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SSgt.

saves life; earns Soldiers Medal
By Bn• Mosbtt
His quick. actions at the site or an accident on Autobahn 81 near Heilbronn re·
ccntly earned $Sgt. Milton Gerena-Pabon
the highest peacetime award for heroism,
the Soldiers Medal.
Gerena, a radio section chier for HHB,
3rd Bn., 84th FA. wu participating in a
communicalioos
exercise
battalion
(COM EX) last October when the accident
occurred.
The military vehicles involved in the accident were in a convoy when a tire blew
out on the lead vehicle. Though most of
the vehicles came to a halt sarely, ooe twoa nd-a-half too vehicle rammed into a trailer being towed by the vehicle in front of it.
As the generator trailer slammed into
the rear or the truck pulling it, at least one
or the five-gallon gasoline cans strapped to
its rear erupted into na me.
The truck itself was carryini a radio
terminal; a large metal shelter with a door
in the rear, just above the truck's tailP,te.
Gerena , llcaring the call or "fire,' hur·
ried to the scene or the accident. "I gave
Sgt. Victor Coloo a fire extinguisher,
grabbed one myself and ran back towards
the trucks,'" he explained.

"I pulled the truck ahead about JS feet,
figuring that I bad removed it from the
fire, but the trailer rollowed right behind,
atill on fire," Gerena said.
Gerena. Colon, Ss.t. David Smith and
Sp4 Jose Hernandez then emptied about
seven extin&uishen on the fire, with no
effect.
"It wu then that w,e heard aome kicking
and shouting in the radio shelter. Somebody wu trapped in the back. We tried to
open the tailgate, but it wu jammed. so
1st Lt. (Richard) Huber started callin& ror
axes~ said Gerena.
While Gerena and the othen were chopping their way into the radio shelter, severa l portable eu cans on the trailer explod·
ed, knocking the team of rescuers to the
ground each lime.
Hernandez pulled PFC Tomas Rod·
riguez-Nievea through the small, jagged
opening by a handrul of hair. Tbe rescum
took Rodriguez a safe distance from the
trailer and administered lint aid. He wu
later taken to a nearby hospital by German ambulance and tben tranafured to
the U.S. Army Medical Facility at Wbar·
ton Barracks in Heilbrolln. Hemandei wu
also treated for bruiaa and scratches.
0

IPOTUGHT -

Brig. Oen. lldne, Dme, fonMr _... FA 8de. COfflfflandw,

s--• Ille Sold_.. Medel to SSgt.

llllton o.r--Ptlbon. o.r- re-

celftd Ille Amlf'e hlghNI peectlme ew8fd -ttr lor uvll,g • - · • life.
(flholo br Ired Moeller)

Ver-shina Cable

Vol 19, No. 7

56th Field Artillery Brigade

July 1982

New CG takes command
The guidon and command of the S61h FA Bcle. changed
hands J uly 13 as Brig Gen. William E. Sweet tcok charge
or the uni1 during a ceremony held at 1he Hardi Kaserne
spom field in Schwaebisch Gmuend.
Sweet. formerly the VII Corps chief of staff. Hchanged
positions with Brig. Oen. Sidney Oavis, former brigade
commander.
Th~ 52-year-old native or Toledo, Ohio, has a B.achelor
of Science degree in Education Administration from Bowling Green Stale University and a Master of Science degree
in Public Administration rrom Shippensburg State College.
Sweet has a11ended the basic and advanced courses at
the Army's Field Artillery School. He also studied at the
U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the
U.S. Army War College.
Sweet commented on 1he "overwhelming sense or pride"
he experienced as be joined the 56th FA Bde. "The contribution 10 the strength of our country and to the cause for

world peace and stability, which we have made and will
continue to make through deterrence. is immeasurable,"
he said.
"Command or U.S. soldiers is a special trust," Sweet
added. ~, assure you (brigade soldiers) that I do not take
this "'ponsibili1y lightly. I pledge to all members or the
brigade my best efforts to lead and support you as we work
t~etbcr toward our common aoaJ of mission accomplishment."
Lt. Oen. John Forrest, deputy commander in chief
USAREUR, cited Sweet u "superbly equipped to take
command: a reknowncd artilleryman with tour tours in
Gerrnanr" He also recounted Davis' accomplishments in·
cludin1 1mprovcmen11 in caring for his soldiers, logistics,
security and lone-range planning.
Davis said during his farewell address that if he had the
o~rtunity to choose his replacement, he would have
picked Sweet. "I've known him for more than 2S years and
he's a soldier who will lead you to new heights and take
care of you while you're climbing."

GUIDE ON - (Left) Col. Rlcherd RounMvllle, depllty bripde commender, pteMnl9 lhe colon dur·
Ing Ille brigade Cllenge of Commend Ceremony.
(Aboft) Brig. Gen. WilliMI E.
(front) end
CSM Soulhem Hewitt "troo, lhe line." lwNI took
command of the brigade on July 13. Brig. Gen.
Sidney Devit, former brigade commender, hee
-umecl SwNt'• former job ae VI Corpe ctllef of
eteff In Stuttgar1. (Photoe by Thomae Copelend)

s....

Pege4

July 1982

EYES HAYE IT - C8II loutllenl
Hewitt, . . . . . . . top NCO, gtWN •
. . . . Ille CMcke

°"' ....

Uniform vlolaUons

Appearance scrutinized
.,na-c....,

A c:racltdowa is beina led by CSM
Southern Hewitt, the brigaclc's top NCO.
Hairst_ylcs, moustaches ud uniform items
a rc being scnitiniud.
If these items arc not within rcaulaliOll$,
they will be rcctiroed one way or another,
..id Hewitt. Failure to c:omply witb moutacbc regulations have resulted in some
soldien being ordered IO shave them off.
"If a moustache is worn," said Hewiu,
quotina the guide to uniforms and a ~ rance. Army Rcaulation 670-1, "it will be
kept trimmed. tapered and tidy. and will
not present a chopped-off appearance. No
portion will ca,er the upper lip line or
cuend boriz.ontally beyond the corner
points o( tbc mouth."
Haintylcs. for both men and women,
arc va ried. The nile of thumb is neatness.
For men, hair can't touch the can or eye-

brows. For both men and women, the hair
will not u tend IO the oollar or interfere
with the wear of military bead4ear.
"Al E travel around the bripde." ..id
Hewitt. " I see many vialationa of the uniform replations. BOU bats arc being
worn wi1h civilian clothes and greasy ca,•
en.Ill a re beina worn in places other than
the work area."
"Another _problem is that, with tbc introduction of the BDU, many soldiers arc
taking the grcen fatiaucs and cutting tbem
up. They arc maltina shorts and midrifs
out of them."
"This has aot to stop." Hewitt said.
"Tbc: arcen fatigucs arc good until October I, I 985. Mier mat soldien can do
a nytbinf they want with them."
Heeding these guidclincs miaht prevent
lolina a moustache and bei111 accasted by
a n angry NCO.

ct.OU

IHA'Vli

-

To

-

l'A, ...._ - , M«lling. (Photo

..... tDOd lill ......... .,. a.nu- .., ..........,

.. IE--. • oooll ........ .,....

BDU ushers in new look tor Arm1 uniforms
Hide and seek miaht have been fun when you were a
kid, kt wbcn how well you can c:,onccaJ y,oorself from the
enemy mcaa life or dcatb on the battlefield. it's a scri·
oumatter.
TIie DCwat additon to the array of Army uniforms is
the Battle Draa Uniform (BDU). The Army began issu•
in& the BDU to basic trainina soldiers last October. Everyone is a,rrcndy required to have two pairs of the
BDU1 by this October, three pain by October 1984 and
four pain by October I 985. The price of the fatigues.
inch,dina the cap. retails at about S37.
Many problems with the BDUs rcsulted from improp., IHndering. when they were lint introduocd. Accordilia to Mr. Jcscph Partl o( the Clolhin1 Sales Store in
Goeppinaen. the 11niform should be washed usina the
pmnanent prcss setting and mild detergent. No bleach
should be used.
Tbc uniform should be dried usins the permanent
press setting o( tbe dryer, removed immedtately and
plaocd on rust-proof hanaen. Any wrinkles ~n be re·
moved by using• band iron oa the synthetic seuina.
Tbougb it mi&ht present a more "sq10ared away" appearance, starch must ~ ~ used on the BD~. Star~h1111 the unifonn defcau ,u infrared capeb1ht1es •,:id ,n~ heat rctainability due to reduced breathabihty.
Joinina the BDU soon will be the camounage field
jacltet. It is scheduled to be distributed in March 1983. h
11 made of the same material as the current field jacket,
but ofTen many of the chlracteristics of the BOU, indudina the camouflaae pattern and the. infrared rcnective dyes.
Tbc appearance of the uniform will change after this

OPEN RANKS - Ille "new 11:id on Ille blocll:'" In
Annr dottllng ,. lhe Battle 0.... UnlfOffll (BDU).
The BDUe . _ ftm luued to bnlc lrelnlng 9'CII•
dlera In October of 1811 , - . While Sgt. D...W
Fanr of HHB, 3114th FA, at8lldtl out In lhe P'ft·

. _ of other eoldien IA Ifie curnnt tatlg- dut·
Int an AQI llw•ll:a lnapactlon, _ - e - , eoldien wll follow hie lad. 8oldlen curnntt,
requlrd lo " - 1wo Ml8 of IM IIDUe be1or9 October of thla yea,, (Photo bJ 8nd Moeller).

November when the white T-shirt will no longer be worn
with the BOU. After that. only the a,een and brown
tandershiru may be worn.
A new supplement to Army Reaulation 670-1 sta~es
that the field a nd lltility llniform may be wom ouu,de
US. facilitics between a soldier's rcsidence and place of
duty, and for essential stoi- sucb as to the gas station or
past office. These stop do not inchadc ban, restaurants
or other rocrcational facilities.