But My MOS is 11E10R6
3/12th Cavalry, 1973 - 1976
Original trained as “11echo” (M60 armor crewmen), after AIT training, I received additional “Redeye” (anti-aircraft missile) training just after AIT school. Most all the rest of my armor AIT class went on to train on the Sheridan M551 “tank” or was assigned to regular armor units. After you had, and passed this additional training, an attachment was added to your MOS title. People taking the Sheridan training received an R8 attachment, …Redeye was an R6. …SO as I looked at my paperwork with all the other people being assigned to units in Germany most had the 11E10R8 MOS …mine was the only 11E10R6 on the sheet. …you could almost guess what was going to happen! …SO I was “mis-assigned” to Alpha Troop 3rd Squadron. 12th CAV …by an error reading my MOS.
As I stood before the company commander he was putting me down in his roster with my MOS title and the conversation goes something like this:
CPT: ”Lets see your 11E10R6!?? ..Ooh that’s a mistake …I’ll change that”!
ME: “No Sir, that’s not a mistake!
CPT: “What!?? …You’re not R8? …So what’s a R6?”
ME: “That’s a Redeye attachment Sir.”
CPT: “REDEYE!?? …They are only in Headquarters & Headquarters Troop (HHT). Let me put in a call to Capt. Johnson in HHT and see if he has any openings.” …He picks up the phone and leans back in his chair and the charade starts …”Hello Captain Johnson this is Captain Watts in Alpha Troop, hey I got a trooper here that’s been misassigned, he’s Redeye trained!” …a bit of silence then …”Oh full up Huh!?? …Most of Redeye is just pulling extra duties!?? …Well OK, we’ll see what he wants to do, thanks again.”
CPT: “Redeye section is full up, sounds like most the people there are just doing extra duties. …So would you like to try O.J.T. on the Sheridans and remain here?”
ME: “Well Sir since Redeye is full, I’ll try the O.J.T. …I like a challenge!”
How naive I was! This whole conversation was done for me, and I swallowed it hook, line, and sinker! …So I was assigned to Alpha troop, OJT on a Sheridan …not for long, as it ended up! …But for now I was put on the Platoon Segeant's track (A15). I had NO training on the Sheridan, and as you may remember NOBODY had a full crew during this time. So when I got on board the track there was nobody to help me (the Platoon Sergeant seemed to be “busy” else where)!
I had trained on M60s but this M551 was no where like a 60, but after looking over this machine I did notice the air cleaner indicator signal was like the ones on a M60 and this one was in the red. This meant that the filter was dirty so I pulled the filter, but had no idea what to do to clean it. I guess I looked pretty puzzled because the driver of the next track (A14) asked what was wrong. I told him and he took the time to show me how to hook up an air line to the breach air system and blow the filter out. We became fast friends, SP/4 Dave "Barney" Bartnez. He showed me alot! I spent the next 6 months learning about the Sheridan and running around with A Troop on field training and exercises.
About this time I was in the mess hall waiting in the chow line and talking with another buddy, he was talking about being at Fort Bliss with the 13th CAV. I piped up and said “I was at Fort Bliss for Redeye missile training”! The guy next to me in line turned around and asked “YOU had Redeye training?” I told him “YUP, sure did! I got number one in class and got to shoot the missile and everything!” …He didn’t say another word.
Next morning at formation the Platoon Sergeant called me out and said that I was to go over to HHT and “temporary” help the Redeye section. They were going thru a Division Redeye test, and they were short of people as it turned out … (NOT like Captain Watts had indicated!) …So I trained with the Redeye section for about 3 weeks and on Dec. 7th 1973 we took the Division test. As it ended up my team got No.1 in Division. (Sgt. Robert "MO" Molin & myself) HHT & Redeye section never let me go back! So I was transferred to HHT. (with a little resistance from A Troop) It turned out to be one of the best times of my life! …But it was one of the saddest too!
(L) Dave (Barney) Bartnez (R) Mark Layport
June 74, I was going home on leave. Barney still in A Troop., he was E.T.S.ing out of the Army. I joked "I'd beat him home"! …And he'd joke "Yeah, but you got to come back"! A month later I was walking thru the gate, back from leave. I knew the SP at the gate and he asking if I just got off leave? I don't know what gave it away? My new suit or a 3 week old beard!?? He turns serious, and asked if I knew about Barney? I said Yeah I knew he E.T.S. out. He then says …"But Barney drown 3 weeks later"! I didn't want to believe it! But two days later my old Platoon Sergeant from A Troop stopped me for a donation for flowers for Barney's family!
Barney is still with me to this day! As are all of 3/12th CAV troopers! I still think of Barney & them often. Funny there were times I hated it there! …But at this time in my life I wish I was back!
…Remember "If you ain't cold, wet, hungry, & tired you ain't CAV! And if you ain’t CAV, you ain’t SH*T!"