• Ron Morse

    I was stationed at Barstow, CA about 60 miles from Ft Irwin with the the USMC (1953-55) as a MP. However, we were TDY at Ft Irwin as Rifle Instructors, instructing the Army to qualify with the M1 Carbine. We slept in Tents during the whole time. Things I remember:
    We started firing at 0600 and had to quit o/a 0900-1000 the heat from the sands rising we couldn’t see the targets.
    One other thing while TDY we Army/USMC had to have a tie on to go to the PX or movies. To this day I believe the Commander of the Post was as nutting as a fruit cake.
    We had problems on the ranges constantly keeping the solders to have the M1 Carbine down range when firing, we lost a couple of Marines. This was a standard weapons for Tankers at that time.
    Also, the main mission at Ft Irwin was tank training, I remember about 1000 hours they had to quit training,
    Fort Irwin, if I remember right was 30-40 miles from Dead Valley.
    Ron Morse, CPL USMC

  • karen

    i went out there a few years ago for an A.T.
    it was enjoyable for the most part… got to take a copter ride over the desert. didn’t see any turtles or snakes, plenty of coyote… just don’t feed them!

  • Bob Poole II

    I was stationed at Fort Irwin (NTC) from mid 84 thru late 86. The NTC was still young then (less than two years old). I was in HHC 6/31 Inf. We had two battalions in the OPFOR then. 1/73 Armor and 6/31 Inf. We used to trade off control of the rotations back then. Our Bn Cdr was LTC Schneeberger. He was a damn fine commander. The Armor battalion was commanded if I remember correctly was a guy named LTC Janes. I worked in the S-3 shop for about a year, and then moved to the mortar platoon. Left there around Sep/Oct 86 and went back to Ft Bragg. I have missed that place alot of times. It sure grows on you without a doubt. Definitely one of the best assignments I ever had. I learned alot about the Army at that post. Would like to go see it again someday. I remember having cookouts in Jackass Park, mortar training in Berm Park behind the motor pool, EIB training across from the Bn Hq, the Whale, OP Tony, OP Bone, 720, 760, Chinaman’s Hat, The Whale Gap, Furlong Ridge, Afghanistan, Tiefort, Tiefort Pass, the Valley of Death, Langford Wells Lake, Bike Lake so many other places. Seems like yesterday.

  • Mary Martz

    I am a civilian and worked in the Family Housing Office from 1996 to 2002. I also helped families find housing in Barstow until housing became available on post. There were so many famiies that I fell in love with and pray that they are all well. I am so proud of them and what they do for our country, some leaving their families behind. I hope that you all come home well and please email me and let me know that you are safe. I was always involved with FT. Irwin’s chapter of AUSA and particularly the maintenance organizations trained by COL’s Lake, Kelly, Booze, Walden and Woodhurst. Take care and God bless you and your families. Respectfully, Mary Somerfield-Martz876981

  • Jeff Allen

    You’re a lucky man, I envy you. I was stationed at NTC for seven years, retired in ’03 from there. It was the best place/training/most fun duty station I ever had in my 21 years. Being OPFOR for the rest of the army is what made the 11th ACR the best desert fighting force our country has ever produced. I only wish I was still a part of it. Please don’t pass up the opportunity to watch the sunlight reflect off the north wall in the early morning, the rainbow of colors displayed for those few minutes will stop you in your tracks. If you get the chance to go way up north pass Echo Valley in the winter after a dusting of snow, take it even if you have to ride in the back of a duece and a half. Seeing the desert covered in a blanket of snow is a sight I will never forget. Yea it’s hot there but just drink plenty of WATER and enjoy it while you can. Life’s an adventure, LIVESTRONG!

  • kb

    I have been a truck driver since the begining of time when the dino’s wouldn’t get out of the way and they were like vast tree trucks always in the way. I complained one day about something, I can’t even remember and they sent me to Fort Irwin, where I’m sure the heated complaints still flow to this day.
    Seriously, as a woman truck driver 20 years ago I was not allowed to take my BDU top off as my breasts contained in my T-Shirt may have offended the Forts rodent population. So while the guys were allowed to work in their T-Shirts I was not.
    My memories, to say the least, of Fort Irwin are not pleasant ones. Though working in an outdoor sauna I was able to maintain my weight more readily to military standards.

  • Nickie Scott

    Being a Army wife for 23 years. I have to say I did like Ft.Irwin..So did my kids. They loves the lizzards.. My now EX- husband was OPFOR too. He loved it. He was on the Bradley M1-A1 I think you call it. Just not a TANK..lol I miss being there. Yes it was hot there. But the heat was differant then it is here in Illinois. My EX-husband retired from there in May of 94. But I remember Bartow being only 35 miles from Ft.Irwin..Not 60…lol Maybe I’m wrong. Ft.Irwin is a good experiance to have..Even if I did have a bobcat for a neighbor. Til the M.P’s finally caught her. There was a lot of Coyotes. I did see the turtles no snakes thank god. y daughter started kindergarden there and my son was in the 2nd grade. They tak about Ft.Iriwn still today.

  • Tina

    What i remember most about Ft. Irwin is the water……hehe..I was there in 1998 and 8 out of 10 women were pregnant. Was there nothing else to do ? I have to say my experience there wasn’t bad except for the long lines to get on and off post. (i lived in Barstow on USMC post)
    I really miss my friends there and wish them well in life.

  • stacey brown

    i was at ft irwin from dec 1999 to april 2003. i worked 32 rotations. it was nice knowing your when time off was. all the box cars down range i help put them there. after the army sent all the het drives to the other sand box S&T,RSS,11ACR had a very small crew to run 6 hets but we did it. i miss driving my het down range and watch the sun come or go down. well hell ft irwin is were i meet my to be husband SGT. tom masters.

  • Rafael

    I was a medic assigned to HHC 6/31th INF from 84-87 most of my times was assigned to Alpha and Charlie Company. I miss that place sometimes driving in the middle of the night and doing attacks in the early morning inside of a sheridan. Good memories.

  • T. J. O’Donnell,USMC

    I just hated the Bus Ride from Barstow to Fort Irwin. To Me it seem like a very long ride. I served under Warrent Officer Mark Pope USMC.
    T. J. O’Donnell Sgt USMC

  • Norman J Caldwell, Maj Arty, Ret

    My associatin with Ft Irwin started in 1950 when I was a private in the Cakifornia National Guard, Hq &nHq Btry, 251st AAA Group from San Diego, CA. Was sent to OCS and in 1953 was ordered to active duty. Again, traveled to Camp Irwin 4 times a year for range firing of our 90mm guns, went bact to the 40th Armd Div and again spent several week at Ft Irwin. My last unit I served with was the 1/111 ARC which spent many week ends anfd our annul 2 week training period there. When I firs arrived at Camp Irwin all buildings except Weed Hospital & the officers clun ( courtesy of Gen Patton)were covered with asbetbtos tiles. Five men to a hut. In all of those years I can say it was the best post that I was ever assigned to.

  • Hal Fuller

    One of the best assignments ever, People were great, focused on a common mission, It was my pleasure to help improve the facilities and living conditions for the soldiers and families at that remote location. Col Fuller, Deputy Commander for Support and Garrison Commander

  • charlie “cheese

    Ft Irwin 84-86 1St Platoon, A Co., 6/31 INF
    Battlion CMDR LTC Schneeberger
    CO CMDR CPT Hagen
    Great memories of the “Polar Bear Battllion” and OPFOR mission. Thinking about it, I can still taste the dust and sand in my mouth. Driving a BMP/ Sheridan for two years and logging thousands of miles & missions was a blast
    Everything in-between rotations, Motorpool, waiting, waiting, and waiting.
    The honor of working with the finest men this country has to offer, each from a very diverse backgrounds….forged into an awesome, dedicated force.
    San Diego, Riverside (Club Metro)

  • Lt Ted Coulter

    Boy now that brings back memories. I was a young Lt at Ft Irwin from 82-85. 6/31st Company under Col Stull and later in S-3 under Bob Jordan great men…I still think of Col Hamby once in awhile> I stay in touch with Pete Piece Lt C Company 84-87 and would love to talk to Bob Jordan, Col Stull. I would love to find John Rowland who was an Lt in 6/31st and later Batll
    Commo Officer..Those were the days,,,the best of times and worst of times..I am very pround to have served there

  • Lt Ted Coulter

    Boy now that brings back memories. I was a young Lt at Ft Irwin from 82-85. 6/31st Company under Col Stull and later in S-3 under Bob Jordan great men…I still think of Col Hamby once in awhile> I stay in touch with Pete Piece Lt C Company 84-87 and would love to talk to Bob Jordan, Col Stull. I would love to find John Rowland who was an Lt in 6/31st and later Batll
    Commo Officer..Those were the days,,,the best of times and worst of times..I am very pround to have served there

  • Lee Gwaltney

    My first trip to Irwin was in winter 1980 (before the NTC) with 1st ID. Did a few rotations with 24th ID. Stationed there from 1985 to 1990 with 1-73 AR (later 1-63). Commanded Charlie Company 88-89. Did 50 OPFOR rotations and loved almost every minute of it.
    Great Soldiers I worked with: 1SG Bittay, SFC Houle (RIP), 1SG Prugginan, 1SG Angel, COL Roper, LTC Etchechury, LTC Manza, CPT Scocos, LT Deal, LT Hack, CPT Hampton,CPT Wood,CPT Rice, LTC Brumley, MAJ Moore. I wish I could remember more of your names but I just turned 50 and that part of my body is not working so well anymore. The most professional group of soldiers I ever served with were found at NTC.
    For COL Doug Nash, I talked with COL Fuller back in the early ’90’s. He had retired and was in Cocoa, FL working for Johnson Controls, sorry I can’t give more current info.

  • Jim Sabatello

    I was stationed at Fort Irwin 82-85 with HHC/ avaition & would like to find others who were out @ Dagget airport. Best time of my life! ( I also remember flying Col. Hamby on our helicopter)

  • Brad

    Un-Freaking believable that I found this site..I was in HHC 6/31st INF Morters/Opfor, 85-87 with SP4 Poole, SP4 Kelly, SSG. Brown, SGT. Leslie, PFC Juzwiak, PFC Kraft, PFC Knight, SP4 Hope, SSG Lockwood (Now S.F) SGT Clark, SP4 Middlebrooke, SGT Ferguson, SPC Elliot (now SGT).
    Man those were the good old days. I remember all those rotations at O dark thirty smashing Blue Force in the Teeth. The turning around and heading out to four corners to live fire our 4.2


    I was stationed at FT IRWIN 82-84 CSC 1/73 ARMOR scout platoon i worked with SFC CALHOUN and later SFC NOWAK ,LT MOODY AND LT MARSHALL . I had alot of good times and learned alot . Thanks for the memories.

  • Steve Larch

    B Co. 1/52 3rd Platoon
    Looking back I loved the area and worked with a lot of good people. Wish you all the best.

  • John Bittay

    Greetings from Taji, Iraq
    I arrived at NTC in April 81,
    C co. 1/73 Armor Hq Tank section
    B co. 1/73 Armor PSG/Co Mastergunner
    Left in 84. Lots of rotations later
    Back in 86,
    D co. 1/63 Armor PSG
    HHC Bn. Master Gunner
    C co. 1/63 First Sergeant
    Left 89 Retired 95
    Now I’m working for the company that builds the Bradley and all the other tracked vehicles, except the M-1 Tank. I’ve been in Iraq, the last 2 years.

  • Larry Cicale

    I arrived at Fort Irwin in 83 and left in 87, assigned to A Co 6/31 (polar bears). I remember Col. “Smokin Joe” Stull well, as well as Col. “Bear” Hamby. I first met Col. Hamby in the 6/31 motor pool, where he asked me what I was chewing on and if I had any more. I handed him what was left of my bag of “Red Man”. From that point on, there were numerous ocasions when Col. Hamby would show up on the NTC battle field in his jeep with a fresh bag of Red Man for me or to hit me up for a resupply of his own. The tragic loss of Col. Hamby effected many soldiers. He was truly an Officer for the soldiers. I left Fort Irwin but returned in 89 untill 91. Again, forged many fond memories of the great Officers, NCO’s and Troops I had the honor to serve with. Looking forward to hearing from others from the OPFOR gang. cicale@sbcglobal.net

    • Charlie Schoenberger

      still got the V-Dub “waycul”, good times. all the best, Cheeseburger

    • McKeithan Smith, Jr.

      So you were in Co.
      I was the 1SG of that company.Left in 1984. Many fond memories of the place.Sfc Dapice and others, like SSG Bess, my chow man.
      Best wishes,
      McKeithan Smith,Jr.
      CSM, USA Retired

  • Tom Holmes

    Great to see everybody here. Were those the days, or what?
    A tip of the hat for SFC Joe Houle (I helped his wife and son get back to Georgia after his death in 87 and saw them again a year later in Savannah while at IOAC). “If you can talk with kings yet keep the common touch” – that was Joe.
    The same for COL Jerrell Hamby, lost on a freezing morning 1 Feb 85 on the road between Four Corners and Granite Pass. I got the impression from the NTC website that the Order of Hamby was recently discontinued – someone correct me if I’m wrong.
    Thanks to LTC Bill Janes for “you’re welcome on my net but your language is not” and COL Pete Manza (Mr. Big) for “you help your boss, Lieutenant, or I’ll rip your throat out”.
    And CPT Ed Wagamon for showing a young tanker how to understand and appreciate every fold and dip of the terrain by getting off your tank and lying on the ground and looking.
    And everyone that drove, fired, fixed, froze, and sweated. Whatever it was out there, I think that’s what they call esprit de corps, eh?
    32nd Guards MRR, 84-88

  • John Hicks

    I was stationed at ft Irwin from 3/83 to 10/84. It was my first duty station. I was in the 1/73rd and drove a fuel truck (49c) Our commander was capt Jones (had a mustache like hitler) and the 1st sergeant was John Voorhees. All I remember is being in the field all the time and seeing scorpians running around in the motor pool. Our platoon was pol, truck drivers and ammo. I can’t beleive I found this page!

    • Tim Freitas

      Hey my name is Tim Freitas. My First Sgt was Voorhees too! Our platoon Sgt was Oates. Tall lanky guy. By chance do you remember me?

    • Burdge Monro III

      My name is Burdge Monro. I was at Ft. Irwin from june 84 to Jan 87. I remember 1st sgt. Voorhees but not capt. Jones. I started in HHC Maint, 1/73rd, then went to A co. when they disbanded HHC maint.

  • geddes66

    I was there, Bco 1/73 (then) 1/63 (or vica versa). Tank gunner, Tank Commander. Most vivid memory… Getting permission from Range Control and going to the C-130 wreck on “Crash Hill” with our dirt bikes, getting lost, ending up in Death Valley (park), having to go to Baker on CA 127 to get gas coming back through Red Lake and getting back at 22:30.
    I had the run “The Guantlet” for that one. I refused, the Guantlet was for whoever screwed up DURING the rotation. THIS was our off time and it wasn’t fair. I didn’t run it. I walked it cursing every one of them with every lash. I think that was one of our new 1SG’s events. They never had another one of those.
    Funny, I cannot find “crash Hill” on Google Earth.
    I wish I could locate 1SG Angel

    • Steven Tessier

      Sgt. Geddes…are ya still trying to get in contact w/1SG Angell…? My name is Steven Tessier, we both worked in the same company. Don’t know if you remember me, but I remember you well. Hope this message gets to you and finds you in good shape.

  • geddes66

    Those were good times.

  • Steven J.Tessier

    Five fun years at the NTC.1983 thru 1988. A.Co., 1/73 Armor with Cpt Clyde T. Wilson,1SG Hamilton. Sir! I never meant to tell you to “Stand By” when you asked me for a “sitrep” during a Regimental Attack. But I’ll always have the memories of you chewing my ass afterwards. My oldest son is in the Army, stationed in Korea. My first bit of good advise to him is never tell Black 6 to “Stand By”. With A.Co I was also working for Cpt Wagamon, 1SG Skillinger.
    When with B.Co. Cpt Horn, Cpt Lucas, 1SG Bauer, 1SG Angell. When with HHC,Cpt McReynolds,(my Tank Commander as a young 2nd Lt) Support Plt Leader,Sfc Romero,Sfc Houle,Sfc Diaz(S-4).With the Opfor Academy, MSG Larry Blaine, and the list goes on. “Holy Cow”! Thanks to all of ya!

  • Steve Loos

    I was at Ft. Irwin from 1986 thru 1989. I drove tanks 005, 002 and 001.
    It was a major bummer when at times the tanks broke down in the field. But it was great when our tanks moved fast in that desert!!!!!!!!
    Steve Loos

  • W. Thompson

    Was at Irwin from 84-89 did 56 rotations. Cco 6/31-1/52.Sure sucked up a lot of dust going from one side to the other.Worked for Lt.Schaidhammer, Best LT. i ever worked for.

  • Lee Gwaltney

    For 1SG John Bittay…I hope you’re doing well and staying safe. Send me a message if you can; I’d like to catch up with you. It’s been an interesting 15 years since we last saw each other.
    Lee Gwaltney

  • Rob Westbrook

    My God, I didn’t realize any of us Original Opfor boys from A Co 1/73rd Armor were still kicking around. I was stationed there from 1981-1983. Great memories and much to be proud of. It’s good to see MSG Wagner is with us. He was the best Master Gunner I ever knew. Taught me more about the M60A1 series tank than is decent to repeat. It’s great to see all the old familiar names listed here once again.
    Cpt Clyde T. Wilson,1SG Hamilton, 1SG Skillinger and many others.


    I WAS STATIONED THERE 82-84 A 6/31

  • Schaidhammer

    I served as Platoon Leader and XO in C Co 1-34 from 85 to 88. (Captains Mixen, Houle and Nadeau) What a great education for a Lieutenant. I had the best driver in the company (yup – you Warren!). Went on to serve in Desert Storm with Dave Bither (A Co and Scouts). The experience we had from FT Irwin made a world of difference!

  • j. lafever

    Man I remember E.I.B.(expert infantryman badge)training there…..the worst….mt. tefort…coyotes painted rock and being I.D.’d by two guys in civilian cloths at a checkpoint over in goldstone….we were in a m106…4.2 mortar track in full combat gear…lol…but still had to stop and show this spook our military id’s..lol…god what forsaken place that was! Give me bavaria anyday over that hell pit! I was in HHC 1/52 inf. (opfor) mortar platoon from 90 to 92! God bless fellow Vets…I won’t ever forget my Army day’s!

  • Richardson, Brian

    What’s up Ft.Irwin fans? I was stationed at FT. Irwin from 85-88 the best memories I have is those of friends I met. Loved the loop was cool driving it in the a.m. I was in 31st maint. would be nice to hear from some old friends.. Arkel,Fillmore,Goddard stephen, and others if you happen upon this site..drop me a line (Richardson,Brian)

  • Joseph D. Bongiorno

    This is DOC, B.. HQ CO. 6/31 COMBAT MEDIC
    I was finishing a paper in my Collage Writing class and found this site. I got goose bumps for about 5 mins off and on. Brings back alot of great stories. If anyone remembers me send me a message. I also worked for DynCorp for 12plus years. I repaired/replaced broken windows out of my glass shop.
    God Bless the USA
    Joseph D. Bongiorno

  • SFC Bob Hurley (ret)

    Doug Nash!!!….You know who i am from the gd days at Ft.Knox in the 80s;
    I desperately need to talk to you about Lt.Leif Nott WP-2000,…> he was my son-in-law.+
    Iam ,, 351-5697…

  • Dave “Van Halen” Hallen

    Ft Irwin from ’80-’82. I’ve not seen a lot here from before 1982. It sure is great to see all the ol’ units on here!! Bco 6/”Dirty-Worst”!!!!

  • Jim Hutson

    I forget more than I remember :( 1/73 from 4/83 to 6/84. Drove CSM Burnett’s Jeep till he left, then drove LTC Abbate for a bit. I remember the “Bear” well me and CSM Burnett would meet him at O Dark thirty before the battles began and have pie and coffee at the back of the jeep. Sure miss those longs rides through dust with the Sgt Major, I learned alot about life from that guy! Sure Don’t miss Barstow Any!

  • Jim Brady

    This site sure brings back memories! Any old A Co. Polar Bear NCOs left alive from 81-82? All I can say is thank God we all grow up.

  • Rick Houltzhouser

    I got my first strips there and man did they puncture them in. Blood stripes. I was there frm Feb 83 to feb 85. We used mtlb’s with the marines from 29 palm’s. Saw my first real Special Forces operation there. From the dust to the bavarian mountains thats where most of us went.

  • John Gennari

    Ft Irwin 1982-1984 Aco 6/31st INF. Mannnnnnnnnnnnnn….I have great memories of Capt Furlong, Cpl Colp and SGT Kenner. Forgot most names. Climbed Tiferd Mountain, many rotaions on the Whale, Furlong Ridge and Airplane Ridge, I drove Sheridan and MTLB. Went to Germany then got out. Stayed in Reserves the whole time, now I am a E8 at Ft Brag Special Operations School as an IMA with 27 years of service. Earned BS in CRJ and just retired 20 years of service from Federal Service as a Criminal Investigator. Contact me if you can, I am with Blackwater also and served Bosnia, Iraq and Japan.

    • Ricky houltzhouser

      I was the driver for BoB Gaygos, B Co 6/31st Commander. 83/85 I lost several inches of hide in that hateful place. Those old as jeeps, kept falling apart. We had terrible equipment and still most of the Battlion was awareded the Expert Infantrymans badge, where i recieved mine. Houltzhouser.

  • Sue

    HI all.. I’m probably shooting in the dark here – but my husband and I were stationed at Fort Irwin (can’t remember the unit), from 85-87. He was killed in a car accident in Dec 87 – there may have been many on that stretch – but anyone recall? Just wondering if there are familiar names? I had some great friends but left abruptly. Thanks so…

    • Shook

      Was your husband an instructor at the OPFOR Academy ? Sgt. Carmen ? If so we all called him “High Speed” Sgt. Carmen because he always did things top notch. He was a great soldier. My sincere sympathies.

  • justin

    i was an OC w Scorpion team, 3 years out there, racing through Afghanistan, Siberia, The Wash; EIB in Hidden Valley, Live fires w Dragons; worked for Welks; friends Matsuda, Wells

    • Anthony

      yea those yer the days I worked with the lima’s on the live fire range SPC Robichaw

    • Robert McGeehan

      I was there as an oc with the dragons. D19 good memorys

  • Louie LeMaster

    Lets go back in time to 1966. In Sept. 1966 I had just completed BCT at Fort Bliss, Texas and was looking forward to a cooler place to be assigned after BCT. Well, guess what? I was on my way to Fort Irwin where I was assigned to the HQ CO U.S. Army Garrison (6019-00). I guess I was lucky to have obtained an MOS which placed me in the Data Processing Division. I worked for MSG Johnson in the DPD Section. The CO at this time was COL Robert J.C. Osborne.The DPD also had civilians working in the key punch and programming section.
    I recall an incident one night in the old barracks where a fight broke out and several windows were broken resulting in some guys going with the MP’s. The following night the company was sent on a “forced march” through the desert. We left about 5pm and some were still coming in at 6am the following morning. I wonder if anyone remembers that time. It would have been in late 1966 or early 1967.We also had some guys with the CA National Guard working at Fort Irwin in this section. Contact me if you were there during this period ot time.
    Louie LeMaster

    • Linda

      I was living at Ft. Irwin from 1964-1968. My dad was stationed there (he died in 2004). Do you remember LTC Alfred C. Nelson? I dated Col Osborne’s younger son, George. My dad ordered that forced march…he was tough as nails and expected everyone else to be the same.

    • Jim Gault

      Louie, I just went to this Ft. Irwin on line site a few weeks ago to see if anyone from 1966-67 was still kicking. I may have processed your travel pay when you came on post.
      I do recall a fight and a “forced march” as some guy took a bed poast and smashed a guy one night while he was in the latrine. While there I also took privite flying lession out at bicycle lake where the post controller was one of my instructers. I was one time supernumery of the guard and spent a day with Col Osborn but what I recall most was the Sgt Mgr of the post and how professional he was and he no doubt ran the place . just some memories of thoses years. Jim

  • Steven Tessier

    1SG Angell, Cpl Putiyun and myself were driving back in from bringing chow out to the field. It was cold, cold, windy and dark as hell. Other then trying to stay focued on the tank trail you couldn’t hear a think and if you talked, you had to scream so that the other could hear you. From out of nowhere and coming up from behind us, at a only one hundred feet off the ground, flys over us, this CH-47 Helicopter. I felt as though it was gonna suck us right off the ground. As it passed over us I could not help but feel my Chili-Mac passing through my bowels in a aggressive involuntary manner that took every ounce of strength to keep inside me. I hadn’t crap’d my pants in 26 years. On this night I almost did. Top was pissed! He got on the radio and called, I think range Control, and told them the situation with this Helicopter. They were able to patch him in directly to the Pilot, and to make a long story short, Top was gonna stomp a mud hole in his ass! The Pilot apoligized and said that he was not able to land at the air field and that he was going onto some other place. I thought to myself,”Lucky Guy”. I’m sure the Corporal wanted to get in on some of that action also. After all was said and done, we all looked at each other and laughed our ass’s off. But for a minute we thought we were dead meat. Once at the Orderly Room I heard Top say that he was getting to old for this shit…Ha Ha. Bravo Company, 1st Bn, 63rd Armor. I think that was around 1987. A good story to tell the kids and share a good laugh.

  • rappelz gold

    I recognized her is an occasional, When I was just upgrade and earn rappelz gold.

  • ragnarok zeny

    Opening number, M4 has been a favorite role, although I was playing ID, because the blood and the Ragnarok zeny were less often, but I did not regret it.

  • Louie LeMaster

    I was at Fort Irwin from October 1966 to May 1967. I worked in the HQ Company U.S, Army Garrison. Col Robert J.C. Osborne was the CO at the time.Does anyone remember the long night march we were forced to do after an incident in the barracks one day? We left about 5PM and some guys were still coming back in the early morning hours. It was an all night forced march I think they called it. I would like to hear from some of the guys as follows: Donald Barsness,Ronald Parmelee or any of the California National Guard guys who was there at the time.
    Louie LeMaster
    Las Vegas

  • Jess Angell

    Ft. Irwin, Ops Grp, ’87-95, Retired from there. Armor Training Team, TACS, Bldg 988 was my baby for a long time. More rotations than was worth counting. Met some fine folks and some real superstars of the military. One could drop names all day that passed through in one stead or another. LTC, COL, BG Roper, the quickest mind I’ve ever met. LTC, COL, BG Wallace a very steady man. BG, MG Clark, probably the smartest man you could run into. Always impressed by the OPFOR’s abilities, dedication and esprit. Unmatched anywhere. Never thought we’d do half the stuff we did. I could list a hundred folks.
    Been to Hamby’s plaque. Knew his son quite well. Too bad if they discontinued the ceremony. The Scorps put a lot of stock in their traditions. Had the Cobras numbered their belt buckles, mine would be a 2 digit version!!!
    No place like it. Planet Irwin. Keith Fukumitsu’s great award winning cartoon series captured it so well.

  • Keith Fukumitsu

    I also stumbled on this site and saw jess Angel’s comments about me and my comic strip “Planet Irwin” that I did for the post newspaper from 88-91. I was there as Goldminer 03 and 02 with the Support Battalion Training Team for 37 rotations. I loved it there though my wife didn’t… my daughter was in grade school then and still talks about the fun she had there.
    Being an O/C was the best assignment I ever had in the Army, bar none.
    A favor from the owner of this site; can you pass on my email addy to Jess Angel? he didn’t mention it, but he was one of my best supporters and sources for the stories in Planet Irwin.
    As COL Bill West, Outlaw 01 used to say: “You may talk o’ gin and beer
    When you’re quartered safe out ‘ere,
    An’ you’re sent to penny-fights an’ Aldershot it;
    But when it comes to slaughter
    You will do your work on water,
    An’ you’ll lick the bloomin’ boots of ‘im that’s got it.” Those words from Kipling’s “Gunga Din” fit the NTC to a T!
    See you all on the high ground

  • edward belluso

    i was stationed at camp irwin from 1960-62
    us army garrison 6019 sixth army post signal corp
    it was camp irwin then but i dont now when it
    became a fort. good to see all listings..

  • David

    A Co 1bn 63rd AR from 89 OCT to 91 DEC. Some names…Spc. F.Diaz, Spc. M Drummond, PFC R.Cloar, SPC T. Groves,PFC Loparco, Spc. S.Jordan (commo), Sgt. Snyder, SSG Johnson, 1st Sgt Barclay, Sgt. Coles, SPC. R.Sandoval, 1st Lt. Evan Hughs, 1st Lt. Ronald Cupo, 1st Lt. Critzer, Spc. Robert F.Tua, PFC Miles (big Raider fan), PFC Braswell, LT.COL Etchechury, CPT Coles….Lots more…email me if you were there around this time. God Bless you all…..d.f.




    I have been out of the Army for 9 years now but Fort Irwin was still the best duty assignment. I was there from 88 to 90 in A company 1-63 Armor.
    Ron Cupo

  • Don Mauney

    Hey I was going through some of these stories & comments. I was there from 83-85 C co 6/31st. I came across Lt. Coulter’s name he was my platoon leader there until I became the Co’s bmp driver. It was great to see his name here. I will have to say he was the one of the best Officer’s besides Capt. Sidney Kooyman I ever served under. I remember him taking us to Big Bear Lake for what we called Blue training we had a blast. I would say if it wasn’t for officer’s like those two who understood what it was like being in hell “as we all called it”. I remember the T-shirts that read 2 steps from hell & 48 from nowhere LOL. I look back & say I really enjoyed the time there even though there was nothing for the single soldier to do in the early years of NTC. I am sure it has gotten better over the years. If I had to do it over again I would still go there because those soldiers became some of the best men you would ever want to meet or work with. If any of my old comrades wish to email at luvstotrck@yahoo.com

  • Don Mauney

    Hey dudes, if any of my old buddies from C co 6/31st 83-85 are out there giv me a shout. Here are a few that I remember Lt. Coulter, Cpt. Kayana Capt Kooyman Sgt. Bell, Sgt Harrington,David Alvarez, Karl Wonder, Greg Craig (Ga home boy), Patrick Cameron, Fenton, Finn (from Oh), Foxx (from Tonawanda), Edmund Treist, Gregory Randolph, Claudell Washington, Klugg, Richard allen Abels (Ga home boy) Boring (from Tn), Correll (from RI),And all the others who lived in the Hotel California Barracks LOL. Drop Me a line luvstotrck@yahoo.com

  • Tim Lentz

    Got there new years day 1984.Was assigned to 1/73 scout platoon. Didnt want to be there and tried to make the best of it. Had great NCO’s after we got rid of SSG Garrett. After my unfortunate accident 1sgt put me in the motor pool,Sgt Stoops and Hamby. Just befor I left they brought in a engineer company and another NCO and I had the task of forming and running that company til they had NCO’s. Met the love of my life there, got a medical and left in August of 1987. Vy for like you junkie and my best freind in the world “Googs” Garver.

  • Morgen

    This is awsome. As most said I just stumbled on this site! I was there 86′ – 89′ with the 87th engineers. 1st sargent Dillinger. I haven’t seen any engineers on here. The company was new in late 86′ to 87′ we were attached to the 551’s as drivers and whetever till we got our own equiptment. That was the CEV and the big AVLB(bridges on tracks). I was part of a special group that was with the COV counter obsticle vehical. They called it Jaws. It had the giant “V” blade on the front and two big arms with buckets on each side. It was on an m88 tank recovery vehicle chassis. If anyone remembers that it’s great to hear from you.

  • Skip Brockner

    I was with HHC, 1/73rd Armor, Ft Beavers, Korea in 1966. Left there for Vietnam.


    I am in New York Now…..
    Email me your new number….

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  • Luis

    I was with B, Co 6/31, fro mm 1983 to 1986 CS 235 India. Does any one know when Col Hamby and his driver died? One of my buddies ask me, but I just can’t remember.

  • (SSGT) Doug Johnson

    Between June,1969 and October, 1974, I had the pleasure(?) of spending many “5-drill” weekends and five summer camps at Fort Irwin. For most of that time I served as platoon sergeant of the battalion Scout Platoon, HHC, 2 Bn 185th Armor of the California National Guard (San Diego). Anyone out there old enough to have served during those years?
    Nine hour convoys to “Irwin” on Friday nights were brutal. (We actually had several troops killed when they fell asleep and flipped their Jeeps. For a one year period, we did that two weekends per month as part of what they called “Army Test 3”. The test was to see if a National Guard Armor battalion could be made combat-ready. We actually beat an active army tank battalion in a week long “ACDUTRA” exercise in “toasty” July Irwin heat. As a “reward” we were put on alert during the ’74 “Yom Kippur War” and almost got our sorry butts sent to Israel…Whew!
    Summer is no time to be at Fort Irwin but thinking about the oppressive heat still brings back many fond memories of some pretty funny events. In retrospect, getting to drive through valley after valley of gorgeous wild flowers in an M113 in April and May every year was worth all the ********!!

    • VRWC2012

      From ’71 – ’77 I was in the motor pool of Co. B, 2nd Bn, 185th Armor of the CALARNG. Few of my memories of Ft. Irwin are good but many are funny. In the intermediate time in the ’70s and after Viet Nam, being a weekend warrior was not a glorious enterprise.

      We hated the nearly deserted Ft. Irwin, the 9 hour drive up from Vista, the 9 hour drive back on Sunday, and the unfocused training in the middle. Still, we managed to have a good bit of fun in ways that would probably fit right into the old “M.A.S.H” TV series.

      I wound up as our CO’s driver and one night while he was in one of the big, 6 holer outhouses perched on a bluff overlooking the training area, I started up the M151 and began to push the outhouse towards the edge of the cliff. He came out screaming and I was laughing so hard he finally gave in and admitted I had indeed scared the crap out of him. “I though it was a %$^^% earthquake and I going to die in the sh—-r.” Later I was promoted to E4 so I guess that shows that he didn’t hold a grudge.

      Several years ago I was pleased to see on TV that Ft. Irwin had once again become a proper training site for real desert warfare and our troops were learning top tactical skills on first rate equipment.

    • preston pieper

      Doug do you remember what 155 Howitzer unit was traing there in mid may june 1974, or who the post dr. was?
      preston pieper pie841@aol.com

  • Michael

    Time of my life! Anybody remember SSG’s Nutter, Barentine, Havenar? How about Ingram, Chisolm, Porter, Millington, or Candelaria? Man, those were great times…and we drank sooo much beer!

    Master Sergeant (Retired) Michael Murphy
    OPFOR Scout, 1-63 Armor
    1987- 1991

  • John M.Angell Sr.

    Col Hamby died ’cause some lame smoke platoon twits,set up cots in the freakin’ road about a half mile North of 4 Corners. The driver swerved to miss the first cot and then another and ran off the side of the road, hit an area that had been graded due to the road being covered with dirt from a past rainstorm, which flipped the jeep, pinning and killing Col.Hamby. He had just, the day before, removed the prototype roll cage that had been developed by OPs Group,to prevent just this type of a killing. I was a controller “11 Alpha” Cobra Team, and the third controller on site that very dark early morning. The OPs Group had developed three prototypes for open Jeeps,due to all the incidents with open Jeeps since early ’80, and had tried in vain to get them accepted. We lost a hell of an Officer. Thank you Lord, it was another Officer that made that decision, and not an NCO………….

    1SG Angell, B Co. 2nd MRB 1/73rd ’87-’89

    Ops Group, ’81-’85

    • John Sylvester

      Hello 1SG Angell,

      We have much in common…and I do remember you well…Yes it was a tough experience during that early, cold morning on 1 Feb ’85 on the road to Granite Pass. For it was the “Bear” himself with his young driver heading north to observe this young lieutenant’s fighting position at Alpha Co.’s MRC defense of the pass. When the call came over the Net regarding a “real world” casualty requesting medical support, I immediately dispatched my medics post haste…but to no avail.

      Like many among us, I too regarded Colonel Hamby as a sincere and caring mentor. Between him and CPT. Ed Wagamon commander of A Co, 1/73 ARMOR, I had been fortunate to be trained among the best and I continue to use those lessons to this day.

      And if I remember correctly…was it not I that replaced you as Cobra 11 Alpha as the X0 on that 4-man OC team under CPT. Roger Teal and LTC. Lori Johnson? I remember SFC Bills being a member of that team as well. I assumed that position in May of ’85.

      Thanks 1SG for your sacrifice and service in uniform…”May the wind always be at your back.”

      Lt. John Sylvester
      1st Plt. Alpha Co.
      1/73rd Armor, Ret.

  • Jim Gault

    I took Ft. Irwin’s basic training starting in March 1966. I think this was a one time event training 1,050 new recruits. I was told that this was the start of a reactivation of the Post. Myself and about 50 others stayed on after basic to man the finance, personel and other headquarters functions. What a great group of drafted guys. I was a travel pay specialist processing the tvl of troops arriving & departing . The desert was great and very enjoyable. I was from the Placerville,CA area and have been in the Sacramento area ever since. I hope to see posts from others of those times.


    I ( SPC. Davis )was stationed there from June 89 – Sept. 92. HHC 1/63. Heavy Wheeled Mech.& Wrecker Operator. I remember those long nights of pulling engine pac. from Sheridan tanks since i ran the Hemitt wrecker.LOL .Wasting time fixing hummers so the scouts could trash them again.Hooah! Spent alot of time in the field wondering around ,dragging this and that back to the motor pool.Hated driving at night with cat eyes only. No pvs-7 for us wrenches.Dam i got lost a couple of times everything looks the same in the dark.Was prob. the best time of my life though.Didn’t know that at the time. We played hard when nothing was going on. Volleyball for PT alot of the times.Don’t miss those Batt. runs around the loop past the “DUST BOWL”.How about the 30 days of OPFOR school when you came to post? I think i could survive a week in the desert with a packet of salt & eyedropper of water .Anyone out there im on facebook . Miss the guys of the 1/63rd. OPFOR for LIFE.

  • preston pieper

    Need Help For Va claim’ I can’t remmember If I was at Irwin In 1974 or1975?
    I was there for two weeks Reserve training on M109 155SP Howitzer.
    I belive the unit was the 11TH Armored Cavalry Regiment.
    The Dr. on base at that time was also a physical therapist
    I remmember also that GI’s coming back from Barstow rolled a military Jeep? and some might have been killed.

  • preston pieper

    I posted “Need Help For Va claim’ I can’t remmember If I was at Irwin In 1974 or1975? ”
    Something I remmembered is, I was the SP5 who made the Capt. in charge use a hundred foot lanyard to fire the weapon because the weapon had low hydraulic pressure for recoil.
    It’s hard to find someone who remmebers me because I was called up after several years of my active duty ETS. The guys in the unit and barracks where mostly national guard. I recall several where wearing wigs so not to cut hair.

    Read more: https://www.defensetech.org/2005/10/05/ft-irwin-where-

  • Richard Macholl

    Hi I was station at Fort Irwin from 1980-1982 in 1/73 armor C co. I would like to hear from any station please cotact me at oneeyeram@aol.com

  • Rob van Vugt

    I was stationed at the NTC from 1981 – 1983, B Co. 1/73 Armor (OPFOR) as a E-5 Tank Commander on the M551 VISMODs. Tiefort, Valley of Death, MILES gear etc. certainly brings back memories.

    LTC Dorsey Rowe, Capt Bruce Kidder.

    • Robert Lego

      I was also stationed with Co B 1/73rd AR on tank 225 as the driver from Mar 81-Mar 83. Were you the German guy who was my gunner by chance? I have pictures of us attacking in the Valley of Death and at Tank Gunnery with our M60A1’s on my Facebook page.

  • James Guest

    Ozone here; 1st PLT, A CO 1/73rd AR BN, still on active duty, still wondering what became of Mayberry, Joe Price and the others…I remember SFC Nowak, SFC Bartlett, SSG Petratonio, SGT Presley, PFC Lawhorn, 1SG Patterson and Skellinger, CSM Pring, COL Hamby, SGT HK Barret, SGT Herwald, SGT Bjork, PFC Kirkpatrick, PVT Eagle, SPC Busby, Atterbury, SGT Cho, SSG Christy, etc

  • SP/4 Petrick

    I spent two months TDY as a heavy equipment operator, building a lake on the golf course in 1969. There were fourteen of us from the 339th Engr. Bn. in Ft. Lewis, Wa. It was hot and it was an interesting time.

  • preston pieper

    I posted earlier I was in Ft Irwin in mid 1974,for two weeks training on 155sp howitzer, I substained a back injury and was treated by the post Dr. on duty he was also a physical therapst does anyone remember the doctors name or what unit was there?
    Military has lost my records. Thanks Preston Pieper

  • Charles Hatfield

    My name is Charles Hatfield or chuck . Looking for guys who served with me at Co. E 6/31 Inf during 1985 to1986 in the OPFOR.

  • Charles Hatfield

    our Captain was ACE

  • Tom Taylor

    I was stationed at Ft Irwin as a member of a 16 man squad being trained for deployment to Vietnam as 4 -four man squads…The unit was disbanded almost a year later and some, self included, were shipped over. I wound up in Cu Chi from September ’67 until Oct ’68…Does anyone have knowledge of this group?

  • Burdge Monro

    I was stationed at Ft. Irwin from 6-84 to 1-87. I served first in HQ co. maint. 1/73rd, then A co. 1/73rd. Would love to hear from anyone else that was in either of those maintenance groups.

  • Nelson Guadalupe

    Nelson Guadalupe…. I was stationed at Ft Irwin from 1983 to 1985. I was the Sigo for the 1/73rd Armor Bn along with SFC West as my Comm Chief. Being stationed there was one of the most enjoyable assignments of my career, although at the time I did not think so. My Bn Cdr was LTC Aboty and then LTC Janes. I sure do miss Col Hamby, he was like a father to me. CSM Burnett works here at Ft Hood where I am working. SFC West lives on the outskirts of Altanta, GA. My son was born at Ft Irwin and is now a Doctor (LT) in the US Navy sationed at Walter Reed in MD. I sure want to go back and visit someday in the near future, bunch of great memories there.

    As SFC West used to say “Keep your contact clean and dry”.

    Nelson Guadakupe
    LTC (Ret) SC
    US Army

  • mouh60
  • Tom

    I returned from the 12th Cav 3rd AD out of Germany to be stationed at Ft Irwin from 82 to 83. I was in Charlie Company. The desert view was incredible.

  • James Guest

    Yep. Those were some good times huh? Do you remember SPC Boone Taul??
    Bet you would never believe I still on active duty, but I am.

  • James Guest

    I find it hard to believe this site exists…WOW ol times are hard to forget…

  • G Furlong

    Don’t know how I found this site either. Pretty cool to hear how they named a ridge after my Dad though. Irwin was a great assignment for us as kids.

  • Mike

    Stationed at Irwin from Sept. 64 to May 66. Hospital administration and medevac specialist. arranged air transportation for trainees injured during desert training. took ’em by ambulance through Barstow to Daggot to met the MATS flights.

  • Spike 12 OZONE

    Should have been 1st Motor Rifle Company, 2nd Motor Rifle Battalion, 32nd Guards Mojave Rifle Regiment :P (Bet this post is the only one up here in two months as all the incriminated report my other ones like they always do 2DAMFUNNY!)

    Read more: https://www.defensetech.org/2005/10/05/ft-irwin-where-

  • Joseph Oliveira Jr