The mission of the Emerald Empire Chapter of MOAA is to advocate for our military community and connect it to the nation we serve.


Emerald Empire Chapter

Military Officers Association of America


There I was:

In the early 1970's I was a dashing young Army Combat Engineer Lt. stationed with the 547th CBT ENGR BN in Darmstadt Germany. One year during our annual 3-day tactical test I, as the senior Lt. in the company, commanded the center line for the pontoon bridge we were building across the Mainz River. It was the third night of the test, and because we had a very weak company commander, I had to carry much of the load so had not had much sleep. The other two platoons in the company assembled each pontoon and sent them to my platoon to assemble the bridge. Everything was going very smoothly when a cavalry Lt. whom I had never seen before came out of the dark at my elbow. He informed me that he was the point for the armored column that would be going across my bridge. This was news to me but I was pleased that we would actually have someone use our bridge. I informed him that everything was going well and gave him my estimate for completion of the bridge. Shortly, within minutes of completing the bridge, I could hear the roar of the flying column as they rushed down the bank and across the bridge. I was mesmerized as my sergeants and I the watched the armored vehicles rush across the bridge. Before long I realized that I was sitting in my jeep covered in mud as my team of sergeants stood around with huge grins on their faces. My platoon sergeant informed me that I had fallen asleep on my feet and had toppled over into the mud.

Even though I begged my sergeants for secrecy, my battalion commander told the other officers in the battalion this story during the Hail and Farewell when I was leaving the battalion for Korea. I refuse to repeat the other story that my commander told.


Submitted by: Bob Beck, LTC, USA Ret

​              ...just for grins