The transition from the year 1967 into the opening days of January 1968 was swiftly accomplished with a battalion wide delineation of goals to be attained in ’68 by the Pioneer Battalion. The basic theme of operational readiness underlined all efforts of the battalion and extensive preparations to attain and retain this goal continued to be the “silent sentry” watching over achievements.


Coordination and staff planning initiated during the waning days of the Yuletide Season were vigorously implemented during the first week of the month when all activities of the First Team participated in a battalion level Formal Command Inspection. Troop areas, troop equipment, weapons, billets, vehicles, special purpose equipment - - all were inspected in minute detail by specially organized teams. Deficiencise [sic] were detected and corrected, valuable insight regarding the actual status of units was obtained, and progress was made in preparation for forthcoming CMMAI, CMMI, and AGI inspections.


The individual tenacity and desire to excel during the Battalion Formal Inspection placed the entire First Team in good stead the second week of the month when Brigadier General McGovern, ADC for Material Readiness, accompanied by the 5th Infantry Division Command Maintenance Assistance Team, conducted an inspection of the entire battalion and as a direct result of their assistance, our combat effectiveness moved up another step higher on the readiness ladder.


After a short breathing spell to compare notes, establish priorities, and render critiques, a detailed and comprehensive schedule of operations was deployed and instituted to gear First Team efforts towards the 5th Army Command Maintenance Management Inspection which is the next major challenge to be met.


Although an all-out campaign was effected in the inspection field the basic leadership training requirements of supervisory personnel was not overlooked. Integrated into the inspection program were formal classes for second Lieutenants and senior non-commissioned officers. The junior non-commissioned officer development program continued as did the on the job training programs for clerical and mechanically inclined personnel.


It was not all work and no play, however, deserving individuals were awarded special passes. Outstanding contributions to the team effort were noted and made a matter of record for future favorable personnel actions. Welcome respites in the form of beer parties were held by rifle companies and the men relaxed and further solidified that intangible bond of camaraderie which proved so valuable during the preceeding [sic] weeks.


A special treat was proferred [sic] to the officers and wives of the Battalion. A promotion party hosted by MAJ Donald J. Reed, CPT Leonard A. Ragus, CPT Pat Kennedy Jr., CPT Basil M. Blue, and CW2 Beecher Morrow was held at the Hackney House, Colorado Springs. The festivities were gala in nature and came at a most opportune time.


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