Adjutant General's Corps Regimental Association

Last Ground Combat Troops Depart the Republic of Vietnam

By CPT G A Redding

The American colors are lowered at the final retreat ceremony on Hill 260 overlooking Da Nang, South Vietnam. This was the last flag to fly over a U.S. support base in the Republic of Vietnam (RVN). The ceremony was one of the activities marking the stand down of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, and attached units. These were the last of the U.S. maneuver battalions in the RVN.

With the departure of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, from the Da Nang area, Republic of Vietnam (RVN), on August 11, 1972, U.S. forces officially ended participation in the Vietnam ground war. At the peak of U.S. participation in the ground war in 1969 there was a total of 112 maneuver Battalions engaged in the conflict. Soldiers from the Battalion will either be reassigned to other units within the RNV or returned to the United States using usual returnee procedures.

Nicknamed “The Gimlets,” the Battalion arrived in Vietnam on August 14, 1966. They originally operated in the Tay Ninh Province, Military Region III. In April 1967, the Battalion along with its parent Brigade was attached to Task Force Oregon and shifted to the Chu Lai area in Quang Tin and Quang Provence, Military Region I. The Task Force was later organized into the U.S. 23rd Division (Americal) and participated in several large operations conducted in the Quang Tin and Quang Ngai Provinces.

More recently, the Battalion was moved to Da Nang where it provided security for the air base and other military units in the area. LTC Rocco Negris of Springfield, VA was the Battalion Commander. Duties of the Battalion were taken over by the South Vietnamese 3rd Infantry Division. There were only four helicopters available to execute the entire Battalion’s extraction. They’d drop off the RVN Soldiers and pick up the U.S. Solders. But why only four helos? Well, by that time there weren’t all that many U.S. Hueys available. As the U.S. participation in Vietnam continued to fade, there were less than six U.S. Army Hueys in I Corps sporting a U.S flag on their tail.

Freedom Birds arrive to pick up the last U.S. ground troops from the field, seven miles west of Da Nang, RVN. These four helicopters executed the entire extraction of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry.

CPT G A Redding, AG Corps, accompanied a CBS news crew throughout the 3rd Battalion’s extraction and stayed at the Battalion’s Fire Base on Hill 260 until a final U.S. motorcade left the Fire Base and all other U.S. personnel were extracted by the Hueys. At the end of the Battalion’s extraction there was a certain uneasiness over the ground that had been fought over for so many years. After what seemed an eternity, a lone helo returned that afternoon to extract CPT Redding and the CBS news crew. In stepping onto the helo skid, CPT Redding was effectively the last Soldier to leave a U.S. fire base in RVN. The photos that follow show the extraction of the 3rd Battalion.

Ariel view of Hill 260, occupied by B Battery 3/22nd Field Artillery, which was part of Task Force Gimlet. B Battery supported the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry until they were withdrawn from the field in Vietnam. Da Nang Airbase is in the distance to the right.
In support of extraction operations, Companies from the RVN 56th Regiment, 3rd Division, set up security for the landing zone after trading positions with Companies of the U.S. 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry.
A member of Company B, 3rd Battalion, waives to the chopper as it comes to extract the Company from the field and reunite him with the rest of his unit at “Gimletland” – the name they’d given to their hilltop Fire Base.
Soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry, move toward their extraction Huey.
Ken Wagner, from CBS News, and his News Crew accompanied by CPT G A Redding, observe the extraction of the 3rd Battalion, 21st Infantry.

About the Author: During his Army career, now LTC (Ret) G A Redding served in various AG assignments to include the Defense Information School (DINFOS), Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN (1974 – 1978); Office of the Secretary of Defense, American Forces Information Service (AFIS) (1978 – 1982 and 1985 – 1990); and as Executive Officer, U.S. Army Audiovisual Center (USAAVC), the Pentagon (1983 – 1985).  LTC (Ret) Redding retired from the Army in 1990.  LTC (Ret) Redding is also an AGCRA Founding Member.

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AGCRA Chapter Lineage

The Chapter lineage provided below is compiled by the AGCRA Historian and Association files reviewed since AGCRA’s founding in 1987.  This Chapter linage is a living document and will continue to be updated.  Point of contact is the AGCRA historian at Historian@agcra.com.

Aloha (Hawaii)

16 Nov 1991 – Chapter activated.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (COL Swain) an inactive letter.

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (COL Swain) asking for support to reinvigorate the Chapter; Chapter was subsequently reactivated.

Alamo (Fort Sam Houston)

7 Jun 2010 – Chapter activated.

Arctic Adjutants (Alaska)

14 May 1993 – Chapter activated.

14 Oct 1999 – Requested to amend by-laws to reflect two subcommittees, based on geographical dispersion (North – Forts Wainwright and Greely; South – Fort Richardson) under one Chapter President.

15 Oct 1999 – AGCRA NEC approved request for two subcommittees.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (LTC Vannatter) an inactive letter.

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (LTC Vannatter) asking for support to reinvigorate the Chapter.

11 Feb 2009 – Chapter inactivated by AGCRA President (COL Manning).

8 Nov 2010 – Chapter reactivated by AGCRA President (COL Manning).

28 Jan 2019 – Chapter is currently in an inactive status.

ARSOF (Virtual) – based at Fort Bragg

27 Aug 2012 – Chapter activated.

Bavaria (Germany)

10 Mar 2004 – Chapter dissolved by AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew).

Unknown Date – Chapter reactivated.

16 Jun 2008 – Chapter deactivated by AGCRA President (COL Mustion).

Bison (Fort Riley)

21 Sep 1990 – Chapter activated.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Seniorr HR Officer (LTC Golya) an inactive letter.

Unknown Date – Chapter reactivated.

Buffalo Bill (Wyoming)

6 Apr 1991 – Chapter activated.

16 Jun 2008 – Chapter deactivated by AGCRA President (COL Mustion).

Carolina Chapter (Fort Jackson)

14 Feb 1991 – Chapter activated.

Chesapeake Bay Chapter (Fort Meade)

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (Mr. Ham) an inactive letter.

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (Mr. Ham) asking for support to reinvigorate the Chapter.

28 Jan 2019 – Chapter is currently in an inactive status.

Eisenhower (SHAPE Belgium)

16 Apr 1991 – Chapter activated.

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (COL Poet).

Unknown Date – Chapter was deactivated.

Follow Me (Fort Benning)

27 Aug 2013 – Chapter President (LTC Welch) requested name change from Follow Me to Fort Benning,

26 Sep 1023 – AGCRA President (COL Garlick) approved name change to Fort Benning,

Freedom’s Front Door (USMEPCOM Virtual)

24 Sep 2010 – Chapter activated.

Gateway Chapter (St. Louis)

14 Aug 1998 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by CPT Towne, Chapter President.

28 Oct 1998 – Activated as 29th AGCRA Chapter by AGCRA President (COL Hardesty).

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (COL Goode) an inactive letter.

30 Jul 2008 – COL Goode requests formal deactivation of Chapter.

17 Nov 2008 – Chapter deactivated by AGCRA President (COL Manning).

Gator (Fort Polk)

9 Nov 1994 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by LTC Reehm, Chapter President.

1 Mar 1995 – Chapter activated.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (MAJ Manus) an inactive letter.

Unknown Date – Chapter reactivates.

Golden State (California ARNG)

12 May 2009 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by LTC MacDonald, Chapter President.

7 Jul 2009 – Chapter activated.

Gold Vault (Fort Knox)

5 Dec 1988 – Chapter activated

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (LTC Rado).

28 Jan 2019 – Chapter is considered a large hub Chapter based on activity and support.

Greater Atlanta (Fort McPherson)

11 Jul 1992 – Chapter activated.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (COL Barnes) an inactive letter.

6 Jul 2008 – Chapter (LTC Downer) requested good standing memo in order to register on Fort McPherson.

21 Jul 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) sent memo to Chapter attesting its good standing.

Unknown Date – Chapter deactivated with closing of Fort McPherson and movement of FORSCOM Headquarters to Fort Bragg.

Horatio Gates (Fort Ben Harrison)

17 Nov 1989 – Chapter activated.

9 Mar 1995 – Chapter proposed deactivation concurrent with deactivation of AG School Battalion in June 1995, the move of the Soldier Support Center to Fort Jackson, and renaming the Chapter the Gates-Carolina Chapter at Fort Jackson.  The units remaining on Fort Ben Harrison after the 1991 BRAC were:  The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS), several USAR and Indiana National Guard units, and the Indianapolis Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS); hence the Horatio Gates Chapter remained active and a new Carolina Chapter was activated at Fort Jackson.

3 Mar 2003 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Chapter.

27 Jun 2003 – Chapter (COL Jones) declares itself a non-viable Chapter.

Hudson Valley (West Point)

19 Feb 1995 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by COL Wyatt.

27 Apr 1995 – Chapter activated.

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (LTC Dagnes).

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (COL Bruno) an inactive letter.

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (COL Bruno) asking for support to reinvigorate the Chapter.

28 Jan 2019 – Chapter is currently in an inactive status.

Iron Mike (Fort Bragg)

24 June 1989 – Chapter activated.

28 Jan 2019 – Chapter is considered a large hub Chapter based on activity and support.

Iron Soldier (Fort Bliss) – see Rio Grande and Sun City below.

Lion of St. Mark (Vicenza, Italy)

13 Apr 1992 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by 2LT Magee.

30 Apr 1993 – Chapter activated.

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (LTC Waters).

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (LTC Waters) an inactive letter.

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (LTC Perfetti) asking for support to reinvigorate chapter.

Lone Star (Fort Hood)

13 Jan 1993 – Chapter activated.

28 Jan 2019 – Chapter is considered a large hub Chapter based on activity and support.

Masters City (Fort Gordon)

15 May 2012 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by SGM Royal.

26 Jun 2012 – Chapter activated.

Mediterranean (Naples, Italy / AFSOUTH)

26 Apr 2013 – Chapter activated.

Morning Calm (Korea)

9 Nov 1989 – Chapter activated.

Mountaineer (Fort Drum)

3 Nov 1992 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by CPT Manta.

6 May 1994 – Chapter activated.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (LTC Masley) an inactive letter.

Mount Rainier (Fort Lewis)

21 Nov 1991 – Chapter activated.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (COL Avery) an inactive letter.

Old Dominion (VA ARNG)

27 Jun 2012 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by MAJ Martin.

4 Sep 2012 – Chapter activated.

Ozark (Fort Leonard Wood)

12 Mar 1992 – Chapter activated.

Patton’s Gateway (Kuwait)

7 Apr 2015 – Chapter activated.

28 Jan 2019 – Chapter is currently in an inactive status.

Pike’s Peak (Fort Carson)

17 Dec 2001 – Chapter activated.

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (LTC Devine).

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (Ms. Foster) an inactive letter.

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (LTC Hauser) asking for support to reinvigorate chapter.

Pony Express (Fort Leavenworth)

28 May 1993 – Chapter activated.

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (LTC Adams).

16 June 2008 – Deactivated by AGCRA President (COL Mustion).

2018 – Chapter reactivates.

Potomac (NCR)

2 Jun 1990 – Chapter activated.

28 Jan 2019 – Chapter is considered a large hub Chapter based on activity and support.

Red River (Fort Sill)

19 Nov 1990 – Chapter activated.

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (LTC Staley) asking for support to reinvigorate the Chapter.

Rhein-Hessen (Bad Kreuznach, Germany)

26 May 1994 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by LTC McKenney.

18 Jun 1994 – Chapter activated.

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (COL Finke).

16 June 2008 – Chapter deactivated by AGCRA President (COL Mustion)

Rhein-Neckar (Heidelberg, Germany)

19 Apr 1991 – Chapter activated.

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (COL Finke).

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (COL Ellis) asking for support to reinvigorate the Chapter.

Rio Grande (Fort Bliss)

8 Mar 2002 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by LTC Miller.

15 Apr 2002 – Chapter activated.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (COL Bailey) an inactive letter.

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (COL Bailey) asking for support to reinvigorate the Chapter.

13 Apr 2012 – Chapter submitted activation petition and name change as Iron Soldier Chapter signed by MAJ Jacobson.

30 May 2012 – Chapter activated as Iron Soldier Chapter.

2018 – Chapter requests and is approved for name change to Sun City.

Rocket City (Redstone Arsenal)

19 Mar 2012 – Chapter activated.

Rock of the Marne (Fort Stewart)

14 Feb 1994 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by LTC Rogers.

28 Apr 1994 – Chapter activated as First to Fight Chapter.

30 Apr 1999 – Chapter submitted name change to Rock of the Marne.

18 May 1999 – National Executive Council (NEC) approves name change.

3 Mar 2003 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter placing Chapter on 6 months probation.

4 Sep 2003 – Chapter requested an extension of probation until 1 Feb 2004.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (LTC Aiton) an inactive letter.

17 Nov 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Manning) wrote to Senior HR Officer (LTC Aiton) asking for support to reinvigorate the Chapter.

Screaming Eagle (Fort Campbell)

21 Aug 1992 – Chapter activated.

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (LTC King) placing chapter on probation for 6 months.

16 Jun 2008 – AGCRA President (COL Mustion) sent Senior HR Officer (LTC Miller) an inactive letter.

Space Coast (DEOMI, Patrick AFB)

8 Dec 2014 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by LTC Beckwith.

22 Jan 2015 – Chapter activated.

28 Jan 2019 – Chapter is currently inactive.

Spartan (Fort McCoy)

27 Oct 2011 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by SFC Windom.

2 Dec 2011 – Chapter activated.

Sun City (Fort Bliss)– see Rio Grande and Sun City above.

2018 – Iron Soldier Chapter requests and is approved for name change to Sun City.

Thunder Mountain (Fort Huachuca)

6 Nov 1995 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by COL Murphy.

19 Jan 1996 – Chapter activated.

10 Mar 2004 – AGCRA President (COL Bartholomew) sent Chapter viability letter to Senior HR Officer (LTC Ladra) placing Chapter on probation for 6 months.

Tidewater (Fort Monroe)

11 Apr 1990 – Chapter activated.

Tri-Cities (Fort Lee)

9 Aug 2012 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by LTC Windisch.

6 Sep 2012 – Chapter activated.

Volunteer (TN ARNG)

7 Jul 2015 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by MAJ Stackpole.

12 Aug 2015 – Chapter activated.

Windmill (Brunssum, Netherlands)

3 May 2002 – Chapter submitted activation petition signed by LTC Lindahl.

26 Aug 2002 – Chapter activated.

Unknown Date – Chapter deactivated.

 

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Army HRC Installs First Female CSM / Senior Enlisted Leader

CSM Lynice Thorpe-Noel assumed responsibility of the Army’s Human Resources Command (HRC) as its first female Senior Enlisted Advisor.

During a ceremony hosted by MG Jason T. Evans, HRC Commanding General, held on Fort Knox, 17 January 2019, CSM Wardell Jefferson officially relinquished his duties to CSM Lynice Thorpe-Noel.

“It is an honor to lead and continue the legacy of the 15 Command Sergeants Major before me who represented and cared so well for our Soldiers and Civilians,” CSM Thorpe-Noel said.  “My focus is on motivating, inspiring, and leading from the front while supporting my Commander to advance HRC’s priorities.  Through modernization, reform, talent management initiatives, and most importantly, taking care of Soldiers we will realize the future of Army readiness.”

CSM Thorpe-Noel, who spent the last few years as the HRC Enlisted Personnel Management Directorate Sergeant Major, now takes on the leading enlisted role for HRC.  The command conducts distribution, strategic talent management, and information technology for a full spectrum of human resources programs and services, Army wide.  Those programs and services enable the Army to deploy, fight and win our nation’s wars.

“The main focus from my foxhole is setting the right environment for ambitious strategic thinkers to optimize the Army’s lethality; getting the right Soldiers, with the right capabilities, in the right position at the right time.  What we do at HRC is critical to the overall mission of America’s Army,” she said.  “This may sound simple, but there is an art and science to getting human resources right and our team does just that on a daily basis.”  In terms of the direction she sees HRC and the Army going, CSM Thorpe-Noel said readiness is key.

“We are the execution arm of Army G-1.  Our collective efforts will result in the implementation of IPPS-A, providing more tools in our manager’s tool kit to support the Officer and Enlisted talent management market places,” she said.  “As talent managers we need to be ambitious in our strategic thinking.  Let’s envision a future for Army human resources which optimizes talent management and make adjustments now to realize success.  Preparation is essential to readiness.”

CSM Jefferson, who assumed responsibility of HRC in August of 2015, now heads to the Pentagon where he will serve as the Sergeant Major for the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Army, G-1.  Under his watch, HRC was instrumental in the formation and manning of Security Force Assistance Brigades.  He spearheaded the Enlisted Talent Management system which optimized readiness and leader development through force alignment and career management.  CSM Jefferson continues to work in unison with Army G-1 in the development, fielding and roll-out of the Integrated Personnel and Pay System-Army.

“One of the biggest initiatives that we accomplished as a team during my tour as the HRC CSM is improving the way we manage the Enlisted population.  Although Talent management (TM) doesn’t fall completely on the shoulders of HRC, we do play an important role in that,” CSM Jefferson said.

CSM Jefferson also said he feels his transition to G-1 will be seamless.  “Our missions go hand in hand,” he said.  “G-1 writes policy and HRC executes it.  This requires a considerable amount of communication, and day-to-day interaction between senior leaders.  We have improved and maintained that over the past 3 plus years.”

With CSM Jefferson’s tenure coming to a close and CSM Thorpe-Noel’s just beginning, she sees a bright future for the Soldiers in her care and for the next generation of Army leaders.  “Our nation’s strength stems from its diversity and that diversity should be reflected in the ranks of our Army.  That’s what the American people expect – Soldiers and leaders who look like themselves and their loved ones – and that’s what they will get from HRC,” CSM Thorpe-Noel said.  “In America’s Army, the only barriers that exist are the ones that Soldiers choose to see.  I think if you choose to ignore those barriers, you can realize endless possibilities.”

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