NIKE AJAX AND HERCULES
ORDNANCE SUPPORT UNIT
SHORT, TALL STORIES
Air Defense Artillery
For 3 years and 30
days I gave the US Army the right to be my team leader. This story will explain
why my commanding officer was / is a good leader. My duty station was A-Battery,
3rd. Missile Battalion, 68th. Artillery, Roberts, WI. The base was quite small,
about 150 military personal. Everyone knew each other quite well "AHHHHH" the
good times in New Richmond, Summerset, and Roberts etc. For the most part we
were made to feel we were not in the Army.
Myself and about 12 other guys were pulling 24-hour Missile security. This meant for 24 hours you slept with a sawed off shotgun and a 45 to protect our world.
One summer evening while we were doing our honorable duty, the Captain in his unquestionable wisdom decided to do a security check at security post # 3. In the guard shack there were 3 phones, a commercial line that required a switchboard operator to connect you to other phones; a field phone for emergency use [if other phones were out of action] and a direct line to the ready barracks.
The story is set.
The Captain attacks post # 3; the guard catches onto the attack and calls for backup from the ready barracks using the field phone. At about the same time the good guard was asking the attackers to identify them selves. After 3 calls and not receiving a response the good guard had to fire at the enemy and shot the heel off of the Captain's boot. At this point the Captain felt it might be a good idea to identify himself.
As this was going on the Sergeant of the guard left me in charge of the ready barracks with all of those phones and took the other security personnel to be where the action was. The commercial line rings, in a split second I decide the Capt. would use the field phone or the direct line to talk to me.
I picked up the phone and said "Roberts Rocket Center Captain Midnight speaking". Needless to say the real Capt. was in no mood for Capt. Midnight and said ''well Capt. Midnight this is Capt. Hanson and you are now Pvt. Werner''. After the smoke cleared, the Capt. got to thinking about his rash and poor decision to take my rank from me. He called me to his office and explained that he had no choice but to take my rank as others heard what he said but did not hear what you had said. He also explained if his foot did not sting so badly at that moment he would have reacted more calmly. What is done is done he said but I have 6 mo. left on my tour at this base and I will make you a Corporal [I was a specialist E4 before the bust] before I am reassigned and he did.
The office part was true teambuilding through leadership. This story is told in a documentary about my base by one of the TV Stations in St. Paul, Minn.