I started my military career on 25 January 1966 when I was drafted into the Army. After spending two years on active duty, stationed at Patch Barracks, Vaihengen, Germany; I joined the Army Reserve where I was introduced to the M1 Garand Service Rifle and the M211 automatic deuce and a half. After about seven years I decided to stay in the reserve and make it a career and joined the New York Army National Guard and to go to Officer Candidate School. After being commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in 1976 in the Field Artillery, I spent twelve fun filled years in the 2nd Battalion 104th Field Artillery. I wouldn’t trade those years for anything. I met friends and to this day I value their friendship deeply. MG Bob Rose was the battalion commander; he went on to command the 42nd Infantry Division and the New York Army National Guard. The S3 Mike Corrigan went on to command the 85th Div in Arlington, IL as a Major General. Jack Barry became a Colonel and retired assigned to Rhode Island in Emergency Management. SFC Sal Esposito my parts NCO in Service Battery, whom I am in still in contact with on a weekly basis is a great friend. Sal served in the European Theater and the Pacific in WW 2, he can really tell some stories. The 5th Battalion 5th Field Artillery (Hamilton’s First Company of Artillery) beckoned in 1985 and I served there until 1991 in a variety of positions with then LTC Richard Colt, who went on to command the 77th RRC as a Major General.
The highlight of my career occurred at Annual Training 1989 in Iceland when I was the 187th Infantry Brigade Fire Support Officer and a as reserve major was called to explain the necessity of a “precision registration” (getting the big bullet on target down range) to Iceland government officials. It is not often a reservist at AT is asked to address officials of a foreign NATO government.
Many of my assignments were on the logistics my side of the house, so in 1993 I did a branch transfer to the Quartermaster Corps while serving with the 364th Support Group at Fort Totten. A great unit with dynamic people. Unfortunately the 364th went out of business with the BRAC in the early 1990’s. I went to the Log Shop at the 77th ARCOM while MG George Barker was in command.
Back in 1979, I met LTC Joe Reale, when he commanded HHB 42nd Infantry Division Artillery, I became his executive officer. Joe went on to become a CAS3 instructor. That was a course captains, active and reserve needed to get promoted. Joe dragged me around wherever he went and I became an instructor also. I retired on 1 January 2005. Joe is your immediate past president. Today in addition to our duties in AUSA, Joe and I are involved with the 11th New York Regiment (Cavalry), United States Volunteers-America. We assist the army in providing a respectful and dignified Final Military Honors at private and national cemeteries for deceased veterans. When the army gets into your blood, it is hard to shake it.
After all that, in civilian life I was a police officer with the Nassau County Police Department for twenty six years and I’m active as an EMT with the Malverne Volunteer Ambulance Corps. I’ve been married to my wife Mary Ann for thirty two years and we have three daughters who still refer to me as GI Joe. We have four grand children, Damien, Thomas, Christopher and Charleigh Rose. Those kids really bring a smile to my face.
AUSA, Liberty Chapter