion by the Honorary Colonel and Honorary Sergeant Major, with comments from the 18th Infantry Soldier and NCO of the Year; Membership Secretary's report; Treasurer's Report; vote on the 2001-2002 Association budget; election of 2001-2003 Association Officers; recognition of DMOR/HMOR; an open forum; and other such Association reports and business. Immediately afterwards, we will board buses for a staff ride tour of the Stones River National Battlefield and a Memorial Service in the Stones River National Cemetery. We will lunch together at the Tennessee Nation Guard Armory. The battlefield tour will include a profession military staff ride and demonstrations by Civil War re-enactors. The memorial service will honor the fallen of the 18th Infantry from our beginning to the present. Our ceremony will include words from Walter D. Ehlers (18th Infantry Medal of Honor recipient), laying a wreath, Taps, and will conclude with Retreat, where a Civil War re-enactor detachment will lower and fold the flag. Then we will re-board our buses for the trip back to Nashville. Mark your calendars and make your plans to attend. It will be a very special event!  Be there!



More Desert Storm

[Editor's Note: Last issue, marking the 10th Anniversary of OPERATION DESERT SHIELD/DESERT STORM, we included an article about the 2nd Battalion role in that conflict. Apparently, some found the article lacking in it's references to the actions of the 1st Battalion on it's right flank. General Olson has written to clarify his remarks.]

Addendum -- BG Eric T. Olson

Since my article appeared in the last 18th Infantry Newsletter, it has come to my attention that some may have interpreted my description of 2-18 IN combat action on the night of 26-27 February 1991 as defaming the superb record of the 1-18 IN in that fight. Specific reference has been made to this passage:

"At the time I was receiving reports from 1-18 IN, our sister battalion on the right, that they were making relatively good progress towards the Euphrates River Valley. They had stopped prior to the final assault to allow the Brigade's DS artillery battalion the time to get into position to provide supporting fires for the assault. Just as I was receiving  this report, word came back to me from the TF 2-1 8 Scouts that conditions on our trail were deteriorating. I myself had noticed that my command vehicle, an M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, was laboring to make its way through the thickening mud. Time had come for a decision about continuing to make our way along this trail, or turning the TF around and trying an alternate route.

"At this precise moment I monitored a report that the TF 1-18 Scouts were under fire. They had gone out ahead of TF 1-18 into the river valley to find a good approach and had made contact. Two men were wounded. The TF commander, my West Point classmate LTC Bill Chamberlain, was calling for artillery fire to support them, but the DS battalion was not yet set. He felt that it would be impossible to continue to advance his TF without artillery support. For me, turning the TF around at this critical time was no longer an option since it would leave the 1-18 Scouts -- the only US forces in the Euphrates River Valley for miles -- alone without hope of protection or reinforcement should their situation worsen. I gave my executive officer the order to take command of the portion of the TF that was behind me, about 3 companies, and to find an alternate route into the valley. The TF Scouts, Team Delta, and I continued to work our way north towards the Euphrates."

Some have read this passage as implying that my good friend and classmate Bill Chamberlain did not act rapidly or decisively to relieve his scouts who were under fire. In no way was this my intent, nor was this the case. The point of this passage was to describe why I chose to split my Task Force and continue forward. Bill's TF was in contact -- mine was not. Knowing his Scouts were in the Valley and under fire, it became clear to me that we needed to continue the attack to ensure that the enemy couldn't focus on TF 1-18 as the sole attacking force. The fact that the DS battalion was still setting in to provide supporting fires for our TF's (as described, they ended up firing for 2-18) made
it ever more clear to me that the TF not in contact (2-18 IN) must continue the attack.

My article was not intended to describe the combat actions of TF 1-18 on that evening, but they fought bravely and successfully. Bill Chamberlain can provide more details, but in the end he too had to split his Task Force. With Bill personally leading the forward element, TF 1-18 continued the attack (and did so without artillery support, since 4-41 FA was firing for me), extricated his scouts and successfully defeated all enemy in sector, taking many prisoners and no further casualties -- actions for which he was awarded the Bronze Star medal with "V" device for Valor.

[Editor's note: General Olson's account accurately portrays the hours of tedious hard work and boredom, punctuated by those few moments of desperate terror, experienced in combat -- an experience shared by all the 18th Infantry  battalions. It offers an insightful glimpse into the commander's view of a combat operation. He recorded the actions of TF 2-18 as they occurred, and in a typical infantryman matter-of-fact manner. In my opinion, somewhat understated, given the credit the "left hook" was later given for the success of the entire operation. All 18th Infantry battalions (1-18, 2-18, 4-18, 5-18) engaged the enemy bravely and courageously during the 100 hours of Desert Storm. Hopefully, the full story of TF 1-18 will appear soon on this page.]




On 15 May 2001, LTC Robert J. Botters, Jr. assumed command of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, vice Murray. LTC "Butch" Botters received his commission in 1984 as a distinguished graduate of the ROTC program at the University of Alabama, with a degree in International Relations. Following Airborne and Ranger training, he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), where he served as a rifle platoon leader, support  platoon leader, rifle company executive officer and 
LTC "Butch" and Cindy Botters
Aide-de-Camp to the Assistant Division Commander for Operations. 

In 1988, he was assigned to the 197th Infantry Brigade (Separate) at Fort Benning, and joined the Regiment when the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, was reactivated in

1989. He commanded HHC-1-18 during operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and commanded A-1-18 after redeployment back to Fort Benning.

His next assignment was as an intern with the Joint Staff, J-5 Directorate, European Command Central and East European Branch, and then as a student at the US Army Command and General Staff College (CSCG) and the School for Advanced Military Studies (SAMS).

After CSCG, LTC Botters returned to the 101st Airborne for a series of assignments, followed by assignment with the US Army Personnel Command (PERSCOM), where he served as the Lieutenant Colonel assignment officer, Infantry Branch, and Chief, Command Branch.

LTC Botters is married to his bride of 16 years, Cindy Botters, and they are accompanied by their son, Tyler. The 18th Infantry Regiment Association is pleased to welcome the Botters back to the 18th Infantry Family.



It is time for 18th Infantry Regiment Association election of officers. The election will be held at our annual meeting on 18 August. Our constitution and By-laws are posted on-line at our web site's Organization page, along with a listing of current officers. If you wish to run for an office, or have a nomination, please contact Louis Johnson, 3664 Wallfield Rd, Houlka, MS 38850. Tel: 662-568-7726. Louis will present a slate of nominees at the meeting from those recommended to him. Nominations will be accepted from the floor. However, the nominee must be present to accept the nomination or a signed acceptance presented with the nomination.



The Annual Combat Officer's Dinner, held on the last Saturday in April each year, was well attended. However, the decline in numbers of our WWII contingent becomes more noticeable each year. We had the honor of meeting and dining with the new 1-18 INF commander and his wife. It is good to see an 18th Infantry combat veteran return years later to assume command of the battalion. We also had the pleasure of meeting the new Commanding General of the Big Red One, MG John Craddock, who visited the CP and chatted with those present. It would be good to see more of the Vietnam combat officers in attendance. Mark your calendars for next year and plan to attend.

George Tronsrue, Phil Pryor, MG John Craddock


The recipients of the 2001 Iron Mike Awards were selected and the awards presented during the change of command celebrations 12-17 May 2001. Each received their name on a plaque displayed at battalion headquarters, an individual replica "Iron Mike" statue, a \$100 cash award, and an invitation to attend the annual reunion.  It appears that all three will be present in Nashville. Be there to meet them personally!

18th Infantry Soldier of the Year: SGT Gora Faal
18th Infantry NCO of the Year: SGT Jason Trombly
18th Infantry Officer of the Year: 1LT Morris Beard


Annual Reunion

Reservations for this year's Big Red One (BRO) Reunion can still be made. For information, please contact Jennifer Sanford at the Society Office: 1933 Morris Rd, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Ph: 1-888-324-4733 (Toll free), or  E-mail: soclID@aol.com


HQ, 18th Infantry, 1943-44
Ilsington House, Puddletown
Dorset, England

The new owner of Ilsington House (now called "The Old Manor") would like to hear from anyone who served with the 18th Infantry Regiment at the house in 1943-44. He has restored the house and although he knows quite a lot about its history, he knows nothing about the time when the US Army was there. Can you help?

Please contact me at: 1 Down Road, Mosterton, Beaminster, Dorset, DT8 3JF, England or by e-mail at robin.pearce1@virgin.net  and I shall send the owner all
correspondence. Thank you. Robin T. Pearce



A limited number of 18th Infantry golf shirts, long-sleeve T-shirts, baseball hats, unit crests and miniature unit crests are still available. See our Photo Gallery page for details. Get yours now (please allow up to 30 days for delivery). Place your order with Larry Van Kuran, 6378 Jamieson Ave, Encino, CA 91316.



Proposed By-Law Changes

It has been proposed that the Association Council approve changes to the By-laws that will create two new classes of membership. Our constitution, under Article II, para 2, and Article III, para 1, delegates this authority to the Association Council (The Constitution and By-laws are posted on our web site's Organization page).

The proposed change will create an Associate Member, without voting privileges, intended for relatives and friends of those eligible for regular membership who support our goals and objectives and wish to receive the newsletter. It would also create a category known as "Friend of the Regiment", likewise, intended for individuals and organizations who support our goals and objectives and make a significant financial contribution to the Association. Associate Members would receive appropriate membership cards and Friends of the Regiment would be listed prominently in an issue of the newsletter and/or otherwise recognized.

If you support or object to the above proposed changes, please make your opinion known to one of the officers or the Honorary Colonel/ Honorary Sergeant Major, or in writing to George Gentry at the address listed below.



A New Book about the 18th Infantry during WWII

The Cantigny Military History Series, sponsored by the First Infantry Division Museum, continues to produce works about Big Red One units, but has yet to publish one about the 18th Infantry. However, we hope that situation will soon be corrected.

Robert Baumer, the author of Before Taps Sounded, the Story of a 1st Division Infantryman during World War II, is working on a new book focused on the exploits of the 18th Infantry. He is the nephew, and namesake, of PFC Robert A. Baumer, Company H, KIA 7 Jun 44, about whom the above book was written.

Like many veterans he has spoken with, Baumer feels that the 18th Infantry's accomplishments have been overlooked by recent historians. While the Army historical record gave the Second Battalion credit for bringing the most substantial improvement off the beach when they forced the E-1 Draw beneath Coleville just before noon on D-Day, some records have not even put any elements of the 18th Infantry ashore until later in the afternoon. Baumer intends to change that with his new work, tentatively entitled The Unfinished Story of D-Day.

Baumer attended the Combat Officer's Dinner in late April, where he met several WWII veterans who have offered their histories in helping him complete this book, planned for publication (with the help of the Cantigny Military History Series and the 1ID Museum) in 2003 to celebrate the upcoming 60th Anniversary of D-Day.

Baumer's late uncle, Pfc. Robert A. Baumer, was a mortar man in heavy weapons Company H, under the command of then Captain Robert E. Murphy. The author is interested in hearing from any 18th Infantry veteran officer, enlisted man, or their relatives about their experiences during the war, especially surrounding D-Day. The book will focus primarily on D-Day events, but Baumer plans to support the regiment's stellar performance that day by describing prior engagements in North Africa, Tunisia, and Sicily.

The 18th Infantry Regiment Association is urging cooperation with Baumer in the production of this work which promotes the history and distinguished service of the 18th Infantry Regiment.

Robert Baumer can be contacted at 1121 Old Clinton Road, Westbrook, CT 06498, by phone at (860) 399-6600, or by email at rbaumer@snet.net.




On 12-17 May 2001 a series of events occurred at the battalion in Schweinfurt. An All Ranks Ball was held, at which COL (R) Philip A. Pryor gave a moving speech (posted on our web page). In addition, a "Farewell" party was given for LTC Murray by the officers and senior NCOS. The Iron Mike Awards were presented to the 18th Infantry Soldier, NCO, and Officer of the Year. During the change of command on 15 May, the new Honorary Colonel and Honorary Sergeant Major were invested with their respective duties. A "Hail" (welcome) reception was held for LTC Botters. These events concluded with LTC Botters and the new Honorary Colonel, COL George Tronsrue, being hosted by the Commanding General, MG John Craddock, to an orientation tour of the CMTC at Hohenfels (see Colonel's comments). There is more detail and pictures posted on our Photo Gallery page.

Events such as these are open to our members (at your own expense), and are an experience well worth the effort and expense. The battalion has a strong sense of it's history and tradition, and welcomes it's veteran members to visit. If you would like to visit the battalion, please contact George Gentry for information.



Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment

On 15 May 2001, in accordance with Army Regulation 600-82, CSM Naman R. Carter, USA/Ret, was invested as the Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment, succeeding CSM Louis H. Johnson, USA/Ret.

Born June 30, 1937, Sergeant Major Carter was raised in Illinois, where he graduated High School and enrolled at the University of Illinois. He enlisted in the Army on 10 February 1960. Upon completion of Basic and AIT Training, he was assigned to the 6th Infantry Regiment, Berlin Brigade. He progressed through a variety of assignments and infantry leadership positions until his retirement at Fort Sam Houston on 31 March 1987.

Sergeant Major Carter served with the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, in Vietnam from June 1967 to March 1968 as a staff sergeant and assistant operations sergeant (S3) under LTC Cavazos and LTC Tronsrue. He also served tours with the 2nd Infantry Division, 8th Infantry Division, 2nd Armored Division, 3rd Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and as Chief Instructor, 5th US Army NCO Academy. The 18th Infantry was his affiliation when CARS was implemented. CSM Carter completed his BA in History at Park College in 1971 and his MS in Counseling Psychology from American Technological University in 1983.

CSM Carter began attending the 1st Infantry Division and 18th Infantry Regiment annual reunions in 1980. He attended all reunions while on active duty except when assigned overseas. Since retirement, he has attended all reunions except one. As the 18th Infantry Regiment Association began developing close ties with the Society of the 1st Division's annual reunion, CSM Carter was the driving force in establishing an 18th Infantry CP at each event. He has been named as a Distinguished Member of the Regiment (DMOR) and has served as the vice-president of the Association. Sergeant Major Carter is married and lives in San Antonio, Texas. He continues to be an active, enthusiastic member and advocate of the 18th Infantry Regiment.



COL. George M. Tronsrue, Jr. USA/Ret

Summary of the May trip: The Battalion has been passed from good hands to good hands! That was my overall reaction to the busy days between May 12 and May 18. It was a privilege to be part of that inspiring week. LTC Mike Murray and his wife, Jane, both deeply respected by all, were joined for the week by his parents and sister from Ohio. Mike and Jane seemed ready for the Division G3 challenge. The new commander, LTC Butch Botters, took the reins with a firm and assured grip, and I sensed a positive reaction from the troops. Not a doubt in my mind but what Butch and Cindy will do great things for the Battalion. In their own unique ways, both bring solid troop experience to the Vanguards. Strong leadership will continue to be a Vanguard hallmark.

The soldiers, from privates to field grade, are an inspiration to older ones like CSM Carter and me. There had been more turnover of people than I had expected, but the newer soldiers seemed to have picked right up on the "do it right" attitudes so obvious in March of 2000. The Battalion rented a large, nearly new Sports Hall in Schweinfurt for the "Dining Out" on May 12, and upwards of 550 soldiers and guests filled the place. COL Phil Pryor's farewell speech, highlighting the history of the Regiment, was the main event of that evening. The Vanguards' recognition of his contributions as Honorary Colonel was heartwarming. CSM Forest's Punch Bowl Ceremony will long be remembered! His soldierly leadership is a joy to watch.

For the change of Command on May 15, the weather was ideal, and the Vanguards did themselves proud. Thereafter, just how LTC Botters found time to get so much done so smoothly during the rest of the week, I don't know, but he did, including a half-day recon trip to Hohenfels. Thanks to him and the CG, I was privileged to go along: web gear, Kevlar pot and all! Just days later, the whole Battalion was to be off to Hohenfels for unit maneuvers, then on to Grafenwoehr for gunnery. All in all it was an unforgettable time, topped off for me by 14 hours in the air back to Seattle. That last part was forgettable.

As my tenure as Honorary Colonel begins in earnest, I look forward to the reunion in Nashville and the opportunity to meet and associate with other members of this great Regiment. See you there!

18th Infantry Regiment 
Association Newsetter

October 2001

  This Month: 
   Association Annual Meeting Report
   Society of the First Division Annual Reunion Report
   Mark your Calendars for 2002!
   A Letter from Stones River
   18th Infantry News
Photo Gallery
   John R. Calpena, CSM
  Thanksgiving/Christmas Project
Contact Us
   Distinguished Member of the Regiment
    Veteran's Day Ceremonies
    Message from the Honorary Colonel


Published by the 18th Infantry Regiment Association, 
a non-profit organization chartered by the State of Georgia. 
George Gentry - Editor
Editorial offices at 1331 Hackett Avenue, Long Beach, CA  90815



Association Annual Meeting Report

The 18th Infantry Regiment Association held it's Annual Meeting in Nashville on August 18, 2001. Over 100 former members of the 18th Infantry attended, as we gathered to celebrate 140 years of continuous service.

The meeting began with welcome and introductions. We were honored to introduce SGT Gora Faal, 18th  Infantry Soldier of the Year; SGT Jason Trombley, 18th Infantry NCO of the Year; 1LT Morris Beard, 18th Infantry Officer of the Year; 

SGT Trombley, 1LT Beard, Walter Ehlers, SGT Faal
and Walter D. Ehlers, who received the Medal of Honor for actions in Normandy in June 1944.

Next the Honorary Colonel and the Honorary Sergeant Major reported on their visit to our active-duty battalion for the Change of Command ceremonies in May. Then our soldiers gave a brief report on the battalion's current activities and confirmed the excellent esprit de corps of our unit.

At this point, Colonel Tronsrue and Sergeant Major Carter presented recognition certificates to Distinguished Members of the Regiment (DMOR) andHonorary Members of the Regiment 

(HMOR).  In April, HMOR recognition was given to Tess MacGregor, widow of Edward "Mac" MacGregor, at the annual Officer's Dinner in Washington DC. In May, DMOR recognition was given in Germany to COL (R) Tronsrue, LTC Murray, CSM Forest,SFC Sandberg, with HMOR recognition to Jane Murray, wife of LTC Murray. Those honored in Nashville as DMOR were: Jack Streeter, Ed Gillespie, Russ Oberley, Ed Fedrick, and Jim Stone. Those honored as HMOR were: Mary Weyrauch, Dottie Anderson, Dot Bennett, Carlotta Gillespie, and Vicki Olson. This was the first year that recognition was given to Honorary Members of the Regiment (HMOR).

Discussion of Association business followed. Minutes of the August 2000 annual meeting were accepted by acclamation. The Secretary, Larry Van Kuran, gave the membership report - 207 paid veteran members and 201 delinquent veteran 

members, for a total of 408 veteran members, with 107 veteran members needing to renew by December 31. We also need to encourage our delinquent members to renew and increase efforts to make new contacts via the Internet. Our goal remains 500 paid veteran members. With change of command and annual PCS movements, we are considering a renewed campaign to "re-up" our active duty soldiers.

Jim Stone, Treasurer, presented our financial report and requested approval of the proposed 2001-2002 Budget categories. The Budget was approved by acclamation.

Our basic budget includes \$1800 for newsletter printing and postage, \$1000 for our Holiday projects and $500 for the Iron Mike awards and other soldier projects. An additional \$2000 was allocated to bring our soldiers from Germany to the reunion. Remember that all Association Officers are unpaid volunteers. The Shirt Project was successful, but the stock is depleted. Shirtsare still available by special order, and continuation of the Shirt Project is under consideration.

DMOR Certificates Awarded:
Stone, Fedrick, Gillespie, Oberley, Streeter,
Tronsrue, Carter, Gentry

Donations for our soldier projects have covered the costs. Thank you for your generous support. We retain those goals again this year in order to provide for the following projects -- \$500 each for the Thanksgiving and Christmas projects, and bringing our soldiers to the 2002 reunion in New Orleans. Projected expenses for projects will not be made unless the projected revenue is received.

Election of Officers for 2001-2003 were held. The current slate of officers were re-elected to another two year term. The By-laws were amended to permit Associate Members and Friends of the Regiment.

During the open forum, Bob Boyd and CP Pedersen were introduced and said a few words about the A-1-18 Vietnam Veterans reunion, which was being held concurrently in Lebanon, TN. Our Stateside Family Support Group/Mentor program was discussed. CSM Carter volunteered to coordinate this program.

Everyone was reminded to visit our web page and sign in. Our web page is <www.18inf.org> Jim Stone is our webmaster. The need for a committee to help select Distinguished Members of the Regiment was again announced. The meeting adjourned. See you next year in New Orleans!

Relaxing in the CP - join us next year in New Orleans!




Society of the First Division
Annual Reunion Report

The 2001 Big Red One Reunion was held in Nashville, Tennessee. The reunion format was the new week-end schedule. You will be happy to learn that the reunion will revert to the Wednesday thru Saturday schedule in 2002 at New Orleans.

Friday was registration and CP set-up, with a tour to the Grand Ole Opry in the evening. There were also tours of historic Nashville, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Black Label Distillery available during the reunion.

Saturday began with group breakfasts, held according to one's era - WWII, Vietnam, Cold War/Desert Storm. Breakfast was followed by Regimental meetings (see report). Then the 18th Infantry hosted the Stones River battlefield tour and Memorial Service in Murfreesboro.

At 1100 Hours, the buses departed the hotel for the Tennessee National Guard Armory in Smyrna, TN. There we had a picnic style lunch inside. In addition, we were treated to a museum class static display of Civil War weapons and equipment by reenactor Joe Spangler, an interesting display of Civil War Signal Corps equipment, and a 

   MAJ Johnson conducting 
our Stones River battlefield tour
display of modern light infantry equipment. Concluding our lunch was a half hour audio-visual historical briefing on the Battle of Stones River conducted by our historian, MAJ Mark Johnson.

We reboarded the buses for the short trip down the road to the Stones River National Battlefield Park. The Battle of Stones River was the first major engagement fought by the 18th Infantry Regiment almost 140 years ago. Upon arrival we divided into two groups. Group 1 went to the Cedar thicket where the 18th Infantry, as part of the Regular Brigade, made it's courageous stand and helped win the day for the Federal cause. Group 2 remained at the Visitor's Center, where the 19th US Infantry Civil War reenactors demonstrated

the equipment and firing tactics of Civil War units (the 19th Infantry was also part of the Regular Brigade - the 19th US reenactors come from Indianapolis, where the 19th Infantry was organized in 1861 - the 18th Infantry originated in Columbus, OH.)

At 1600 Hours, the bugler sounded Assembly and we formed up behind the Civil War Color Guard for a short march across the road to the Stones River National Cemetery. This cemetery contains the graves of many brave 

18th Infantry soldiers who fell at Stones River - the first of a long line of 18th Infantry soldiers who would make the ultimate sacrifice in service to the United States of America. We assembled at the Regular Brigade monument for our Memorial Service. A bagpiper could be heard playing and a Civil War soldier with the 18th Infantry National Colors could be seen standing at the grave of CPL Thomas Long, the first 18th Infantry soldier to die on the battlefield.

The Colors were posted and Chaplain Wes Geary gave the invocation. Readings from scripture were given by SGT Faal and SGT Trombley, 18th Infantry Soldier and NCO of the Year. MAJ Mark Johnson gave a brief account of the legacy of the Regular Brigade, and Walt Ehlers, MOH, gave brief, but inspiring, remarks about

19th US Infy Civil War Color Guard
duty, courage, and sacrifice. A wreath was lain at the monument in honor of men who sacrificed so much and set the standard we all have followed. TAPS was played, and Chaplain Geary gave the benediction.

Retreat was sounded, and all turned to face the flag pole opposite the Regular Brigade monument. Everyone stood to attention as the Civil War Color Guard lowered and folded the flag when To the Colors was played.

  SGT Trombley reading scripture at Memorial Service
COL (R) George Tronsrue, Honorary Colonel of the 18th Infantry, thanked and dismissed the assembly. Thus ending the Memorial Service and our day at Stones River. It was a very special day of history and remembrance, and a moving experience for all who attended.

Sunday morning the Society of the l8th Infantry Division held it's memorial service at the hotel. Sergeant Major of the Army Jack L. Tilley gave the keynote address. SMA Tilley served with Troop A, 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry, from May 67 to April 68. The memorial service is always one of the highlights of the reunion, as we remember our fallen comrades.

This was followed by the Society's annual meeting and the brief appearance of the Division's Commanding General, MG Bantz John Craddock. Sunday evening was the Reunion Banquet and Dance. Monday featured repeats of the Nashville tours, with the rest of the day for good-bye and farewells.

A good time was had by all. Next year the reunion is 

scheduled for August 14-17 at the Intercontinental Hotel, New Orleans, LA. For information on the reunion, contact the Society Office: 1933 Morris Rd, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Ph: 1-888-324-4733 or E-mail: soc1ID@aol.com


The 18th Infantry Regiment Association will conduct it's 2002 Annual Meeting during the Big Red One Reunion scheduled for August 14-17 in New Orleans. Plan now to be there!

Ed Fedrick, Association Vice President, writes this about the reunion Command Post/Hospitality Suite: "Our 'CP' was the best one at the reunion. All the credit goes to my wife Louise, Jan Carter, Dot Bennett, Dottie Anderson and all the other ladies who so faithfully chipped in to keep the refrigerator full and the goodie dishes filled. We had the largest crowd and more going on than the other "CP's'. I know because I scouted out the others.

We were only able to have the great 'CP' that we did because of the donations from our members and the assistance from so many of them. 'Thank you' to all who contributed, and a special thanks to Naman Carter and his Sergeant Major voice when passing the hat.

I look forward to New Orleans next year. I hope for an even better 'CP' and even greater comradeship between veterans of the 18th Infantry Regiment. If any of our members have any ideas to make our 'CP' even greater they are welcome to jump in with ideas and hands on help. Contact me at: 318-938-0546."



A Letter from Stones River

[Editor's Note: MAJ Mark Johnson supplied a copy of the following letter. Mark wrote: 'This is the ultimate Murfreesboro/Stones River battle letter. It is the absolute best I've ever seen and perhaps the best period. This letter is by Captain Henry Haymond, 18th United States Infantry. The letter is 8 full pages in ink, written to his mother in Clarksburg, WV, on January 7, 1863. As you will see, Captain Haymond was obviously well educated and had excellent penmanship.' Edited somewhat to fit the space, it recounts the legacy of the 18th Infantry.]

Dear Ma: I have passed through so many wild and horrid scenes, have seen and learned so much since I last wrote you anything like a letter that I scarcely know when nor where to begin. I wrote a hurried note to Mr. Allen to telegraph to Pa that I was safe. I also wrote a few lines yesterday to him to the same effect, but owing to the confusion attending the mail department I fear you have received neither, and are doubtless much alarmed as to my safety. On the evening of Dec. 30th we encamped about three miles from Murfreesboro on the Nashville Road. Heavy Skirmishing had taken place during the day on the right and center. Everyone knew that in all likelihood an engagement would take place the next day. Officers collected in groups and chatted silently over the events of the morrow, and gave each other the addresses of their friends and how to dispose of their effects in case they would be killed. The next morning an order was read to the troops from Genl. Rosecrans announcing that the attack would take place that day. Rousseau's Division being in the reserve was moved forward to the edge of a large open field encircled with cedar forrest _ stacked arms and broke ranks _ about 7 o'clock the battle was opened by the enemy attacking the Corps of Genl' McCook on the right of the army ... it was very evident that the right was giving away _ our brigade was sent to McCook's support. We circled the large field and entered a heavy cedar wood. The musketry firing was this time very heavy. Our battery could not progress through the thick wood. It was accordingly ordered back and took up a position on a slight eminence near the rail road, commanding the cedar woods ... our Regt. was ordered immediately about face to support our battery. We got out of the timber and formed on the left of the battery as soon as we could. In a few moments the enemy had cleared our troops out of the extreme right of the cedar woods, and now by a flank movement attempted to capture all those to our left. This could only be done by capturing our battery. They knew it was a fearful thing to attack a battery in an open field but nevertheless they attempted it. They advanced boldly with columns doubled upon the center, their long grey lines stretching from one side of the field to the other _ when within fair range the six heavy guns of Guenther's Battery each loaded with 96 cannister shot thundered over the plain _ I could distinctly see wide deep gaps out in their ranks, but still they advanced. They were playing a deep game but if successful the day was theirs. Two or three more times the battery hurled death into their ranks. No troops in the world could stand such slaughter. They broke and ran in confusion _ I saw their Battle Flag (white ground with a red crop)shot down twice but still some bold spirit bore it aloft. A third time it fell and was not raised again but left upon the field. Foiled in his attempt to take our battery, the enemy turned his attention to the troops upon our left, and in a few moments the face of the country was filled with fugitives from our overpowered army. The fate of the day being upon the balance. The regular brigade as a last resort was then ordered forward to check the enemy's advance until the army could be reorganized. We entered the cedar woods in the line of battle just as the last of McCook's Corps was driven out of it. The enemy bore down upon us in three or four lines, their front rank would fire and fall down and load, the rear rank firing over their heads, by this means they poured an incessant fire into us. The 18th met them gallantly, and now commenced one of the most terrific musketry firings that has occurred during the war. They had the advantage of position, and in standing beneath the shadow of the pines enveloped in smoke, while we stood at the edge of the timber in bold relief against the light. They fired very low, and their shot told fearfully upon us. I was kept busy in urging my men to load rapidly and fire low, when suddenly I felt a sharp quick pain in my right knee and a momentary fainting came over me. I knew that I was hit, and immediately sat down to examine my wound. I soon found that I was not seriously hurt and at once got up and took my position. The shot of the enemy was fast thinning out my little company and the dead and wounded of other companies lay thick around me. The order to retreat was given, I did not hear it, but happening to look around I saw that the left and center had started out of the wood. I gave the order to fall back. The movement was executed with some little confusion. The enemy rushed to the edge of the timber, and poured showers of musketry into us, while their artillery tore through our ranks with fearful effect. One of my men was tore to pieces by a shell while crossing the field. The Regt. was reformed at the rail road on the left of the battery. Owing to our batteries the enemy did not advance further than the edge of the woods. We lost out of 575 _ 257 killed and wounded and 18 missing during the short time we were in the cedars. It was necessary for a sacrifice to be made to save the army, and we made it ....



1-18 INF Commander's Report to the Association
by LTC Robert J. Botters, Jr.

The Battalion has been operating at a High Operational Tempo since the change of command on 15 May. As LTC Murray departed the Vanguards to become our 1st Infantry Division Operations Officer (G3), the Battalion began to execute our deployment to the Combat Maneuver Training Center (CMTC), Hohenfels, Germany. The battalion deployed our wheeled vehicles to the CMTC training area by tactical road march along the Autobahn, while our tracked vehicles deployed by rail. Once at Hohenfels, the Vanguards spent 2 days preparing for training. This included installation of both personal and vehicle Multiple Integrated Laser Engagement Systems (MILES) equipment before we could begin 6 days of company level training. This training focused on Offensive operations and covered missions on Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT), multiple attack/ offensive operations, and company level breaching operations.

This was followed by 15 days of intensive force on force exercises with the CMTC Opposing Forces. The weather included everything but snow, and allowed our soldiers and young leaders to demonstrate they are fully prepared for combat operations. Our battalion staff demonstrated it is prepared for any challenge as well.

The battalion had a significant transition during this period as we said farewell to a great friend, Command Sergeant Major Forest. We are honored to welcome our new Command Sergeant Major, John Calpena, and his bride of just over a year, Mrs Bertha Calpena, to the Vanguard Battalion. The Calpena's come to us after one year at Hohenfels, but the CSM's Army experience is the Ranger Regiment.

After concluding training at CMTC, the Vanguards deployed by Autobahn and Rail to Grafenwoehr, Germany to conduct small arms and Bradley Gunnery before concluding with a Company Team Combined Arms Live Fire Exercise. We did have a brief opportunity to return to Conn Barracks before executing our Gunnery training, and on 8 July, we were able to execute a Family Day picnic with 233 family members attending. Our soldiers did extremely well at "Graf". All are qualified on their individual weapons, with most qualified on multiple weapons systems. Our Bradley Gunnery was well planned and executed by our company and battalion Master Gunners. I am proud to report these great Staff Sergeants executed a solid, gunnery-training program that resulted in producing the most efficient crew and company in the Division. Our Top Gun Crew is in Charlie Company, and the Top Gun Company, is Bravo Company.

The Battalion redeployed to Conn Barracks on 24 July and began our recovery operations before departing on a Block Leave period. This recovery period went very well as most soldiers and their families enjoyed this time together before returning for the first day of school. SGT Faal, SGT Trombley and 1LT Beard have continued to share their Reunion Experiences and Photos with the soldiers of the Battalion. They had a great time.

After Block Leave our training focus changed from Company and Battalion Collective training to individual training culminating in the Expert Infantryman's Badge test the last week of September. Our 1st Quarter Training is focused on Junior Leader Training. We initiate the quarter with our Team Leader Development Course, taught by CSM Calpena and the Company First Sergeants, while Squad Leaders will attend the Division Combat Leaders Course on 01 October 2001.

During the first week of September, the Battalion was proud to host the Secretary of the Army, The Honorable Tom White. He participated in EIB training ongoing in the Battalion area, while our officers were at the Division River Crossing Exercise. 3d platoon A-1-18 represented the battalion at the river crossing, while the Non Commissioned Officers of the battalion hosted the Secretary of the Army. SSG Long, C-1-18 Infantry, presented a Vanguard Battalion Coin to the Secretary from the soldiers of the battalion. His visit culminated with a MRE luncheon with Company Commanders and First Sergeants.

The tragic events of 11 September 2001 raised our Force Protection Condition to a level that necessitated our commitment to the security of our Kaserne, Conn Barracks; and to reinforce Katterbach Kaserne, which is the 1st Infantry Division Army Airfield in Ansbach, Germany. This has required us to postpone our EIB testing, but we are still committed to the junior leader training.

CSM Calpena and I are proud to report to our Association that the soldiers of the Vanguard battalion remain prepared to deploy, fight, and win anywhere -- with great young leaders who have the technical and tactical expertise to lead soldiers to combat in any environment. We look forward to our next opportunity to meet. In Omnia Paratus!

Very Respectfully, LTC Butch Botters

Note: [No movement orders yet received - 10/12/01]



John R. Calpena, Command Sergeant Major,
1st Battalion, 18th Infantry

Command Sergeant Major John R. Calpena, was born in Long Island, New York, 30 June 1964. He entered the military July 1982, upon completing Infantry OSUT and Airborne School at Fort Benning, GA. He then attended the Ranger Indoctrination Program (RIP) at 1st Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment.

After successful completion of RIP, CSM Calpena was assigned to the 1st Ranger Battalion at Hunter AAF, Savannah, GA. until July 1985. He then joined HHC, Victory Brigade as the Brigade Training NCO. After graduating from Drill Sergeant School in Nov 1986, he served as an Infantry Drill Sergeant on

Harmony Church at Fort Benning, GA. In Feb 1988, he served as a Ranger instructor and Platoon Sergeant at the 4th Ranger Training Battalion.  In Oct 1991, after successfully completing the Ranger Orientation Program (ROP), he served until June 1994 as a Rifle Platoon Sergeant in Company A, 2d Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Lewis, Washington. After making the Master Sergeants list, he went to HHC, where he served as the Assistant Operations Sergeant and then as the Intelligence Sergeant. In June 1996, CSM Calpena, joined C-3-75, where he served as a 
Rifle Company First Sergeant. In May 1998, CSM Calpena went to serve as the Sergeant Major and Senior Military Science Instructor of Seattle, University and Pacific Lutheran University (Chieftain Battalion) 4th region ROTC. In May 2000, CSM Calpena graduated from the Sergeants Major Academy, and was assigned as Sergeant Major and Training  Task Force Integrator O/C for the Warhog Team, CMTC, Hohenfels.

During his career, CSM Calpena has accumulated 3 1/2 years of college credit toward a Bachelors Degree. Other schools he has completed: Primary Leadership Development Course, Basic and Advanced NCO Course, Drill Sergeant Course, Battle Staff NCO Course, First Sergeants Course, Instructor Training Course, Airborne, Jumpmaster, Pathfinder, Military Freefall, Ranger, Jungle Warfare, Demolition Training Course, Heavy Equipment Operator Course, Combat Life Savor, Equal Opportunity Representative Course, Combined Service Support Program, and Advanced Land Navigation Course.

His awards include the: Meritorious Service Medal, with two oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal, with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Achievement Medal, with an oak leaf cluster, the Armed Forced Expedition Medal, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal i6th award), NCO Professional Development Ribbon (with no. 4), Army Service Ribbon, Ranger Tab, Expert Infantryman's Badge, Master Parachutist Badge, Military freefall Badge, Pathfinder Badge, Drill Sergeants Identification Badge, French Jump Wings, Canadian Jump Wings, and German Jump Wings.

CSM Calpena is married to the former Bertha Eliza Carrillo of San Antonio, Texas.


Thanksgiving/Christmas Project

Relying on your generous support, the 18th Infantry Regiment Association has again made the commitment to provide \$1000 to assist our soldiers during this time of year. This is the sixth year for our Thanksgiving/Christmas Project. 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 money we provide is used to purchase items (Turkeys, Hams, etc.) to make up food baskets for these families. This is a cooperative effort with the battalion.

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. There is a system in place to identify individuals at the Company level and discreetly provide assistance. Mrs. Cindy Botters, leader of the Family Readiness Group (FRG), has agreed to coordinate the project in Germany, along with the Chaplain and the Command Sergeant Major. 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 directly to our Treasurer: Jim Stone, 258 Pells Rd, Rhinebeck, NY 12572. Please make your check out to "18th Inf Regt Assoc" and mark the memo line on your check: XMAS PROJECT. Thank you.


Distinguished Member
of the Regiment

Army Regulation 600-82 makes provision for the appointment of an Honorary Colonel (HCOR), Honorary Sergeant Major (HSMOR), Distinguished Members of the Regiment (DMOR) and Honorary Members of the Regiment IHMOR). 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 George Tronsrue or George Gentry.


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 call Jim at 914-876-7676.

Our Bagpiper, with Joe Spangler at CPL Long's grave.



Message From the Honorary Colonel

Each of us is reacting in our own ways to the stunning atrocities of September 11, and to the fact that a new kind of war has now been brought to our Homeland by ruthless murderers who are cold blooded experts at what they do. But, as we meet that threat at Home, we must also keep our active Battalion at the top of our prayers. Our soldiers, their wives and children in Germany are closer than most of us to "harm's way." Consequently, our new Family Support Program being organized by CSM Naman Carter has taken on an added dimension and a new sense of urgency. Please respond generously to that call.

Those of you who attended our Annual Reunion in Nashville agree, I know, that our 18th Infantry Memorial Day was a one-of-a-kind experience. Elsewhere in this Newsletter, those of you who couldn't attend will read more of the detail & I must add something here about our three outstanding soldiers who joined us from Schweinfurt, thanks to funds made available by your Association. Each man was a superb example of the best of today's Army. You, too, would have been deeply proud of them. Knowledgeable and articulate with a multitude of strangers, confident and trim in bearing, ready to go out of their way to be helpful to all, these three Vanguards left an indelible impression on all who met them. They "did us proud!"

As the days pass and we support our President wholeheartedly in dealing with this vicious threat to our Freedom, let us also keep recalling the faces of those Vanguard leaders who joined us in Nashville. These capable men are the face of our Army! And,let none of us forget that, here at Home. The support of our entire Battalion Family, in whatever form that may take, is now our Association's immediate Mission. That Family, our Family, is relying on us to act on our common belief that No Mission [is] Too Difficult, No Sacrifice Too Great. Duty First!

May God bless America!

George Tronsrue, Honorary Colonel 18th Infantry Regiment

page update 11/04/2013