Moving Out: To Bragg and Beyond
Green Bay, WI—The overseas deployment of the 432nd Civil Affairs Company officially began with the paperwork and telephone calls that eventually had unit members dressed and ready to go on Sunday, January 6, 1991. Unofficially however, initial responses ran the gamut of personal emotions, ranging from eager anticipation to deep reservations.
The feelings all came together during the last formation of the 432nd in Green Bay. The formation on January 5 had been beefed up with additional troops from the parent unit, the 308th Civil Affairs Group from Homewood, Illinois and the 415th CA Company from Kalamazoo, Michigan. Green Bay’s mayor, Sam Halloin, made it clear that our home town was behind us. After the mayor’s speech, the 432nd’s commander, LTC James A. Christopherson, then addressed the troops. His own personal struggle with saying goodbye strongly reflected the depths of each member’s own struggle, leaving behind loved ones and friends. The 432nd was dismissed, and it was left for Sunday to do the dispersing.
On Sunday, members of the unit left Green Bay in a great variety of ways and times. Some rode the bus to Milwaukee’s Mitchell Airfield; others flew out from Green Bay’s Austin Straubel Airport. Gradually however, the unit converged on Fayetteville, North Carolina for the ride to nearby Ft. Bragg. Once there, the difficulties of leaving home must have been partially relieved by the balmy weather which greeted the company. Sunday’s temperature of 67 degrees was a welcome change from the near zero weather that was far less than pleasant for almost the entire period of the 432nd’s stay at Ft. Bragg. Within a day after arriving, the temeperature dropped and the troops had to adapt to calithenics iand common task training in cold and lightly rainy weather. Being used to Wisconsin winters helped only slightly when it came to assuming the leaning prone position on the cold, wet Carolina ground, or pushing through the soaked underbrush following a compass course on a day which members were convinced was deliberately planned to be on the rainiest day of the entire stay at Ft. Bragg.
- I moved to Green Bay out of Officer Basic Course in June, 1990. My first priority was to find a civilian job, so I did not devote too much effort to finding a slot in a local unit. I had talked to LTC Chistopherson about joining the 432nd, but hadn’t made a decision. Then I heard the unit was being activated. I had three days to transfer out of the Arizona National Guard (my last assignment prior to OBC), into the Inactive Ready Reserve, out of the IRR, and into the 432nd. I rammed through that complicated transfer process in record time totally by phone and fax. I made it with only hours to spare. I didn’t want to miss out on the fun!
|Official History Main||Page 1||Page 2|