here --->

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 the latter.  

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 out”).  

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!


Submitted by Lt. Jim T. James