R-Enlisting In Special Forces

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56 years ago, 1965, I was a Sergeant E-5 Demolition Sergeant on an A-Team in Company B, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), at Fort Bragg NC.
One of my Ethiopia teammates, SGT Richard Clark, and I heard there was a mercenary recruiter making the rounds in Fayetteville, looking to hire mercenaries for duty in the Republic of the Congo, during the civil war there. Since both of us were close to the end of our enlistment in the Army, we decided to explore volunteering. The word on the street was that the recruiter was looking for quality recruits, not quantity.
Clark and I figured that the experience we had in Ethiopia, in addition to being Green Berets, would be exactly what the recruiter was looking for. Being that I was a demolition sergeant, well cross-trained in crew-served weapons and communications operations, I would be just what the recruiter was looking for. The pay was rumored to be good. The downside was that most of the pay wasn’t distributed until after the mercenary’s tour had been served and would not be paid to anyone if the mercenary died. We were never able to find the recruiter.
The rumor mill seemed to be about as strong in Special Forces as it was in Training Group. I was told that, if I re-enlisted, I would be going to the Ft. Belvoir VA Army Engineer School in early March for anywhere from two weeks to a month, for well-drilling training. That was to be followed by two weeks to two months of on-the-job training at a well-drilling rig in Oklahoma, drawing $18 dollars a day per diem. That was to be followed by an overseas mission, to where I didn’t know yet. I was told that after the mission I would receive four months of communications training.
I was hospitalized during the first week of February. Time was running out on my enlistment. I was due to get out of the Army on 13 February. Even though I had already pretty much made up my mind, I had to do a lot of thinking about reenlisting, in a short period of time. I had enjoyed my time in the Army, especially while in Ethiopia. Ethiopia was probably what swung my mind. The rumor that I might be able to return to Ethiopia, although on a different team, was a very positive force for re-upping.
I made my final decision to re-enlist while I was hospitalized. After all, I had enjoyed all my time in Special Forces. It had been a special time of my life. I would much rather have been on a Special Forces A-team, in the boonies of some faraway country like Ethiopia, than to have worked in just about any civilian career field.
My medical dilemma had given me plenty of time to think over my decision. Clark (from my Ethiopia team) was expected to re-enlist, and I was expected to get out. Everyone was shocked when Clark (who seemed like such a perfect fit in Special Forces) decided to get out. That was immediately followed by me deciding, almost at the last minute, to reenlist. The poor people in personnel had to jump through hoops to begin my processing for reenlistment, and his processing for separating.
From Book #2, of my four-book set of SLURP SENDS!, #1 (“SLURP SENDS! On Becoming a Green Beret Book 1”). Books # 2 (“SLURP SENDS! Experiences of an A-Team Green Beret Book 2”), #3 (“SLURP SENDS! Experiences of a Green Beret In Vietnam Book 3”) and #4 (“SLURP SENDS! A Green Beret’s Experiences In Vietnam Book 4”) are all available on Amazon, or from me.
PHOTO: My 3rd Special Forces Group photo (my photo)
SLURP SENDS!

1 COMMENT

  1. Every single person I knew in the Army who’d purportedly joined to “make a career of it”… Wound up not doing so. Every career guy I know was someone who’d flatly told me earlier in their career that they were never going to stick around for 20. Yet, somehow… They did.

    I can’t think of a single exception, including myself. I was joining for the college money, and to do military service, with no intent to make a career of it. Yet, there I was at 25 years in, going “WTF just happened…?”.

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