Belgium Commando


Special Forces
Verified SOF
Apr 11, 2010
monterey, ca
In 1965, I was a member of the 1st Bn, 19th Infantry, 24th Infantry Division stationed in Augsburg, Germany. We had monthly alerts but on several of them we didn't respond to our predetermined alert site. We would go to the German Air Force Base at Firstenfelbruck and board C-130s and deploy as the U. S. representatives to NATO (Allied Command - Europe Mobile Forces).

As members of ACE Mobile Forces, we would deploy to other NATO countries and conduct exercises for up to a month. On one of these exercises we went to Greece and then to Turkey. I was selected to be a bar tender at the officers mess. One evening I was serving drinks when the Belgium Battallion Commander noticed my name tag. He told me that we shared a last name, his last name was "SOETAERT".

He asked my Battalion Commander if I could train with his Battalion after the NATO exercise was over. My CO couldn't say no and I got to spend two months in Belgium going through their jump school and Commando training. I went back to my unit with Belgium Jump Wings and a Commando Badge.

Stay thirsty, my friend. .