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25th Anniversary: US Army Retired 01 FEB 1987

I was walking up a steep incline on Thunderbird Mountain the other day. To help push myself along, I broke into silent cadence, “You’re standin’ tall, your lookin’ good, oughta be in Hollywood…”

I wasn’t singing loud enough for anyone to hear me. When I reached the top, it hit me. My retirement date is coming up! Well, 25 years ago today, I retired from the Army. I was inducted in Newark, NJ on 28 Sep 1965.

There are many things I have forgotten, but I do remember how to count cadence. I’m not surprised because being a Drill Sergeant at Ft. Dix NJ was one of my favorite assignments.

This photo was taken on 13 Mar 1975 when BG Forney congratulated me on being selected DRILL SGT OF THE CYCLE. The next photo was taken for the same event and printed in the local newspaper.

Ft Dix 1975

I should have been in Hollywood! Great photo if I say so myself!

About $300 a month (I think); what’s not to like — long hours, got to work outside a lot — hey, it was great.

I’ve taken a lot more time remembering than I have writing on this post.

It was a privilege to hold MOS 00F for those special 3 years or so.

You know, I’m still that guy in uniform deep down inside. I’ve changed; things have changed, but the Army was a special time in life and will always be part of me.

Although it is fun to look back at retirement and remember the people and places, the good times and the tough times, I never really will retire. Let me explain. Seasons in our life change; things come and go, but as a soldier and servant of the King of Kings, Jesus Christ, I don’t believe the Apostle Paul ever wrote an epistle about retirement. Why?

We look forward, not back. We don’t retire from doing good. We don’t retire from serving people. We don’t retire from living as Jesus commanded – to love others. All humanity was created by God with dignity, even Army basic trainees.

John the Baptist talked to some soldiers in the book of Luke: Those serving as soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he replied to them, “Never demand or enforce by terrifying people or by accusing them wrongfully, and always be satisfied with your rations (supplies) and with your allowance (wages). (Luke 3:14 AMP)

My 4th Platoon, 26 Jan 1974

Did these youngsters in my platoon (26 Jan 1974) see me that way? Still good advice for today. In any case, I may be unemployed, but I’m not retired. I haven’t had a scotch on the rocks for ages. This occasion calls for it, don’t you think? Drill Sergeant, you are still standin’ tall and lookin’ good.

Categories: Commentary

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Poet, Writer, US Army (Retired)

I dreamed of writing when I was a youngster. The love of books and writing may have helped to dull the pain of severe sexual abuse as I was sexually abused by two men at my father’s place of work from age 8 to 12 or so. I learned about this for the first time when I was 50 years old. So, as a boy, reading was the only place I had to go to. My fantasy world was better and safer than my real world. I loved reading and writing.
Reading books and writing poetry are a joy to me still and are an important part of my life. (See my About Me page on my blog for the complete profile.)

14 replies

    1. You know I enjoyed my time with Jacobs and Lilly; you never heard me tell anyone to drop and give me ten, did you? Although, there were times when it may have crossed my mind.


  1. My father never stopped being a soldier either, especially when the American Flag was being flown. He would always rise when a flag came into the room and stood, what seemed like at attention, with shoulders back and his hand over his heart. The Army has produced some fine men as I am sure any branch of the military did.

    Once again thank you for your service and the wonderful comment on my blog.

    God Bless


      1. You were my drill sergeant Jan. 73. I was a hard head and you got me through what it took to move on. I’m shocked and elated to have come across this post. Thank you for your service Drill Sergeant.

        Ronald Boehlert


          1. Ronald, responding to both here. Thank you for contacting me and appreciate your kind words. The pleasure was mine. Your BCT cycle graduated on 3/13/75; I found a platoon photo that I’m sending to you separately. Again thanks. — Alan


          2. Mr. Slaff
            I recently contacted you in October I believe.
            You had sent me my picture of my cycle, January 1975.
            My email has since been hacked and I’ve lost that communication we had. Would you kindly send me the 2 pictures that you had previously sent?Notice my email address is different from before.
            Thank you so much!
            Ronald Boehlert


  2. Hello. You were my drill sergeant in July 1975. I was looking about for army basic info and came across this. I retired after 20 in 1995. My 18 year old son is leaving for basic in two weeks.


    1. Hello David. Congratulations are in order – we both got through your basic training cycle; your service, sir; and the best to your son. My middle grandson just graduated from basic at Ft Benning in May, on his way to Ft Gordon, so the cycle continues. 1975 was a few days ago and DS memories are good ones for me. Thanks again.


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