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Camp Roberts, California

Spring Issue 14 June 2014

Camp Roberts Reveille

Welcome to the Spring
Issue of the 213th Military
History Detachment
(Deployable) Newsletter.
In this Issue:
Commanders Corner
Leaving Their Mark on
Detachment Odds and
On the Funny Side
And Much More!
We hope you enjoy this
edition of the Camp Roberts
--CW4 (CA) Henry Leon
California Center for Military
213th Military History
Detachment (Deployable)

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Top: Marines in M1A1
Abrams Tanks at Camp
Roberts. The Marines came
to Roberts and Fort Hunter
Liggett in March of 2014 for
training. Photo: Don Avery
Bottom: View of the
Nacimiento River from East
Garrison. Painted rocks
display the insignias of the
Second Infantry Division,
Bradley Fighting Vehicle,
and Infantry branch symbol.
Photo: SGT (CA) Jason Orton
Camp Roberts Reveille
Spring 2014 Issue
213th Military History
Detachment (Deployable),
California Center for Military
SGT (CA) Jason Orton
CW4 (CA) Henry Leon, SFC
(CA) Eddie Colis, SPC (CA)
Carrie McCulley.
Editing and Proofreading:
CW4 Ernest McPherson and
SGM (CA) Carlos Gama
The Camp Roberts Reveille
is the newsletter of the 213th
Military History Detachment
(Deployable) at Camp
Roberts. The newsletter is
published seasonally.
All Rights Reserved.
Material herein may not be
reprinted without express
written consent of the
For mail correspondence:
1895 Ironwood Dr.
Santa Maria, CA 93455
Commanders Corner
During May, The California Center for Military History (CCMH)
had our Annual Unit Training Assembly at Camp San Luis
Obispo. It was exciting to see old faces, attend the historical
presentations, and to train in subject matter that pertained to our
This year, we were privileged to hear from Corky and Donna
Axelson, parents of Navy SEAL, Matthew G. Axelson who was
killed in action in Afghanistan 2005. The story of his sacrifice was told in the
recent book and movie, Lone Survivor.
As a combat veteran, my heart broke for both parents. As a parent and
grandparent, I could only imagine the horrible pain they felt at the news of their
sons death and wondered how they were able to endure the tragedy. It was
clear they took comfort from the belief that their son died doing what he loved,
serving our nation, and through their faith in God.
The Annual Training was a success and all those that worked hard to pull it off
are to be commended. The entire unit came through the training with a clearer
understanding of the future outlook for the CCMH and firm in the knowledge
that our mission to the state and nation has not changed. We march on!
A few days before Memorial Day, I was at the Santa Maria Cemetery placing
small flags on the graves of Veterans. Ive been honored with this privilege of
serving in this way for 15 years and will continue thanking them this way until I
am no longer able.
This year was special with many young people from the high school and even
some from the local grade school showing up to assist in placing the flags. It
was nice to see so many young people showing respect for those that served our
Seeing the younger generation at the cemetery recalled to memory my days as a
young soldier. At nineteen years of age, I never believed that I would see my
20th birthday due to the war in Vietnam. As a result, I did not make any plans
for my own future. I just lived day to day the best I could.
Back then, I found myself surprised when I stepped off the jet at Travis Air
Force Base still alive at the completion of my tour. A popular song lyric of the
time summed up my feelings that day. Its a strange, strange, world we live
in. I had found a second chance and my future was suddenly wide open.
Seeing those teens honoring our fallen Veterans reminded me of that time in my
life and the great debt we have to our nation and to those who have served.

El Moro National Monument
showing the art of Captain
Richard Henry Orton, a Civil War
Veteran. Orton became the
Adjutant General of California in
1885. Photo: National Park Service

Soldier art on display at the Camp
Roberts museum annex. The artist, E.
Schweig, depicted a typical day for
soldiers marching in the hills of the post.
Photo: SGT (CA) Jason Orton
Leaving Their Mark on History
By SGT (CA) Jason Orton
C VALERIUS VIINUSTUS M CH I PR. Translated from the original
Latin it reads, Gaius Valerius Venustus, soldier of the first cohort. The
Latin words of a Roman soldiers inscription on a wall in the ancient city
of Pompeii are still visible today, long after the city met its demise. Time
and the violent eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD did not erase the
soldiers message. Other soldiers have also left their mark on history.
Napoleon Bonapartes troops left inscriptions carved into the stone of an
ancient Egyptian temple. The French soldiers names, ranks, units, and
other information seem out of place alongside the ancient carved figures
and hieroglyphics. Unfortunately, these inscriptions damaged ancient
carvings on the temple walls but they do provide historians with
information about the soldiers that served there.
Since the beginnings of warfare, soldiers have wanted to leave a material
mark of their presence in the places they have trained, visited, and served.
A sign, symbol, unit insignia, name, carving, or painting are all that
remain, in many cases, today. Those who see the markings may wonder whether it is graffiti or art. In either
case, what soldiers have left behind give historians an insight into the lives of soldiers from the past.
In 1866, Captain Richard Henry Orton of the 1st California Cavalry left his mark on the rock near an important
water source in New Mexico. The spot was an oasis for travelers to find water in the harsh New Mexico dessert
and had been used by Anasazi, Spanish, and American travelers who left their marks in the soft rock.
Today that site is El Morro National Monument and Captain Orton,
who was the last California soldier released from Federal Service
after the Civil War, eventually became the Adjutant General of the
State of California. His name and unit information stand alongside
those of other travelers who stopped there, providing a lasting record
of their time in the area.
In World War II the famous, Kilroy Was Here markings showed
up on allied battle fields. Other soldiers left their marks on bombs
dropped on enemy targets, sometimes with message directed to
Hitler or Tojo. Others used their talents to create art on military
vehicles or on the walls of military buildings.
Airplane nose art became synonymous with the fighters and bombers
of WWII. Famous examples include the shark mouths painted on
the fighters used by the Flying Tigers and the pinup girls whose figures and names graced bombers such as the
famous Memphis Belle both of which have been the subject of Hollywood movies.
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Examples of soldier art removed from
the barracks buildings on display at the
Camp Roberts museum. The annex was
undergoing renovation at the time the
picture was taken.
Photo: SGT (CA) Jason Orton

While many might not consider it art,
soldier graffiti also tells the story of the
soldiers that served at Camp Roberts. In
this case a soldier decided to share the
insignia of the 82nd Airborne. Soldier
graffiti such as this will be lost to time as
the WWII era buildings are demolished.
Photo: SGT (CA) Jason Orton
Some of their artwork has been carefully preserved today in museums and private collections, not only for its
artistic value but also for its historic value. Some has also been lost to time as old structures or vehicles have
been destroyed. In recent years, efforts have been made to preserve some of the art soldiers have left behind.
Some soldiers from the past have become famous artists including Charles Shulz who drew the Peanuts Comic
strip featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and friends. Other soldiers were artists before they served and worked
to recover and preserve famous artwork during wartime. The Monuments Men was a recent film that told the
story of artists and historians who worked to recover and preserve artwork during World War II.
One of those Monuments Men, officially called the Monuments,
Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) program, was Private First Class
Lincoln Kirstein. Kirstein left the civilian world running a ballet
school for army life in 1943. He started expanding a program that
gathered and documented soldier art. Private Kirstein was working
on a large exhibit of soldier art and a book entitled Artists Under
Fire when he was transferred to Europe. After the war he helped
start a ballet society that eventually became the New York City
Camp Roberts has numerous examples of soldiers leaving their
literal marks on the historic post. Some soldier art from the WWII
era barracks is currently on display in the post museum. This art
often depicted everyday life of the soldier on post or things they saw
in the area.
One example from World War II by E. Schweig depicts soldiers marching on the gold colored hills of Camp
Roberts among the Oak trees so prevalent in the area. The painting was made on two panels of plywood. It is
currently on display in the museum annex. The annex also has other examples of soldier art. Carefully
removed from the barracks buildings, the paintings have a home in
the museum where they can be cared for and enjoyed by future
Soldiers also left their mark in the form of graffiti in many of the old
WWII era buildings on post. Soldier Graffiti was probably the most
widespread means of soldiers leaving their mark. While often not as
visually pleasing or welcome as more traditional art forms, the
graffiti they made also has a story to tell about those who left it
Soldiers who spent time at Camp Roberts East Garrison left
messages with their names, rank, unit affiliations, and other words
conveying their thoughts. Unit affiliation was one of the more
common marks left as soldier graffiti. One soldier who left his mark
in an old building at East Garrison made only a large unit insignia
for the 82nd Airborne Division and did not even leave his name!
Another who left his mark wasnt even a soldier and made that clear
by writing USMC next to his name!
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CW4 (CA) Henry Leon gave an update of
the units activities to the combined
California Center for Military History during
the Annual Unit Training Assembly in May.
Photo: SGT (CA) Jason Orton
Unlike Napoleons troops in Egypt, the marks on the walls of the old buildings at Camp Roberts will be lost to
history as the buildings are torn down. Markings on ancient Egyptian temples by soldiers in the past would, by
todays standards, be considered destruction of a priceless history today. But, these markings offer a unique
glimpse into the soldiers and their thoughts during that time in history.
A soldier leaving their mark on a rock, temple wall, or other natural or historic site might find themselves in
serious trouble today; but there are still examples of soldier leaving their mark in ways that are not only
acceptable but encouraged by the military. The U.S. Army Center of Military History has several soldier artists
on staff whose work is on display for the public, carrying on the work that PFC Kirstein expanded on during
WWII. Some of the art created by todays soldiers can be viewed online at
The Painted Rocks of Fort Irwin, created by soldiers who have trained at the post, are an example of soldier art
today that is also permitted. Some painted rocks near the East Garrison at Camp Roberts have a similar purpose
to those at Fort Irwin. In combat areas, soldiers also continue to mark their vehicles, living areas, and weapons
with messages and art.
For some soldiers, it is the need to be remembered that drives them to leave their mark. For others, perhaps, it
is a way to communicate their love of their unit or a special message that they feel needs to be heard. For many,
the art or graffiti may just be the result of boredom. While some express their thoughts in simple words, others
have done their expressions through more elaborate paintings or drawings. Whatever the motivation, soldiers
leaving their marks on history have given us a glimpse into their past and a better understanding of their
thoughts as they served their country.
213th Military History Detachment (Deployable) Odds and Ends

Annual Unit Training Assembly
Soldiers from the 213th Military History Detachment
(Deployable) attended the annual unit training assembly of the
California Center for Military History (CCMH) at Camp San
Luis Obispo on May 16th. The training brought together all
the units for the CCMH for joint training on historical topics
and skills needed to achieve the units mission.
Presentations included California and U.S. military history.
CW4 Henry Leon gave a review of the activities, actions, and
goals of the 213th Military History Detachment (Deployable)
to those in attendance. Chief Leon also had on display several
detailed model dioramas of WWII scenes with soldiers and
vehicles from the European theater. Modeling has been one of
his hobbies for many years and his dioramas provide very
detailed viewing of historical events on a small scale.
SFC Eddie Colis, displayed several historic military bugles from the 1940s he has collected. He displayed
bugles in a wood and glass case next to the dioramas. The bugle collection also included a smaller, Boy Scout
bugle from the same period. The bugles were also used as part of a presentation on historic bugle calls given by
Sergeant Major Carlos Gama on the third day of training.
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SPC (CA) Orton with the certificate he earned
for completing the Basic Non-Commissioned
Officers Course at Camp Parks. Orton was
promoted to Sergeant at the Annual Unit
Training Assembly in May.
Photo: Christa Orton

SGM (CA) Carlos Gama gave instruction on
drill and ceremonies given by bugle command
while SGT Jason Orton demonstrated the
movements in early WWII era uniform.
Photo: SFC (CA) Eddie Colis
During SGM Gamas presentation on historic bugle calls, the group learned about this simple instruments
history with the military. The bugle was an important part of the military in days before radio communication
for directing troops in battle and for daily garrison activities.
While bugle music is still used for important military functions
such as Taps and Reveille, the bugle player is not a major
part of military life today. SGM Gama demonstrated several
bugle calls from the past during his presentation.
As part of his presentation, he was joined by Sergeant Jason
Orton who was dressed in an original, early WWII uniform
similar to that worn by members of the 40th Infantry Division
in the Pacific Theater. The uniform was a part of SFC Colis
private collection and was made up of original issue items.
SFC Colis took a few minutes during the presentation to
explain the uniform to those in attendance.
SGM Gama then took SGT Orton through several static drill
moves using only the bugle to give the commands as was once
a common practice in the army during WWII. Those in
attendance were then given the opportunity to learn to do the static drill movements based on bugle commands.
All of the presentations at the annual training were excellent and provided a great training opportunity to those
in attendance. The level of interest in military history and the time spent by soldiers from the California Center
for Military history are evidence of the dedication of those called to collect, preserve, and promote Californias
military history.
Soldier Completes Basic Non Commissioned Officers Course, is Promoted
Specialist Jason Orton completed the Basic Non-
Commissioned Officers Course (BNCOC) at Camp Parks
during the month of April. The course covered topics such
as Army Values, Security, Counseling, Leadership,
Professional Development, Training Management, and
Drill and Ceremonies.
The course put the future Non-Commissioned Officers
under stress with homework, deadlines, testing, team
exercises, and sleep deprivation. They really took us out
of our comfort zones and emphasized teamwork, stated
Orton. I felt closer to my classmates afterwards than any
other group I have trained with. At the end of training, we
were like a family.
During the annual unit training assembly for the California
Center for Military History, Orton was promoted to
Sergeant (E-5) and is now serving as the Administrative Non-Commissioned Officer for his unit at Camp
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213th Military History Detachment (Deployable) Drill Schedule
14 June 2014
12 July 2014
2 August 2014
6 September 2014
4 October 2014
1 November 2014
6 December 2014
*CSMR soldiers wishing to perform a SUTA with the 213th should contact CW4 (CA) Henry Leon in advance at: Dates are subject to change. All unit members will be notified of any changes as they occur.
First formation time is 0800 at the Camp Roberts Museum Annex.
On the Funny Side

Meanwhile left to play alone while big brother Jimmy starts Kindergarten.

Copyright Pending May 2014
Copyright Pending May 2014

Acknowledgements and Notes:
The California State Military Reserve with the California Center for Military History and the 213th Military History Detachment
(Deployable) at Camp Roberts, owe thanks to many people for this newsletter. First our thanks to Brigadier General (CA) Timothy E.
Albertson, Commander of the CSMR and to Colonel (CA) Fred Rutledge, Acting Commander of the CCMH.

Our thanks and appreciation for their support on Post:
Gary McMaster (SFC, USA, Ret.), Chairman of the Post Museum
Dirk Hale (SFC, USA, Ret.), First Vice Chairman and Treasurer
Joan Hussey, Second Vice Chairman
Don Avery, Secretary
Douglas Baird (COL, USA, Ret.), Advisor
Mark Hale, Construction Volunteer
Ron Hysell, Vehicle Maintenance Volunteer

And all those others past, present, and future who have volunteered or financially supported the museum.

To the Camp Roberts Post Management and Leadership, also our gratitude.
Post Commander, Colonel John N. Haramalis
CW4 Robert T. Rall, Resource Manager
CSM James E. Norris, Post Command Sergeant Major

To the Unit members of the 213th Military History Detachment (Deployable), past and present, without which this
newsletter would never have happened:
CW4 Henry L. Leon
SFC Eddie Colis, NCOIC
SFC Philip Grenado (Ret.)
SSG Carl Shultz
SGT Jason Orton
SPC Carrie McCulley

Special thanks to retired CW4 Ernest McPherson and SGM Carlos Gama for help with editing and formatting. Thank you both for
your continued support!

This newsletter is dedicated to the men and women who have served and to those who carry on that tradition of excellence today in the
armed forces.

Be sure to check out future installments of the 213th Military History Detachment (Deployable) Newsletter.

This issue and past issues can also be found online at: For
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For any input or comments, contact CW4 H. L. Leon at All messages will be answered. Suggestions or
submissions for future article consideration are welcome. For mail correspondence: 1895 Ironwood Dr. Santa Maria, CA 93455


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or
position of any agency of the United States Government, the State of California, the National Guard, the California State Military
Reserve, the California Center for Military History, the 213th Military History Detachment (Deployable), Camp Roberts, or the Camp
Roberts Historical Museum.