18th Infantry Regiment Association

Newsletter 2008

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 Newsletterwww.18inf.org                            FEBRUARY  2008                                            www.18inf.org



18th Infantry Colors Return to Ft Riley

Ceremonies scheduled 28 March 2008


The decision has been made to bring the 18th Infantry Colors back to Ft Riley, Kansas.  Ceremonies have been scheduled for 28 March 2008 in order to re-flag the battalion at Ft Riley to become the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry.  We received the following schedule from the battalion’s commanding officer, LTC Christopher H. Beckert, inviting all 18th Infantry soldiers, past and present, to attend the events: [For more information see Page 7:  ... Ft Riley Reflag]


27 MAR (THU)

            1200-1900: VETS arrive. (Manhattan is recommended as the most suitable location for lodging)

            (A Battalion team will be at the Forward CP to issue information packets and greet guests as they arrive)


28 MAR (FRI)

            0800: Bus departs Hotel for Ceremony

            0900: Reflagging Ceremony (Custer Parade Field, Main Post)

            1000: Reception (at Custer Field)

            1100: Bus departs Custer Field to Battalion Area

                        - Static Displays (Battalion Area and Motor pool)

                        - meet Vanguard Soldiers and view current equipment

            1200: Lunch at DFAC (Dining Facility – Mess Hall)

                        - Lunch with Vanguards (a la Carte, about $5 for all-U-can eat)

            1315: Bus to Range 7 for unfurling of 18th Infantry Regiment Colors and dedication of Range to 18th Infantry

            1500: Bus departs Range 7 for Hotel and Personal Time

            1730: Bus departs Hotel for “Blue Hills Room” (Coat and Tie)

            1800: Reception for Regimental Social Event

            1900: Regimental Social Event Begins (includes dinner)

            2300: Bus Departs “Blue Hills Room” for Hotel


29 MAR (SAT)

            Vets depart (personal visits to Fort Riley can be arranged).







The annual Officer’s of the First Division Dinner is scheduled for Saturday, 26 April 2008, at the Hilton Mark Center Hotel in Alexandria, Virginia.


Our 1918 Officers have passed the Colors.  Our 1968 Tet Offensive Officers will be honored, as will those officers recently returned from Iraq.  For dinner information, please contact Andy Wilson, ph: 703-450-5220, or email: Alw740@yahoo.com


2008  BRO Reunion


The 2008 BRO Reunion is scheduled in Colorado Springs for August 20-24.  As usual, the 18th Infantry Annual Meeting will be held on Friday morning and the grand banquet on Saturday night..  Don’t miss it. 


For information, please contact Jennifer Sanford, 1933 Morris Rd, Blue Bell, PA 19422.  Ph: 1-888-324-4733.

E-mail: soc1ID@aol.com or www.bigredone.org










The 1968 Tet Offensive occurred 40 years ago.  There was some hard and desperate combat during this period for both the 1st and 2nd Battalions, and all units of the Big Red One, but Vanguards denied the VC a victory.  One of the hard fights came on 7 February 1968.  Company C, 2nd Battalion, 18th Infantry, 2nd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, during a reconnaissance-in-force operation near Ben Cat, came upon a numerically superior VC force.  Three soldiers were killed and several wounded (including all of the officers) before the battalion was able to rout the VC from their positions.  1LT Robert Turnbull and SP4 David Villanueva were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for their individual actions that day.  David Villanueva, “Pancho” to his friends, is still with us and active in the 18th Infantry Regiment Association.  LT Turnbull was awarded the DSC posthumously.  His citation reads:


AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS (The following AWARD is announced posthumously.)


TURNBULL, ROBERT C., FIRST LIEUTENANT, INFANTRY.  Company C, 2d Battalion, l8th Infantry


Awarded: Distinguished Service Cross.  Date action: 7 February 1968.  Theater: Republic of Vietnam

Reason: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam. Second Lieutenant Turnbull distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 7 February 1968 as platoon leader of an infantry company on combat operations near Ben Cat, When other elements of his company became heavily engaged by a numerically superior Viet Cong force, Lieutenant Turnbull led his platoon to reinforce the besieged troops. His force was hit by devastating machine gun and automatic weapons fire as it fought through dense jungle, and several of his men were wounded. After deploying his platoon in a defensive perimeter, he directed his troops to lay down a base of fire and then maneuvered to silence the enemy weapons. He located three Viet Cong firing automatic weapons and killed them with rifle fire. Bullets continued to sweep the jungle battlefield but he refused to halt his advance and moved toward an enemy machine gun. Coming to within ten meters of the weapon, he stood up and destroyed it with hand grenades, killing the six insurgents who occupied the emplacement. He was wounded by a second machine gun but continued his assault and circled behind the enemy fortifications. Disregarding his safety, he again stood up under a ravaging barrage and destroyed the position with hand grenades. As he threw the last grenade, he was instantly killed by enemy rocket fire. His gallant and selfless leadership in the heat of battle saved the lives of numerous fellow soldiers. Second Lieutenant Turnbull's extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army. 


One year ago, the 18th Infantry was again involved in combat operations.  This time in Iraq.  Twenty-two soldiers fell during this combat tour of duty, with many more wounded.  We hope to post the citations for Valor on our web page: www.18inf.org


Unable to attend Vanguard Week, George Tronsrue sent these words of greetings to our current soldiers:


Greetiings to the Vanguards from the Vanguards! (that's from the older, greyer, and maybe a bit heavier Vanguards from the combat times in Viet-Nam).  And we were  Vanguards, then, too.  However, for most of those years, we were known to the rest of the First Infantry Division (and many other people, too) by our radio call sign: DOGFACE.  We were proud of our mission accomplishments, just as you are, but probably our greatest point of pride lay in never letting our Dogface Battalion buddies down.   And, I am sure that fits you, today, too.  Our memories are long -- well, maybe a bit fuzzy on some details; after all, we're talking 40 or more years.  On one thing though, our memories  are sharp and crystal clear.  Those are the memories of our buddies who gave all they had.  Jungle camp memorial services in Viet-Nam were just as much a grinding agony as were your similar services  in the sand and grit of Iraq.  So, we salute you, Vanguards!  You've kept the Colors proud.  And, we urge you to learn to live with the sad memories just as we have.  None of us will ever forget those who are gone.  But, they and we would urge you to focus on now and the future.  We would urge you to raise your families, as we have, to honor our Country, our Colors, our memories and our calling.  We urge you, too, to remind us older Vanguards of those ways and times we can be helpful to you, whatever the need may be.  We are HERE, Vanguards; your strongest supporters!


May God bless all Dogfaces and all Vanguards!


George M. Tronsrue, Jr., Colonel, USA/Retired

Commanding 1-18 IN from December 1967 to June 1968










Brothers, I cannot begin to tell you what a humbling experience it was to be in the company of our soldiers over in Germany a few weeks ago. Their energy and enthusiasm for life after a hard fifteen month combat tour in Iraq was infectious. Their solicitude for the families of our fallen who were able to attend Vanguard Week was both heartfelt and genuine. And their acceptance of us old veterans back into their ranks was simply incredible. It was if we had soldiered together all our lives. The visit was the most memorable any of us have experienced and George Glaze and his guys went all out to make it so.


As you'll see later in the newsletter, George Glaze changed command with Steve Miska on the 28th of January in a very simple yet poignant ceremony in Schweinfurt. The battalion is blessed to have such leaders, past and present and I know Steve will be an outstanding leader and mentor for his soldiers as they gear up for another tour in Iraq.


The price of the last tour in Iraq was heavy for the battalion with 22 killed in action. We had a memorial service for those soldiers and the battalion has memorialized them with a stone monument bearing their names along with those who died in OIF 2 and Desert Storm. It is fitting that we do so to remember our brothers.


We finished the week of remembrance and healing off with the regimental ball that focused on the future and how good it is to be alive. The troops were magnificent as they came through the receiving line with their ladies. Never have so many homely men been in the company of so many lovely women. Must be because they are Vanguards and something special!


Walt Ehlers gave an impromptu talk on what Omaha Beach and the hedgerow fighting was like which brought the troops to their feet in a thunderous applause when he was done. As usual, Walt did it with modesty and humor. I gave a mercifully short speech afterwards on the meaning of the words "Patriotism, Valor and Fidelity" which every soldier hears in his orders when he is promoted. The essence of the speech is that our country cannot survive without the soldiers and their families who were in that room that night when the vast majority of Americans choose not to serve anymore. Those in that room are special and are deserving of our utmost thanks and devotion for what they do every day in a very hard world these days.


Finally, we have an official order changing the unit colors between Germany and Fort Riley for the 28th of March this year. In an irony that only the Army could contrive, the 1st Battalion 18th Infantry cased their colors at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1983 and began a sojourn that took the battalion all over the Army with service in a separate brigade (197th SIB) and two divisions (24th ID, 3d ID) other than the Big Red One. A quarter of a century later, and the wanderings are over; for now. I invite you to join me at Fort Riley as we welcome our new Vanguards to our brotherhood. Larry Van Kuran will be putting the details out. I am also asking all of you to start planning ahead to attend our next reunion in Colorado Springs in August. I will have some of my Desert Storm guys in attendance for the first time and can't wait for you to meet them. We allegedly lost out the most in attendance award to the 16th Infantry last year by two people. This cannot stand, my friends. This cannot stand!


God bless all of you for what you have done and for what you still do for our country.


In Omnia Paratus!


Bill Chamberlain, Honorary Colonel, 18th Infantry Regiment











            On January 19th Becky and I traveled to Schweinfurt, Germany to spend Vanguard week with our active duty soldiers and their families.  It was a great week.  I am pleased to tell you all that we have the very best soldiers in the world serving our country. Several old veterans made the trip with us. Robert Callahan, Chaplain Wes Geary, Jim Stone, Jake Jacobs, Larry Paul and his wife Linda, George Gentry and his wife Chris, Larry Van Kuran, Walter Ehlers (MOH), Col. Bill Chamberlin and myself and my wife, Becky.

            It was a very busy week. The first day, Jan. 22nd, we attended a reception for the Families of Fallen Vanguards. Later that night we attended the Commanders Dinner. On the morning of the 23rd, we attended the Dagger Brigade prayer breakfast and then the Dagger Brigade Dedication for the Memorial to all the Brigade soldiers killed in Iraq. In the afternoon, the 18th Infantry Regiment Association sponsored a Luncheon for the Fallen Vanguards families, which was followed by the Battalion Memorial Dedication and the laying of the Wreaths to honor our fallen brothers. On the morning of the 24th, Col. Bill Chamberlain, with Col. Larry Paul, conducted a Combat Leadership discussion with most of the junior officers of the Battalion. I was asked to talk to all the E-5 and E-6's about  Combat Leadership.  Just prior to this I was asked to present five of our brave soldiers with the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in Iraq. What an honor this was! To you young men that I presented the Purple Heart to, I want to say again , Thank you for your sacrifice to our Country.

            Later in the evening we attended the Vanguard Ball in Wurzburg. I believe there were about 800 soldiers and their beautiful ladies attending the Ball.  Honorary Colonel Bill Chamberlin was the quest speaker. Wow, What a great speech he gave.  Also that evening came the unveiling of the painting "Spearhead of the Attack" by James Dietz, featuring Walter Ehlers in the action for which he received the Medal of Honor. Jan. 25th was set up for the signing of the Prints by Walt for all who purchased one.. On Monday we attended the Change of Command between LTC George Glaze and the new incoming commander LTC Steve Miska.

            We all want to thank our great escorts who attended to all our needs and kept us entertained for the week..You guys were really great.. And thanks to all the rest of the soldiers of the Battalion for showing us so much attention.


            It has been more that three years since I accepted the position as the Honorary Sergeant Major of the Regiment.. It has been an honor to serve this great Regiment. Now my tenure is coming near to end and I will soon be moving aside to allow another Vanguard to carry on the tradition. To all the Great WWII veterans who are my Hero's and the greatest generation of our time, I say thank you for all you have given.. And for all your friendships I have enjoyed over the years.. I also want to thank CSM Louis Johnson(WWII) for being a great Honorary Sergeant Major of our Regiment, and friend, and for his devotion to duty.  Also to CSM Naman Carter (RVN) for the great job you did during your four years of service as Honorary Sergeant Major.

            What we do to support our active duty soldiers and their families is needed, and appreciated by all those that we support.  A special thanks to David Villanueva (awarded DSC in Viet Nam) for his very generous donation made to the Regimental Association while at the reunion in St. Louis last year. And to all our other wonderful members who supported all the things that we do.  You can all be proud to know that no other Regimental Association does what we do to support our soldiers and families.. We are the best there is (BAR NONE). Continue to keep up the great tradition and keep the 18th Infantry Regiment the best in the Army..


     Mike and Becky Binkley (Honorary SGM of the Regiment)






As is our tradition, the 18th Infantry Regiment Association provided support for our soldiers during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday season.  As a matter of fact, we did double duty – supporting both our Vanguards in Germany and our future Vanguards at Ft Riley.  With so many in Germany going on block leave, we provided support for a family “Welcome Home” event when the troops returned home from Iraq just before Thanksgiving.  Our soldiers knew about it and appreciated our support for them and their families.  We also provided funds that put Thanksgiving dinners on the tables of several soldier families at Ft Riley.  Just before Christmas, a devastating ice storm hit  Kansas, requiring emergency efforts to help soldiers and families who were without electricity and a warm place to weather the storm.  CSM Smith found spaces on post and help for these families, and we provided him with funds to help the soldiers in our battalion that he was able to identify, insuring a warm and safe environment for them.  Thank you for making it possible to do this.  Through your donations to our Association we were in a financial position to make a real difference and meet some urgent needs during this holiday season.







18th Infantry News



The 18th Infantry Regiment Association welcomes Lieutenant Colonel Steven M. Miska and his family.  LTC Miska assummed command of 1-18 IN on 28 January 2008, but he is no stranger to the Vanguards.  He is an OIF 2 veteran, having served two years with the battalion, and has remained close by as Executive Officer and Deputy Commander of 2BCT since that time.


LTC Steve Miska hails from Greenport, Long Island.  His former assignments include Deputy Commander for the Dagger Brigade Combat Team and Task Force Justice Commander during Operation Iraqi Freedom 06-08.  Prior to the deployment, LTC Miska served as the Brigade Executive Officer for one year.  Before joining the Dagger Brigade Staff, he served as the Operations Officer for the Vanguards from 2003-2005, deploying with 1-18th Infantry to both Bosnia and Tikrit, Iraq.  Prior to joining the Vangurads, he served as the G3 Trainer for the 1st Infantry Division.  LTC Miska’s other assignments include: Commander, B Company, 1-504th Parachute Infantry Regiment at Fort Bragg, NC; and  various lieutenant positions in the 1st Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment in the Republic of Panama.


LTC Miska is a graduate of the Command and General Staff College, the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, and the United States Military Academy, where he also taught economics in the Department of Social Sciences for two years.  His military schooling consists of the Infantry Officer Basic Course, Ranger School, Airborne School, Jumpmaster School, Pathfinder School, and the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, and the Combined Arms Staff Services School.


He has been married to his wife, Amy, for sixteen years.  They have two children, Robert (12 years old) and Heather (10 years old).  Welcome back to the Vanguard family. 






            Greetings from Schweinfurt, Germany to all of our Vanguards, past and present.  It is an honor to be counted amongst your ranks once again.  My wife, Amy, and I are proud to be back with the Vanguards after a two and a half year hiatus.  Having been the Operations Officer for the Vanguards in Operation Iraqi Freedom II, I am fully aware of the rich heritage and traditions of the 18th Infantry Regiment and how important the 18th Infantry Regimental Association is to our operations both on the home front and in the combat theater.

            It was a privilege to have so many of the Regimental Association members present for the Week of the Vanguards during the last half of January.  COL Bill Chamberlain, Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, and CSM Mike Binkley, Honorary Command Sergeant Major of the Regiment, contributed immeasurably to the Memorial Dedication and the Vanguard Ball, where the battalion leadership, along with Walter Ehlers, unveiled the painting, “Spearhead of the Attack,” depicting SSG Ehlers leading his squad during the assaults on 9-10 June 1944 for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.  I also want to thank Larry Van Kuran and the Association for hosting the Memorial Luncheon prior to the Memorial Dedication.  This luncheon provided the opportunity for the Soldiers of the battalion, the family members of our fallen Vanguards, our wounded warriors, and our Regimental Alumni to gather together, break bread, and enjoy each other’s fellowship.  I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Larry Paul, Wes Geary, Jim Stone, Bob Callahan, Richard “Jake” Jacobs, and George Gentry for attending the events of that week culminating with the battalion change of command between myself and George Glaze.  We wish George and Valerie the best as they move on to their new assignment, and Amy and I appreciate the attendance by members of the 18th Infantry Regimental Association.

            The Vanguards look forward to the months ahead as we prepare to answer the call of our nation to serve in the Global War on Terror.  Part of this preparation will include the rebasing of one of our companies to Grafenwoehr, Germany in the coming months.  The rest of the battalion will follow upon returning from our next combat rotation.  Other events in the coming months include competing for the Expert Infantryman’s Badge, receiving all of our equipment from being refitted, and small unit (squad and platoon) collective training.  While this is a fast moving train, we are controlling the pace and ensuring that our Vanguards are fully prepared to contribute to the next chapter of our rich history while enjoying valuable time with their families.


First to Battle! 


LTC Steven M. Miska, Vanguard 6











            Things have been far from quiet since I assumed the office of President of our Association.  And it appears that things will remain ‘interesting’ for the foreseeable future as well.

            Immediately after our reunion in St. Louis, we began planning for our visit with the active duty soldiers of 1-18 INF in Schweinfurt Germany,  As you may already know, the Battalion returned home from their second tour in Iraq just before Thanksgiving last November.  Our HSMOR, Mike Binkley, gives a good report of our visit in his column.  

            Suffice it to say that a good time was had by all, a very good time, indeed.  I want to specifically thank SFC Phil Jarvis and 1LT Jim Perkins, both from Bravo Company, for keeping Jake Jacobs, Bob Callahan and myself ‘out of trouble’ (aka, chaperoning the old guys) during our visit.  The Battalion Executive Officer MAJ John Cross, Adjutant 1LT Josh Buchanan, and CSM Israr Choudhri also went quite a bit out of their way to help arrange for our visit and to give us a warm, hearty welcome, all while handling a very hectic Battalion business schedule at the same time.  [Many of the current 1-18 INF soldiers will have either PCS’d (permanent change of station) or ETS’d (been discharged) and left the Battalion as you read this newsletter.]  

            Something I believe was learned by all, both by we old 11Bs and by our young 20 yr old replacements of today:  An 11B is always an 11B, regardless of age.  We could relate together, and it showed loud and clear.


            As you’ll read elsewhere in this edition, Battalion reorganization decisions seem to have been made and are now on a fast track.  The 1-18 INF is slated to return to Ft. Riley with the reflagging of the 1-41 INF at the end of March.  The current 1-18 INF soldiers, the last to carry our Battalion colors in combat, will be reflagged in place at Schweinfurt.  Then, probably sometime in May or so, the new 1-18 INF at Ft. Riley will have a Change of Command.

            It will be a challenging time for our Association:  Welcoming and getting to know an entirely new group of 1-18 INF soldiers with LTC Chris Beckert in Command, while at the same time saying a long, lingering good by to LTC Steve Miska and the 1-18 INF soldiers in Schweinfurt.  But we should remember, once an 18 INF soldier, always an 18 INF soldier.  And, to help in the transition, during our visit to Germany we presented each of the 940 soldiers in Schweinfurt with their own 18th Infantry Regiment Association membership card, to let them know that we care, that we remember and to help them keep those facts in mind.

            Our next major effort will be planning our reunion in Colorado Springs this coming August.  Word has it that we have our own personal ‘Man in Havana’ (aka a local resident & Assn member) doing LRRP (recon) work for us there, so things should be well in hand.  The 16th Association upstaged us by just one or two members in St. Louis, but that will not happen this year.  Start planning now.  Dates are August 20-24.  You can make reservations after Mar. 1 on the Society’s website (Soc1ID@aol.com)


Larry Van Kuran, President

18th Infantry Regiment Association




FT RILEY REFLAG -- The contact for Reflag ceremonies at Ft Riley is: Larry Van Kuran, phone: 818-427-1577 or Email: vankuran@ix.netcom.com.  Please call Larry if you plan to attend, or even if there is a possibility that you can attend.  The recommended hotel is: Clarion Hotel, 530 Richards Dr, Manhattan, KS.  Ph: 785-539-5311 (Note: some rooms for 18th Infantry Association at a discount rate.)  The soldiers at Ft Riley have been looking forward to this event for some time.  They welcome, and are anxious to meet, 18th Infantry veterans.  It will be well worth the effort to attend.  It is considered a “homecoming” -- 25 years since the 18th Infantry Colors were cased at Ft Riley in 1983.   









Text Box: 18TH INFANTRY REGIMENT ASSOCIATION George Gentry, Editor 1331 Hackett Ave Long Beach, CA 90815 www.18inf.org










Farewell Remarks by LTC George A. Glaze


To the Regiment - one word describes the past 30 months of service to our 18th Regiment.




It was just plain humbling to be part of it all.


The train-up prior to deployment was the best I have been part of in 20 years of active service.

The deployment to Iraq was humbling on a daily basis, patrol after patrol, with the best our country has to offer - our Vanguards.

The re-deployment and re-integration after fifteen months of combat operations was humbling with Vanguards, with Families, with Regimental Alumni participating in a period of hurting, of healing, of helping. 


Truly humbling to be part of the best in America - the never-ending human spirit demonstrated by this group of Patriots is why we serve.  It is why the parents of our Fallen Vanguards flew thousands of miles to a foreign country to see their son's best friends.  And the fact that we took some time in January to consider these Blessings is commendable.


The cast of heroes that assisted the Vanguards over the past couple of years is a long one.  My only request is for your consideration to continue assisting the current Vanguards and their Families as they continue mission, forward deployed, preparing to defend our country once again.


V/R  George A. Glaze


[The 18th Infantry Regiment Association wishes George and Valerie and their family all the best in their new assignment at the Pentagon is Washington DC.  If duty permits, we will meet and greet them in Colorado Springs in August.]


Text Box: Published by the 18th Infantry Regiment Association, a non-profit organization chartered by the State of Georgia. Editor: George Gentry, 1331 Hackett Ave, Long Beach, CA 90815. Tel: 562-596-8097 Email: HQ18INF@aol.com

page update 11/04/2013