RIGHT OF THE LINE
| MY UNIT
Also known as "your other left"
Most of us probably
remember our first ride into “CA” (combat assault); many of us probably
cannot forget it! Mine was one of
Freshly attached to
a Cacti grunt unit, I go out in the field as their FO.
Anticipation runs high, naturally, as well as a few other things running
down your leg as you await your fate. The
chopper is flying over a berm when we get the order to “move out”. (Depending
on how high the chopper pilot dumps you, it may be more accurate to say “drop
The first reaction
of any well-trained troop is to hit the ground and take cover immediately, if
not sooner. So I execute a PLF
(Parachute Landing Fall) to perfection; better than any Airborne trooper ever did.
I’m right proud of myself. Then
I hear a voice call out from the other side of the berm: “Hey,
Lieutenant….are you hit”? “No,”
I respond…”I’m just fine”. Then
the voice says: “Well, that’s good! (Pause)
You think you might wanna join us on
this side of the berm?”
I looked around and
saw that I was the only one on my side of the berm. I
“zagged” when I should have “zigged”.
The whole outfit was on the other side of the berm. A
good PLF was wasted; I guess I only impressed myself.
Helluva way to start your tour as an FO!
by Lt. Jim T. James