Glory Days – “Lariat Advance”

53rd Regiment News Reports

Dateline March 19th, 2017

Telephone Rings at 0135 hours, somewhere in Germany, circa 1987

 “Lariat Advance, Lariat Advance, Lariat Advance as of 0130 hours!”

Soldier picks up the phone and responds, “Roger, Lariat Advance as of 0130 hours.”

The Cold War was on. Units and Soldiers in the Federal Republic of Germany maintained a high state of readiness. The United States had approximately 250,000 US military personnel stationed in Germany during the 1980’s. If World War III were to break out, Germany was expected to be ground zero.

The Soldier picking up the phone would grab their Alert Roster and execute their portion of the phone tree passing the command on, “Lariat Advance, Lariat Advance, Lariat Advance as of 0130 hours. Battalion Commanders called their Company Commanders, Sergeants Major, and Battalion XO and S3; Company Commanders called their Platoon Leaders and First Sergeants; and Staff Officers called their section NCOIC and key leaders. And so the command was passed down the line for troops living on and off post. For troops living in the barracks, CQs (Charge of Quarters) woke Soldiers up with the same command banging on doors and yelling “Lariat Advance” up and down the hallways.

The sound of that German phone going off at 0130 in the morning was like a five alarm fire. It was loud and startling and you felt like it would wake up the whole neighborhood. Soldiers were given a designated period of time to be on post in their go-to-war uniform, secure their weapon & MOPP gear and get their vehicle/M1A1/Bradley PMCS’d, lined up in designated march order and conduct communications check and provide a status report.

“Kilo 3 this is Kilo 2, comms check, over?”

“Kilo 2, Lima Charlie, out.”

“Kilo 3, this is Kilo 2, as of 0300 hours we are at 75% strength.”

“Kilo 2, 75% strength, roger, out.”

 Racing to get on post, troops never knew if the alert was an exercise or the real thing. This was a well-rehearsed battle plan where units would prepare to execute their General Defense Plan. Units and Soldiers were evaluated from start to finish. Sometimes we would roll out to our Local Training Area for days at a time or leaders would conduct a Key Leaders Recon and rehearsal exercise briefing battle plans through a MAPEX.

There was never an ideal time for Lariat Advance. Back in the day you grabbed your gear, hugged and kissed your wife goodbye and said, “See you soon. I love you, I’ll call when I can.”

“Lariat Advance, Lariat Advance, Lariat Advance as of 0130 hours!”

 

 

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