Category Archives: Infantry OCS

The magic that never came again

OCS chum Jacob Kinser was killed in March, 1970, when the Huey he was piloting crashed into a line of trees in the fog. His widow still has the most poignant posting on the Wall of Faces: “Thanks for the magic. It never came again…”

Brotherhood of the Bayonet

My Army OCS and Vietnam veteran chums Dahl and Fusco like this outfit and, after reading through it, so do I.

“This is a Brotherhood for our Blue Cord Infantry Brothers, to help each other, watch each others 6, and to be our Brothers’ Keeper. We will go to Hell 4 U!”

Happy Birthday, Chuck

He was a drinker, in the 6th Cav in late 1968 and I’m not so we didn’t spent much time together. Nor were we friends altho together in basic, ait and ocs. I got to know him at the 2003 reunion at Benning. When he was years away from drinking and struggling with COPD. Neat guy. He passed on 9/18/2020.

I’ll never forget him trying to get me to go Airborne with him, when we were in casual company awaiting security clearances to go to OCS. I thought he was nuts. I then had no desire to jump out of airplanes. He didn’t either, apparently, as he didn’t go either. Now I sometimes wonder what it would have been like.

He was smarter than me about the Army and so didn’t volunteer for anything that I know of. “All you college boys raise your hand,” the sergeant said. Up went mine. Not Chuck’s. So I got to shovel coal for barracks boilers without his companionship. He probably had a good laugh over it. Looking after his widow George Anne, now, I’m sure.

Ian survivors

So far, no more than property loss for our OCS chums in Florida. But several couples are unaccounted for, having evacuated (we hope) from the hard-hit Tampa south to Naples area and apparently without Wi-Fi.

UPDATE: Couples are accounted for. No issues.

Buh bye Russ Wheat

On this day in 1938, my good friend Russ was born. He transitioned in 2019, played a few jokes on me and then disappeared into the light. Unforgettable.

UPDATE: Happy Trails to You, Until We Meet Again!

Drag queens and strip shows

Langley AFB, where my family lived during my paterfamilias’s last year in the AF, is hosting a drag queen.

“The festival, according to the Daily Wire, will feature “a series of performances and speeches, including a poem on ‘Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ and a drag show by Joshua Kelley, who performs under the moniker Harpy Daniels.” He is a Yeoman 3rd class in the Navy.

I remember a carnival with a strip show that came to Fort Benning in 1968. Our OCS class was ordered to staff the carnival. I was a ticket-taker at the strip show. At least we got real women, even if they were rather skinny. Underfed, probably.

John Harrison Turnipseed, Jr.

Turnipseed was one of our OCS class who was booted out in the final days before graduation. I knew that he went on to Viet Nam as an E-6, his former rank, and was awarded three Purple Hearts. Now I’ve learned that he was an assistant to then-Major Colin Powell, the deputy G-3 of the Americal Division, in 1968 and ’69, wielding the pointer on the maps while Powell briefed ranking officers.

But he also drove Powell when the future four-star and secretary of state, was at division HQ in Chu Lai and probably had a more extensive relationship that included helping out when Powell went into the field to check on operations. Powell received the Soldiers Medal for non-combat valor when he pulled three men, including the division commander, out of a burning helicopter. No proof yet but could John have been there? What assistant would not be with the boss at such a time and others? That may have been how he received three Purple Hearts.

UPDATE: Now know he didn’t enter the army until Feb, 1967, so he couldn’t have been an E-6 about 10 months later when he entered OCS. Reading Powell’s otherwise interesting autobio, I sadly find no mention of John, and he apparently wasn’t in on the helicopter rescue which Powell details. Which was little more than an excursion gone bad so maybe there was no reason for John to be there.