When I said in an earlier post that I was going to go shoot with a bunch of old guys….I meant it…
here is a pic of a few of the guys…all are retired except Mark (glasses and beer)..he is an active duty Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Marine Corps stationed in Korea and the future franchisee of the first ever Tim Horton’s in Seoul..
George, Lynn, Mark and Mark…well over 80 years of combined military experience in this pic….WE’LL DO IT!!
We have some other guys in the informal group with varying ranges of experience to include Rangers and even a Navy SEAL just so we look cool as a group when we all wear our hats….ranks from lowly retired junior NCO’s like myself to Sergeant Majors and even an officer like Mark to make us look good…I am the “newbie” in the group…for now.
The one thing the majority of us have in common is that at one time or another we have all served in the 148th Infantry of the Ohio Army National Guard. In the picture above, George and the Mark on the far right were both FTUS (Full Time Unit Support) AGR (Active Guard-Reserve) members of the 148th – as was myself – basically National Guard members on full time active duty at the armories to plan and support training, perform personnel and pay issues and manage the unit supply and motor operations. It sounds like it would be an easy job being that the units only drill a couple of days a month…but far from it. We have the same inspection and training requirements to meet as active units but basically only 1/12 of the time to do them with all hands on board to assist. The remainder of the time it was just the small group of 2 or 3 full timers around to do it all. Try having to hit the armory at 0400 in order to run vehicles on at 3 hour trip to take them to MATES and then come back and put a full days work in after and not leaving the armory until 2000 that night on the weeks leading up to an inspection…not good for the married life I tell you.
The Company B 1-148th Infantry armory in Napoleon, Ohio that I worked in from ‘91 – ‘94. Napoleon’s claim to fame is that if you have ever had a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, chances are it was made in Napoleon at the Campbell’s plant there…same with chicken noodle. Other than than it was a auto industry town that has suffered badly since the decline of the auto industry.
The 148th Infantry traces its roots back to the old National Guard lineage of the old 3rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry, the unit was officially formed on September 15, 1917 for service in WWI. Despite getting in at the tail end of the war, the 148th distinguished itself in battle and the unit’s motto “WE’LL DO IT” come from an episode where the unit vowed to be the first to cross the Escaut River during the war….during which event unit member (supposedly) took turns pissing into the river marking the formerly German held river ceremoniously as their own. Most of the symbols found on the unit crest is derived from WW1, the Fleur-de-lis being from the two campaigns the unit participated in France in, the lion in rampart from the Belgian flag and the wavy red line representing the blood shed by the Regiment taking the Escaut river.
148th Infantry Regimental crest.
When I was in the unit it was common practice to paint a Infantry blue fleur-de-lis on the bumper of each of the battalions’ vehicles. Even though the 148th is a regimental designation, since WWII the unit has only existed as a single battalion…therefore while it is technically incorrect to call it the “148th Infantry Battalion”, it is acceptable in most common conversation to call it such without harm. Sadly, it has come to my attention that this practice has been discontinued and forgotten. It probably happened after Operation Noble Eagle when a “coup” of sorts occurred in our leadership and all of a sudden we went from being called the “WE’LL DO IT” battalion to the “Voodoo Battalion”….excuse me? Did I miss something? When the hell did the unit ever do anything or serve anywhere (other than supporting Hurricane Katrina operations in New Orleans AFTER ONE was done) that would link it to Voodoo at all? They even tried to change our symbol from the fleur-de-lis to some retarded skull and rifle thing…its even on the Global Security website…that sucks!
Just say NO!
Despite the unit record in WWI, its much better known to historians for what it did in WWII in the Pacific Theater. As a member unit of the famed 37th “Buckeye” Division, the 148th fought bravely in the Pacific against a tenacious Japanese opponent that did not give or take quarter and made the unit pay dearly for every foot of ground gained. The unit was called “The Liberators of Manila” for their actions in that city in the Philippines. It was a common saying among veterans and historians of the war that even though the unit did not participate in the Normandy Landings in Europe on D-Day, as far as the ferocity and scale of the fighting that “Manila would do”.
The unit claims seven Medal of Honor winners, including the Famed Private Roger Young, and multiple unit citations to include the Presidential Unit Citation, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, the Army Superior Unit Award and other foreign decorations.
All in all, with a group made up of guys from that unit…I feel I am in pretty good company.