120 Things the 511th Learned During Hohenfels 1990

This 8th installment in my posts from the history of the 511th is the list of things that we learned at Hohenfels 1990, which was written by EW2. I have it in my notes that we nicknamed this field problem "Operation Lost Cause," which still seems appropriate.

Before I get to the list, I have to point one thing out - some of the comments in this list were really, really harsh with regard to their treatment of CPT Quinn. Actually, CPT Quinn was one of my favorite commanders - I mean, any commander that would let his subordinates tackle him and throw him in the mud pit in front of his family and peers has got to be pretty cool, right? I actually think that CPT Quinn (later MAJ Quinn) did more for the morale of the company than MAJ Bute ever did. For as much as everyone looked up to LTC Lesser as our best mission-focused commander, he sometimes didn't seem to care all that much about the morale of his subordinates; this was evidenced when MAJ Bute found a pile of awards which were buried in the company commander's desk that LTC Lesser had never handed out to soldiers before he left the 511th. (Some awards had to be mailed to people that had already ETS'd.) So I disagree with what was said about CPT Quinn, but I can try to put things in perspective - we had no history with CPT Quinn when we went on this deployment, and we had something of a bad first impression. But just because I do not agree with some of these statements doesn't mean that I should start cutting things out of the list - so for the sake of posterity I present the list with all of the comments that I would personally consider unnecessary. (Although I did cut out the profanity.)

Without further adieu, here's the list:

Things we learned at Hohenfels '90

  1. CPT Quinn is a ********, more follows.
  2. TRQ-30 antennas make great chock blocks. (Right 1LT Innocenti?)
  3. We must jump at midnight because we need the practice.
  4. Yes, the TRQ-32 does have a maximum load capacity.
  5. No matter how bad chow gets, it can always get worse.
  6. Jumping can be fun if you do it daily.
  7. T&A teams have short tempers.
  8. The sludge at the bottom of mess hall coffee really isn't toxic. (???)
  9. EW2 can run two weeks without air conditioning in the TRQ-32 while EW1 can't last two minutes.
  10. CPT Quinn is an *******, more follows.
  11. One should pull guard if there is nothing else to do.
  12. When all else fails, kick Myers out of the truck.
  13. The TRQ-30 is the ultimate intercept device. (Not!!!)
  14. Pork every night gets old pretty quickly.
  15. D.A. is incapable of reasonable thought early in the morning, or later for that matter.
  16. Morale gets pretty ugly with no sleep after four weeks in the field and two more to go.
  17. CPT Quinn is a moron, more follows.
  18. You don't "Out" Black-6, he "Out's" you.
  19. Cooks don't appreciate "101 things to do with pork" cookbooks.
  20. Cooks can actually read!!!
  21. Everyone wakes up in a wonderful mood after a night jump.
  22. The 533rd M.I. BN sucks as OPFOR support.
  23. It's better to be called an ******* than a D.A.T.
  24. CPT Quinn should be a D.A.T., more follows.
  25. It's fun to chase boars through the woods wearing Night Vision Goggles.
  26. The TRQ-32 can be quite an effective jammer. (Not!!!)
  27. The better that we seem to be doing, the more we get f***** with.
  28. SGT Degrood sets up a mean camo net. (For a cheeser anyway...)
  29. Blanco can't I.C.D.; "Please go to MOPP4..."
  30. Blanco will eat anything.
  31. CPT Quinn is a devious *******, more follows.
  32. Breakfast is always more enjoyable when you eat it at lunch.
  33. Frosted mini-wheats are worth killing for.
  34. We work better when the C.O. is in Fulda.
  35. CPT Quinn has twisted, God-image delusions of himself, more follows.
  36. The 533rd can play both OPFOR and OCE's, because that's fair.
  37. Always build a hooch in case it rains.
  38. 24 hour OP's are essential in an eight-hour war.
  39. Boots look better without polish. (Just ask D.A.)
  40. Miles gear can still be entertaining without blanks. (Silent but deadly.)
  41. Everbody wants to be a jammer.
  42. M-8 alarms work better without batteries.
  43. Duerkson can I.C.D. while sleeping 500 yards from a jammer.
  44. Whitfield can never get enough sleep.
  45. J.J. should come to the field, even if he is clearing.
  46. It's amazing how much handcopying English isn't like handcopying Russian.
  47. It always pays to have a radio mechanic and your armorer look at your generator.
  48. MOPP2 is much more fashionable than MOPP1. (Booties are cute.)
  49. Too bad cigars don't keep away officer pests like they do insects.
  50. The new style in EW2 sleepware is the Hoff Stealth Tent.
  51. Landline for field phones only serves as trip wires.
  52. Chow is appreciated more if it's been held a few hours, even more if it's cooked.
  53. CPT Quinn is a ******-******** ***-****** from a festering ***-****, (and Duerkson should know!), more follows.
  54. We all need more driver's training when Service's brakes go out.
  55. There is a difference between the hood and brake release.
  56. You can learn a lot from Taboo Freqs.
  57. Comm's work better with a fill in the Vinson.
  58. You can do a lot of damage with an M-60 and no miles equipment.
  59. Our officers would get us killed if this were real combat.
  60. If you can lie, you can I.C.D.
  61. BCG's look better on Duerkson than real glasses would.
  62. D.A. is secretly a Leprosy carrier.
  63. 98C's should always man Trojan when 98G's go to the field.
  64. Alex is the world's biggest shammer, McGee takes a close second.
  65. Never offer D.A. a dip, he'll take the whole can.
  66. It pays to buy quart-sized coffee mugs.
  67. CPT Quinn is a putz, more follows.
  68. The only thing worth buying at the shoppette is the Blonde.
  69. (This is a number not seen at Hohenfels.)
  70. The TRQ-32's DF antennas look much better with chem-lites dangling from them.
  71. Officers don't like lists of things we've learned.
  72. Fred can make mistakes, too.
  73. Sleep deprivation is good for the soul.
  74. You can go for days without shaving, and even then only an officer will notice.
  75. You can get a TRQ-32 level anywhere if you have enough rocks.
  76. If McCollum died, EW1's TRQ-32 squad would be lost forever.
  77. We don't need a TCAE now that we have CPT Quinn.
  78. We all love CPT Quinn's radio procedures, more follows.
  79. It's amazing how much you can not give a s*** about.
  80. You don't need to start the radio watch vehicle all that often.
  81. We need more camo nets. (Not!!!)
  82. You're in the war even if you're not in the box.
  83. Married guys don't really want to see their wives.
  84. Everyone has to stay in the field, but CPT Quinn gets to go home anyway.
  85. Uncle Martin is a coffee-waster.
  86. 1LT Innocenti really has no idea what the hell is going on.
  87. Listening to OCE nets gives you an edge on the battle.
  88. Miles gear gets comfortable the more that you wear it. (Not!!!)
  89. You can handcopy on the move even if you can't drink coffee.
  90. It's fun to be the 1LT's driver. (Not!!!)
  91. OCE's are friendly people.
  92. We're all having a great time.
  93. The RCO can live to eat his words. ("EW support sucks in Hohenfels...")
  94. You can still drive vehicles with Class III leaks and broken windshields.
  95. "4-LO" is a wonderful gear.
  96. Life is not complete without shaving.
  97. We just came here to feed the bugs.
  98. Life was easier with Babbs.
  99. EW2 is invisible to armed OPFOR task forces.
  100. There is no such thing as down time.
  101. If you don't want to lose at Mumbly-Peg, play with Jeff Morris.
  102. Hedgehogs sound deceptively large at night.
  103. Night Vision Goggles and flashlights don't mix.
  104. 1LT Innocenti does do a good impression of a Mexican.
  105. 1LT Innocenti and Flores do know where the bad parts of Houston are. (Wonder why?)
  106. OPFOR sucks.
  107. Reconning can be fun.
  108. Rocks don't make good baseballs, but "out-of-bounds" markers make great bats.
  109. After five weeks with Whitfield you can still hate Rap Music.
  110. You can read a lot of books when you're bored to tears.
  111. When all else fails, scream at the OCE's.
  112. Fred is a self-proclaimed geek.
  113. Myers knows lots of useless facts.
  114. It helps to count the number of days you have left in Fulda.
  115. 1LT Innocenti has no life.
  116. OPFOR has no sense of humor.
  117. Whitfield will take a Humvee where no man has gone before.
  118. We make life harder on ourselves by not whining as hard as EW1.
  119. We all have bad attitudes.
  120. If you are winning at Hohenfels, you must be cheating.

One brief explanation for point #12 - there was some steep hill in Hohenfels that EW1 couldn't get their TRQ-32 to climb, no matter who was behind the wheel. Then a few days later EW2 tried to take the hill; several people from EW2 made the attempt with our TRQ-32, but to no avail. That is - until I got behind the wheel, and I ordered Steve "Felix" Myers to get out of the truck. In hindsight, I completely realize that it was just as much luck as skill that enabled me to get that motorized mammoth up the mountain - but that didn't stop me from having the coolest bragging rights for the next few weeks. (FWIW - D.A. Morris was there, and he also failed to get the TRQ-32 up the hill despite several attempts, so he can vouch for my story - just in case you have reason to doubt my sincerity. ;-] )

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