The "whole 'notlher story"

Occupation Duty


Did I volunteer to remain for Occupation? Hell No! I was an inactive reservist who had volunteered for active duty,. I fought in 6 campaigns and survived by a miracle. I had been overseas for two years, most of it in infantry combat, and I wanted to go home to my wife to whom I had been married only 8 weeks before being shipped out. And get on with my career as an engineer.


But my unit was a regular army unit. I had come in as a replacement officer and was not “regular army†but rather “reserve†volunteer for active duty.


The 7th Infantry and 3rd Inf. Division were†regular army†and so they were deployed for occupation duty along the border of the Russian Occupation Zone to assure the Russians didn’t attempt to move further west. I was part of it.


I had enough “pointsâ€to go home, but I was declared “essentialâ€, because 3 of the jr officers in my company signed on for the regular army and were rewarded with a one month leave at home with 30 days travel time each way. Regulations permitted the Army to hold any officer for 3 months beyond his eligibility date for rotation, if he was considered essential. So there I sat! 1st Lt. Essential! And I stayed their for another 3 months and was then allowed to go home, even though the other 3 officers had not yet returned.


I remember a discussion of the pros and cons of signing on over drinks at the Officer’s club we had set up in Germany. I remember one Lt. saying, “I think I’ll sign on. It beats going back to the steel mills in Youngstown!†Another commented, “I’m not anxious to go back to the old fire station either.†I was neither a steel worker nor a fireman! I wanted to go Home!


To each to his own, but I had had enough. To volunteer in a time of your country’s need is one thing. To volunteer for a life of drudgery is something else. I stayed in the reserve, but was never called to active duty.


Why, is a whole ’nother story!


Russ Cloer


The real whole ‘nother story’


When I came home after 2 years overseas in WWII, we were pressured at the separation center to sign on for 5 years in the Reserve. The reward was an immediate promotion of one grade in rank, in my case from 1st Lt. to Captain. I went for it.! I wanted to wear those “railroad tracks†on my shoulders during my 30 day terminal leave!


In 1946, as a civilian, I went to work as an engineer for an aircraft engine manufacturer. One of my assignments was to make frequent trips to Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio, to exchange information and to avoid unnecessary duplication of testing by Air Force engineers . On one of those trips, the thought occurred to me, “Why do I want to be in the Infantry Reserve when my engineering experience would be of greater value to the Air Force?â€


I applied for a transfer from the Infantry Reserve to the Air Force reserve. It was approved and my MOS was changed from “Infantry Unit Commander - 1542†to “Air Force Design and Development Officer - 7050â€. A few years later, the Korean War began and “Infantry Unit Commanders†were recalled to active duty by the thousands, many of whom I knew. But the Air Force didn’t need any more “Design and Development Officers†and I was not recalled.


My wife, my 3 young children and I were very happy about that!


Russ Cloer - 3_7_I_Recon


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