Bio- Elliott, Richard (Rick), SFC(R), U.S. Army
10/6/1976 – 05/31/94 and 8/3/1994 – 2/29/1996
I joined the Army at the age of 18. I attended Basic Training at Ft. Knox KY followed by Infantry AIT in Ft Benning GA. On the two days before AIT graduation the call came in that my wife had given birth to our first child back in PA. Her timing could not have been better, no countless grad ceremony practices and endless ours of barracks cleanup before we shipped out. In both basic and AIT, we were housed in the old WWII wooden barracks. The ones in Ft Knox were maintained to T, the ones in Ft Benning (Harmony Church), not so much. Benning was going through a modernization with new barracks being built in the Sand Hill area. Ours were slated to be torn down once Sand Hill was complete.
After spending 30 days home on leave with my new daughter, I was off to my first assignment. I was assigned to A Co, 2nd BN, 27nd INF, Wolfhounds, 25 INF DIV, Scholfield Barracks HI. This was a light infantry assignment for three years. While assigned here I was promoted from E2 through E5 and attend PNCOC and Recondo School (bad ass/kick ass course!). My second assignment there was with C Co, 1 BN, 5th INF BN, Wildcats, as a Squad Leader.
My second assignment had me going to Germany. While on leave I contacted DA and was lucky enough to have that changed to Ft Stewart GA. The day I arrived I ran into my CSM from Hawaii. Though I was slated for a Sqd Ldr position in a Mech unit, the CSM pulled me to work in his S3 shop. While stationed here I was promoted to SSG, attended BNCOC, and earn my EIB.
My third assignment found me back on orders for Germany with Co A, 2 BN, 22 INF, 5th ID, in Wiesbaden. This was my first exposure to Mech Inf (M113). While here I completed ANCOC and made the E7 list. Due to major restructuring within the Army and the near furture introduction of the Bradley, my unit was being disbanded and my assignment cut short, with my rotation back to the states moved up by six months.
My fourth assignment was Ft Benning GA, where it all started, Home of the Infantry! I was slotted for the Drill Sergeant Course. I was a Drill on Sand Hill, where the new facilities were being built when I was a private in AIT. While on drill status I was promoted to E7. I was able to attended Airborne School, complete ANCOC and attend the Ranger Course. My last year assignment there was as a Detachment 1SGT, Brigade HQ.
My fifth assignment had me slotted as the NCOIC of Operations and MS 3 Advisor, at the Univ. of New Hampshire ROTC (TRADOC). This was a four-year assignment. This was the time frame of Desert Storm. Try getting out of a TRADOC assignment when the shit is going down. Stock in the rear!
My next assignment had me back in Germany, NCOIC The Law Firm, G3 Plans, V Corp HQ in Frankfort. Yeah, same thing I asked myself when I read the orders;….. “What the hell is The Law Firm?”. Let’s just say it was a very small group working with a major contractor on a concept of a command and control item. I later became the NCOIC of G3 Plans. This was the time frame when we were doing the planning for Bosnia. While assigned here I attended the Battle Staff Course at the SGT’s Major Academy. This was a resident course, lock step, tough and demanding. You kept up or washed out. Unfortunately, this course saddled me with an ASI that would target me for staff positions, didn’t realize when I volunteered……… I know…I know…… After completion of the course and near the time for my next assignment, I called DA to see what they had in store for me. You guessed it…..all NCOIC staff positions. As much as I tried to get back to a line unit, DA was not having it.
Also, during this assignment the Army was going through serious down sizing. They were cutting the ranks across the board, it was becoming more and more difficult to get promoted and they were offering early retirements. This was when they, for the first time ever, offered early retirements to 11B. I was stuck in the middle. I could not get back to a line unit, could not get promoted unless in a line unit, huge influx of CIB NCOs versus we that were stuck in TRADOC positions when the shit went down ect, ect, ect….. So, I took the benefits of a full retirement and got out. Three months later I was called back onto active duty to expand JROTC in the northeast. I did this until Feb 1996, when I re-retired and taught the JROTC Program for the next four years at one of the schools I had helped to establish.
After 23 years of wearing the uniform, it was time to hang it up. Besides, I got a hell of an offer for another job.