Online Air Defense Radar Museum Guestbook

Radomes Guestbook V3.0

Welcome to the Online Air Defense Radar Museum. We hope you enjoy your visit, and that we have contributed a little something in the name of those who served.  Gene.

Please consider joining our new radar museum organization, The Air Force Radar Museum Association, Inc. AFRMA is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit Ohio Corporation. Our sole purpose is the creation and support of the National Air Defense Radar Museum at Bellefontaine, Ohio. Please visit our home page to join or donate to this cause. AFRMA, Inc. - The Air Force Radar Museum Association, Inc.. Follow the "Memberships" link on the AFRMA home page.

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04/30/2008 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: historian AT

Does anyone have, or know someone else who has, any photographs of Laredo AFS, TX, when the site operated the AN/FSS-7 SLBM radar? If so, please let us know, and/or please provide copies if possible. Thanks!

04/30/2008 00:00:00

Name: William A Hoey
Email: billh93611 AT

Hi Gang,
Stationed in goose Bay fall of 1956 to fall of 1957 with the 59th
Went hiking in the summer of 97 and found one to the DEW sites

Great job on this website
Tks for the information


04/26/2008 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT

Take a look at the link to this below: Defense Secretary Gates Remarks at Maxwell-Gunter AFB, Montgomery, Ala., Apr. 21, 2008.

Read the whole thing. What's he telling the officer corps? Could it be that the future UAV pilot need not be a fully rated officer? Or even an officer? What is the Secretary getting at?

04/24/2008 00:00:00

Name: Buck Brennan CMSGT RET
Email: chiefb37 AT

I just read from the military news that the Army and Marines are now inducting felons. Some of these felons have been conficted for sex crimes and manslaughter. Then I read about high ranking Generals that are awarding contracts to thier friends this investigation has gon all the way up to Joint Chief Staff ,Mosley. Gentleman we are in serious trouble ,when the high ranking people think more of thier careers than the troops ,what has this military come too. In the new the SECDEF had to get in the Air force leadership to quit draging it's feet and get more unmaned A/C over to the combat Zones. Your thoughts gentelman. Buck Brennan

04/24/2008 00:00:00

Name: Chuck Sunder
Email: chucksunder AT

Buck, I share your concerns regarding felons, etc being inducted into the military....they must be getting pretty hard up for recruits...and who can blame the potential recruits? Who wants to volunteer for Iraq? I have several grandchildren who give you a puzzled look when you ask them about enlisting. They read the papers. When I was 17 I couldn't wait to get out of town and head for Lackland. Times change.

As far as generals awarding contracts to their friends, this is nothing new. People in high places usually got there by scratching someone's back and now they need a little scratching of their own back. After my hitch in the AF I worked for a large US corporation that received a lot of military contracts. Many of the "big wheels" that we worked with were former military officers of high rank. They knew how to "grease the skids" so the corporation and the military got together and got things accomplished. This wasn't always a bad thing, but I'm sure it sometimes got abused.

OK Buck, I'm off my soapbox. You asked for comments..those are mine.
Chuck Sunder
Sparrevohn 55

04/22/2008 00:00:00

Name: Tim Juckette
Email: tjuckette AT

30352 - Stationed with 757TH RADS (FPS-24)at Blaine AFS, WA: 66oth RADS (FPS_26) at MacDill AFB, FL and 83rd TCF (TPS-43E)at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ

04/22/2008 00:00:00

Name: James A. Kline
Email: jkline AT

I served in the USAF from 1968 to 1972 in Aircraft Control and Warning. My AFS were, Makah AFS, Neah Bay, WA (758th), Wadena, MN AFS, then Tin city, Alaska (710th) and Charleston, ME.
The greatest experience was Tin City, Alaska. We had to work together as one team, no matter where you were from we all had to work together for one year in remote serve.

04/21/2008 00:00:00

Name: Jeff States
Email: psu68 AT

Quote without comment:

More convicted felons allowed to enlist in Army, Marines
Published: 4/21/08, 12:46 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (AP) - Under pressure to increase their numbers, the Army and Marine Corps have sharply raised the number of recruits with felony convictions they are admitting to the services.
Data released by a congressional committee shows that the number of soldiers admitted to the Army with felony records jumped from 249 in 2006 to 511 in 2007. And the number of Marines with felonies rose from 208 to 350.
The bulk of the crimes involved were burglaries, other thefts, and drug offenses, but nine involved sex crimes and six involved manslaughter or vehicular homicide convictions. Several dozen Army and Marine recruits had aggravated assault or robbery convictions, including incidents involving weapons.

04/20/2008 00:00:00

Name: Bob Caggiano
Email: rmcagg AT

Hi folks,

Any old timers remember the old official Air Force song called "Air Force Blue"? It came out in 1957 and was used right through the Viet Nam era. The A.F. decided it was no longer politically correct and replaced it with the current Air Force Song that most people know. I liked the old song much better. I have posted a short video and accompanying vocal version of the song on my website for Melville Air Station. Check it out for some great old A.D.C. aircraft and great music. Here's the URL:

Please let me know what you think of the "old" versus the "new"!

P.S. I have recently learned that the forerunner for this song was an old Army Air Corps song that appeared in a 1941 Army Song book!

04/19/2008 00:00:00

Name: Cliff Bays
Email: cebays AT

We also used TCE in the 26 tower at the 660th at MacDill AFB. It was kept in a drum in the "paint locker" which was a locked building out in the middle of the open area South of the T-2 building and West of the 26 tower 25 or 30 yards from anything. Paint, gasoline and any other flamables were kept there also. Somebody knew it should not be kept inside the tower. As others have stated, we would get a quantity of it in a coffee can and us it to clean up oil, paint, sometimes just dirt. One time the can got spilled on the floor in front of the parts bin. The guy who spilled it just wiped it up with a rag and assumed the rest would evaporate. The next day the floor tiles were soft and stuck to our shoes. That section of tiles had to be replaced. Too much exposure to our hands would cause a little redness and little pain so we rubbed motor oil into our hands to counteract this. We used to dump what was left in the can on the driveway next to the tower. I look at the current aerial photos of the site and see that the 26 tower, T-2 buliding and the "paintlocker" are all long gone. I often wonder if any cleanup was done since MacDill is still a very active AFB.

04/19/2008 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT

I recall the FPS-26 used some kind of a liquid-filled heat exchanger to cool some component (I can't remember what that component was). In the fall of the year we received dozens of cases of 1-gallon cans of ethylene glycol (anti-freeze) that was used in the heat exchangers. As I recall, this fluid had to be changed periodically. The cans were the typical olive drab color with all the government contract information printed on the can. All the ethylene glycol we received was made by Union Carbide, the maker of Prestone anti-freeze. I don't know why they shipped us so much of the stuff. Everyone who owned a car winterized the engine with that freely available government issue anti-freeze.

04/19/2008 00:00:00

Name: Gordon Dick
Email: kdick AT

At Middleton Isle759th, we had a 55 gallon drum of TCE right next to the Ops shack. I recall swishing air filters for the scopes etc in a bucket of the stuff which caused my hands to look like prunes. The steam pipes that ran every where including my room where wrapped with asbestos that was always flaking off when bumped and we would of course sweep this up when cleaning up. I would bet all that floor tile everywhere contained asbestos as well. working in the radome with the FPS-3 radiating was another smart move.It's a wonder we are all as old as we are!!

04/18/2008 00:00:00

Name: Bill Wells
Email: bdwells AT

While at the 768th AC&W at Moriarty we got a lot of brand new second lieutenants.Some were PCS after training and others were TDY and went elsewhere.My office was across from the CO's and one morning a newbie was reporting in.The CO asked if he was PCS or TDY and he said "NO SIR!! I"M ROTC!!" Ofcourse the Orderly Room cracked up.But most of the Lts were Ok once they caught on.

04/18/2008 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT

We used TCE as a solvent when I was part of the FPS-26 crew at Saratoga AFS. We cleaned the parts on the open deck below the tower and dumped the dirty solvent through the open deck grates to the ground below. The ground became brown and saturated with oil and other nasty things. After the site was abandoned, that contamination along with asbestos, buried fuel tanks, and PCB-laden transformers had to be removed to restore the environment.

04/17/2008 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT

Some time we should have a thread on “maintenance procedures we did then that we wouldn’t do now.” Like using Trichloroethylene, TCE, the colorless liquid with a chloroform-like smell. At Selfridge’s ANGB’s 26A tower, we had a 55 gallon drum of it on the arctic tower itself. The biggest use was to remove grease, and congealed cigarette smoke from the equipment. (Now this will indicate my low rank.) Put it in an old coffee can, get a paint brush, and a rag, start “painting” the scope (or whatever) innards with it. Dust, smoke, whatever was on there would drip down, wiped off. If you got it on your skin, it felt like medicinal alcohol. It would also remove your skin oils and lead to cracked skin. The vapors were also a cause of headaches and dizziness in enclosed areas. Is it still used anywhere? Likely so, it was effective, but not used in that way would be my guess. Polychlorinated Biphenyls, PCBs, were in capacitors and transformers. On the TPS-44 in Germany, one maintenance procedure was to use a crank to extract transformer oil, then put it in a ceramic cistern on a piece of test equipment between two conductor plates. One increased the voltage to high levels on the plates and when it arced, this told something about the condition the oil. My recollection is PCBs somehow helped the oil not to break down. In any case, the hand pump seldom worked. So, one siphoned it by sucking on that hose with predictable results. We ex-radar types are also walking labs for the long-term effects of microwave radiation observed up-close and personal. I remember a safety film that showed a GI painting in front of a radar antenna (staged) in which he experiences headaches, looks at the antenna and has a moment of inspiration to leave. Now this again is memory, but it went something like you can’t tell if you’re being radiated except when your brain begins to swell and pushes against the interior of your skull, causing a headache. This was impressive to me, but I don’t recall anyone ever coming anywhere close to getting cooked. Was any research ever done into such exposure? The rumored effects, cataracts, blindness, sterility (this being GIs, after all). Back to the 26A. I remember one time hearing the airlock open and looking over and seeing it in “radiate,” so I dashed out of the office and knocked it off line. My staff sergeant came down and said, what’d you do that for, it’s nothing worse than a hot bath? Back on it went, back up he went. Remarkable. One met a number of characters in radar. I suppose I’m one myself. The longer I think about this topic, the more stories come to mind, but this is enough.

04/17/2008 00:00:00

Name: George Wickert
Email: gwickert AT


When I was assigned to my first manual radar site they issued us dosometers they were little black plastic tags that you wore around your neck. They collected the tags every so often and opened them up they had a insert that they could read and tell how much radiation you were exposed to. The worst radars were the height finders because the didn't rotate,if they were left in one position say pointed at a barracks you could get a nasty dose of radiation.

I only was issued the those tags once I never saw them again after the 1960's.


04/17/2008 00:00:00

Name: Larry Jackson
Email: vickyjac AT

It's still used by dry cleaners At least it was safer than carbon tet.

04/17/2008 00:00:00

Name: Miles Martin
Email: mo1martin AT

I have to comment on David Casteel's statements about RIF'ed officers. After Vietnam the Officer rating system was limited in the ratings that could be given, only 10% could get the top rating. The system was designed to eliminate personnel because they had too many of us. There was even a RIF board that kicked out many officers. I had a really good friend (the Maintenance Control Officer at 25AD) who had just been promoted to Major who was kicked out after only about a year after the promotion. His name is Chuck Turk. Some of you may know him. He had been the commander at a site (I think Bedford) in VA that got a bad IG rating on a prior assignment and that was all it took. But, Chuck came out just fine. He joined an E&I National Guard unit in PA. He did well and became the commander of the unit and was promoted to Lt Col. He was a good officer who was RIFed, and his later performance showed that.

04/16/2008 00:00:00

Name: David E. Casteel
Email: davidecasteel AT

Thomas Whitely, I regret that you had the misfortune to serve with a young Lieutenant a$$hole who was RIFed for incompetence. However, I hope that you are not of the opinion that RIF actions were commonly (or chiefly) an indication of incompetence of the officer. For the Lieutenant grades, that possibly was true, because there were very few restrictions on promotions to 1Lt and Captain, so to be passed over too many times was unusual. For Captains trying for Major, though, only a small percentage ever made it at each promotion cycle, and the ones who did quite often were Rated or in SAC; back in the 1960 and 1970s, officers in ADC and TAC routinely received OERs (officer equivalent of APRs) that were one or more levels poorer than those in SAC, and Rated officers (pilots) nearly always got top ratings. The result was that many very fine support officers could not match ratings with the elite (who may well have not been better or even as good at useful USAF work off the flightline) and they were the ones who got RIFed. As one who suffered that fate, I know what I am talking about. (And no, I am not putting myself up to be a super guy who was unfairly kicked out. My mother thought so, though.) Every cloud has a silver lining. I enlisted for 5 years to "save my pension" as a COBOL computer programmer. My 5 years experience in that field made me much more hireable in the civilian world than I would have been as a former Radar Maintenance Officer. I retired as a Captain, by the way, and I consider my decision to enlist to fulfill the requirements as time well spent.


04/16/2008 00:00:00

Name: Glenn Widner
Email: gwwidner AT

My time spent in Mississippi and Alabama was all good. After Keesler, I was stationed at Gunter AFB in Montgomery Alabama for 2 1/2 years. Since Katrina, I've been on relief teams to Hammond La., Moss Point Miss., and just got back last week from New Orleans, wiring houses. Prejudiced people are in every state, but for the most part, the people in Mississippi are hard working and friendly. My kind of people.

04/15/2008 00:00:00

Name: Robert Reeves
Email: motorcarwarehouse AT

Thanks to Richard Konizeski and Gene McManus for posting the TAPS tribute to retired Lt. Col. Charles Woodford who passed away at age 82, in May 2007 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

A great man and a great leader of men.

**He was the site commander at the 779th, Opheim Montana, when we were stationed there with my late father, John C. Reeves around 1967-1970.

Parley Hayes and Frank Church and Mike Chandler were our neighbors.

What a great time, great friends, and great memories.

04/15/2008 00:00:00

Name: Robert Reeves
Email: motorcarwarehouse AT

Anyone who knew my late father John Reeves is welcome to write.

**UPDATE: I have received emails and photos from three of the guys he played on the base basketball team with in Hof,Germany in 1964!!!

And from four of the guys from the Conference Championship softball team (and photos:) in 1967, also from Hof Germany, (the 606th AC+W in Doebraberg)


Thanks RADOMES!!!!!

Units John served in and the approximate dates:

Hutchinson, Kansas AFS; 61-64
Hof/Doebraberg, Germany;64-67
Opheim AFS, MT;67-70
Tyndall AFB, Panama City FL; 1970
Lowry AFB,Denver CO,71-73
Plattsburg AFB, N.Y.,73-74
;621 TCS OLAB, Korat, Thailand,74-75

Then back to Lowry AFB, Denver Co., in 76, retired there in 1980.

Passed: August 1997, Thayer Missouri, at age 53.

04/15/2008 00:00:00

Name: Chuck Sunder
Email: chucksunder AT

Hey Gene,
Green jello and Green celery...well, at least they matched the colors of the ingredients. :-)

What else happened at Thule? Tell us some stories.

04/14/2008 00:00:00

Name: Bill Leach
Email: wfleach AT

Quick 'rope' story. I retrained from radar to computers in 1971 (at Keesler). They made me go back thru BED. Luckily thru the self pace class. The first day (at the end of class) this yellow rope tells me my job is to empty the trash. He's an E-2. I happened to be an E-4. When I 'kindly' pointed out the disparity in rank, he informed me that a yellow rope was the equal of a 1st Lt. I advised him to immediately report my insubordination to the Chief down in the training office. The somewhat red-faced young man returned a short time later wanting to know if there was anything else I needed him to do besides empty the trash.

04/14/2008 00:00:00

Name: Edward R. Tatyrek
Email: etatyrek AT

Good Morning, need some info on the dues to belong to this group, I am a CMSGT. Retired with a 30390 AFSC with duty at various sites within NORAD. Please contact me on my e-mail address with the info requested. Edward R. Tatyrek.

04/14/2008 00:00:00

Name: Thomas Whiteley
Email: tomwhiteley2 AT

What is rope? A rope is a string that goes to your head - so we said at Keesler.

I was at Keesler October 1963 to June 1964. I was also a red rope. I never pulled a DD 341 from anyone. I worked harder than anyone in my group. We had squadron detail each weekday. As soon as you were finished you got the rest of the day off (until class started). So I helped my group by working with them. They worked harder and faster than anyone else.

Guess what? We were through with our details in minutes, while the rest of the egg heads worked up until school time. The Sargent had a talk with me one day. “You are giving the ropes a bad name. You should not be working with your men”. I told him I would continue working with the men and enjoy the rest of the day off!

One yellow rope screwed an A2C so bad and I was a witness! The A2C was put up for a court martial. I was asked to appear as a witness and told what had happened in a humorous but truthful way. All charges were dropped.

I have always stuck up for fairness and consider both sides. I have to admit that I tend to lean towards the little guy. There are lots of us little guys around I have noticed! :)

Look out for the troops baby, be fair and honest. At least I can sleep at night! There are too many people who are the wrong end of the horse and they are in charge.

We had a 2nd Lieutenant who thought he was Gods gift to the Air Force. He would screw anyone in his path – as if you were in OTS and he had to kick out a specific number of men.

One fine day I was in the Sergeants office and the 2nd Lieutenant walked in. He had patent leather shoes and expected your shoes to shine like his. He started to cry. You see, he was an incompetent a** hole and had been passed over for promotion so many times that the Air Force was getting rid of him!

I would love to write a book about my Air Force experiences – ADC, Security Service and back to ADC as the "Air Force Inspectors of Inspectors". Have you ever seen a A1C critique a bird Colonel? Well, that was my job! :)

Being in Mississippi was difficult for me. I was born and raised in San Francisco. The kids I went to school with were every color and religion known to man. I will never return to Mississippi as I experienced so much hatred that I cannot begin to describe it. You see, I am predjuced againced predjuce people. :)

04/13/2008 00:00:00

Name: Gene McManus
Email: gmcmanus AT

Hey Chuck, at Thule in the early spring, before the supply ships could make it into port - it was green jello & celery. I've learned to eat celery since, but still won't touch green jello!

04/12/2008 00:00:00

Name: Chuck Sunder
Email: chucksunder AT

Who from Sparrevohn remembers this one?

Back in the winter of 55 the road to Hilltop was closed. Food supplies were running low....with one exception: There was a surplus of lemon was served at every meal. Someone wrote a poem:

“ODE TO YELLOW JELLO” (Sung to the tune: “The Yellow Rose of Texas”)

It’s the yellowest Yellow Jello
That Hilltop ever seen.
It shimmied when I ate it.
It really tasted keen.

This shimmering Yellow Jello
Is the only sweet for me.
Why have chocolate pudding
When Yello Jello’s free.

When the snowy road is opened
And food comes up the hill,
We’ll still have yello jello.
I guess we always will.

You can talk about your apple pie,
And sing of ala mode.
But they’ll send Yello Jello,
When they open up the road.

I’ll rotate in the springtime,
And leave this follish hill.
I’ll think of Yello Jello.
I guess I’ll always will.

When the temperature drops to zero,
And the snow falls on the hill.
We all eat Yello Jello,
And take our wise--- pill.

Oh when you come up to Hilltop,
I’m sure that you will see,
That good old Yello Jello,
Much to your misery.

The day is finally over,
And another has begun.
And still there’s Yello Jello.
They’ve made another ton.

I know that you will taste it.
The story is quite sad.
You’ll think that Yello Jello
Isn’t really bad.

Now I’m going to dinner.
I know what I will eat.
It will be Yello Jello.
Gracious what a treat!

Now I’m going to supper.
My heart is full of woe.
Yello Jello’s on the menu.
That s--- has got to go!

04/10/2008 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT

Here's an interesting tidbit of information for you guys who served at radar sites in North Dakota and Montana. The area is about to enjoy a tremendous boom due to a giant oil find in the area. The presence of oil has been known for several years but its extraction had been too expensive. With new technologies and higher oil prices, that oil is now economically viable. The oil reseves are huge, leading some to call the area "Persia on the Plains". Some of those old radar sites may suddenly have value again after all these years. The same article speaks of a huge natural gas field in western Pennsylvania that is ready for development. Both finds should help the economy in both areas as they both have been chronically depressed for years.

04/10/2008 00:00:00

Name: Dick Konizeski
Email: rrkonizeski AT

Lt Col Charles Woodford
Just a note regarding the recent passing of retired Lt Col Charles Woodford, AC&W site commander, one of which was the 779th at Opheim, MT. His online obit is available at

04/09/2008 00:00:00

Name: Jay C Phillips
Email: jaylu1010 AT

A forum(Sparrevohn719) dedicated to anyone who served at Sparrevohn, Alaska, 719th AC&W Squadron is on line as a yahoo group.
If interested go to and search for Yahoo group: "Sparrevohn719".

04/07/2008 00:00:00

Name: Carl Wenberg
Email: zoombag AT

Someone fill me in, what is this rope stuff? went to Keesler mar.1954 3402nd Sq. in old wooden barracks pulled KP once in what we called chow hall row, other the atour on guard duty at base stockade easy time weekends off A shift AM - noon for school not much chickhan S--- to put up with, we went there after 11 wks. basic so no more basic training stuff. guess I went there at the right time.

04/07/2008 00:00:00

Name: Dick Konizeski
Email: konizeski AT

There have been some very interesting articles recently regarding concerns over degredation of radar coverage (and therefore security) by wind farms, which are springing up in increasing numbers as alternative power sources are developed. One of the concerns is that new radar site locations may be required when wind farms are built in direct line of site of current radar coverages. If that's the case, the radar and security communities have a lot on their plates. Any thoughts?

04/07/2008 00:00:00

Name: Dennis E. Schehl
Email: schehld AT

Just following up on earlier e-mails. I now have a photo or two taken in 1960 at Martha's Vineyard FPS-14 radar site. An old Bendix Techrep USAF 1958-1962. Bendix 1962-1999.

04/07/2008 00:00:00

Email: sharonanddale AT

I went thru school in 1965 at Shepperad AFB,and in the 3755th school squadron. The rope system was group of students as barracks chiefs-gold rope and squadron chiefs-red ropes. They are braided ropes that you wore over the shoulder and drapped down under the arm. It was a earned position, you had to be a sharp troop with good grades and be appointed by a squadron sargent. In the open bay barracks meant that you had your own room and had a "MOUSE" that cleaned the room , another guy who you appoint for that duty. Then ya have a upper bay chief and he has a "MOUSE" IT Worked!

04/07/2008 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT

I don't have any fond memories of the "rope" system. The ropes were no better than the rest of the troops in the barracks except for the colored piece of yarn they wore on their shoulder. Some abused their limited authority and for that they were disliked by the troops. My recollection of the selection process was that it was political.

A group of us went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans on Fat Tuesday, a school night. To avoid being listed as missing bed check, a rope in our Mardi Gras group got a fellow rope to look the other way that night and not report us as missing bed check (remember bed check at Keesler?). We arrived back at about 3:00AM. Having a rope in the group spared us from being AWOL, but it also pointed out the corruption of the system.

That Mardi Gras trip was something else. I'll tell that war story later...

04/06/2008 00:00:00

Name: John Terryah
Email: jackeffie AT

I was assigned to Stead SAGE and arrived in June of 59. I was the 7th person to be active at that time. My first sgt was 6th and the five before us were the Comamnder, a Bird Colonel, A major, a captain,and two lt's. We started from scratch. My first sgt and I initially flew down on a c 119 to check out housing in Reno. The day was so windy that we could hardly walk against it. We stayed two days and on the third day we were to be picked up by the c 119. The runway temps were too high and the plane had to circle time and time again as the temps dropped as the sun went doqn. it was fully loaded with Civil Air Patrol people and c 119's were not known to be good gliders or to have too much horsepower. We were above the 5,000 foot altitude. They did land and all went well but it labored getting off the ground. We were on our way a month later.

04/06/2008 00:00:00

Name: Gary Jacobs
Email: gaj7702 AT

Now by far most of my memories of Keesler are good ones. I was 17 when I got there, and by the end learned more in a concentrated time than maybe any other time of my life, good and bad. Here I think of hazing. My time was summer 1971. I turned 18 in September. I buffed a floor. A guy snuck me a beer. Happy birthday. (Remember the drinking age was 21. I was to make great friends with Mister Beer.) I joined a drill team in Squadron 10. (I think this was the number, but I may be wrong.) I had had abysmally bad jobs, like raking sand around the barracks and such. I saw them practicing and thought, hey, that looks cool and I liked the swagger, the special uniforms, the not having to march on Saturday parade and other things. The only other rope slots were in the chorus or band. To join, to get a rope, one went through a period of hazing. Most of it was stupid and fun. Some was vicious and you wondered where it was going to come out, and when to draw that personal line of “not worth it.” This gave me some insight into hazing in general later. My idea was most guys could handle both ends. Some guys wanted to go too far, got upset when told they couldn’t. Later when I became a drill team officer, I decided it should be done away with all together. I didn't win that one. But I don’t know what I or the organization gained by having me and my roommate hold hands, skip in our 15-05 uniforms around the squadron saying, “Sir, I want to be a drill team rope, sir.” I suppose it demonstrated a level of commitment, or a level of stupidity on those who sent us, let alone, us. For example, the drill team officers would call for us, “Hey, boot,” and we’d run. One assumed a “brace” position, attention, but head down, hands in front, fisted, next to each other. They would hit your hands to drive them apart. If they did, you did push-ups. Generally, you did push-ups whatever the outcome, right, wrong, whatever. At the end was a period when you stayed up for 24 hours, and then the officers came in to inspect your room and begin the most serious hazing, too long a story for here. It was then that most people gave up. My roommate and me made it, a 2-1 vote. Later I met the guy who voted against me as, of all things, a lower classman at Officer Training School in that annex to Lackland in 1978. I was dumbfounded to walk into a room to inspect and there he was. I read the name on the list of roommates twice. Can't be. Is. Imagine. I got about 2 inches from his face while he was at attention. Hey, remember me? (I wondered what he thought.) I didn’t treat him the same way. I told him, learn something from that. Perhaps this comes to mind in my LA area residence, where the LA Fire Department has (and likely will in another dumb case) paid out millions in suits involving hazing.

04/05/2008 00:00:00

Name: Tom Page
Email: tepage AT

I visited the Peterson Air & Space Museum for the first time Friday. If any of you are ever in Colorado Springs and have the time, I highly recommend you visit. Many thanks go to Ed Weaver and Jack McKinney for the grand tour.

04/03/2008 00:00:00

Name: Charles McClure
Email: mcclurec AT

I only got those 314s or 341 slips yanked from me for two reasons. Bed making and shoe shines. I was bad at both of those things and I still am to this day. Once I had both yanked for shoe shine and had to spend the town pass day in the barracks doing what my TI called "ojt shoe shine". Spent the whole day shining my shoes.

04/03/2008 00:00:00

Name: John Tianen
Email: jtianen AT

The chickensh*t remained long after basic training. It was one of the reasons I never re-enlisted. I was an A1C with 5 months to go in my enlistment and the First Sergeant restricted me to the base for a week for having dust bunnies under my bed. This was the week before I was to get married. I asked him to give me a break but he would not hear it. Needless to say it made things more difficult for the wedding. All you married guys know, there is a lot of preparation leading up to the big day. This same First Sergeant routinely put E-4s an KP, even married guys living off base.

04/03/2008 00:00:00

Email: sharonanddale AT

I understand why the Air Force felt it was needed to appoint a few to be Gold or Red Ropes. But they was the same as me and the same rank and I hated them , they was bounty hunters and "Gig Slips " the weapon of choice. Then when I recieved my GOLD ROPE all that changed. Go figure.

04/02/2008 00:00:00

Email: sharonanddale AT

Jim: I dont remember why I had slips pulled, But I got real good at folding them. Just for kicks I'd like to hear "Gig Slip" stories from anyone who would share them with us. We kinda laughed them off, because of the Bull**** reasons they used. We lived thru it and became good Soldiers. " GO BLUE" Dale Copeland.

04/01/2008 00:00:00

Name: Jim
Email: jime AT

Dale, the infamous '341' which was folded into quarters and kept in your left shirt pocket. Yeah, I kinda remember that from long ago...