pace, and Brutus, our battalion mascot, finally completed her annual hibernation and spiritedly joined the troops throughout the area.


However the typical calm suddenly burst into a hurricane of troop movement to other on-post units; turning of equipment, procurement of additional troop barracks, and a multitude of other things, all done simultaneously! This sudden surge of activity was predicated upon a TO & E change which required the 1st Battalion (Mechanized), 11th Infantry to eliminate the "Mechanized" and adopt a prescribed configuration (both personnel and equipment) which would permit the battalion to move via mans oldest means of transportation. . .the human foot.


This concentrated beehive of activity was coded, "Project Diamond" and so remains. LTC Sidney R. Steele, in conjunction with the appropriate staff sections, implemented a cohesive planning effort which made the transition from a mobile force into a "Straightleg Infantry" command with a minimum amount of inconvenience to the troops and an optimum degree of efficiency. Unfortunately military requirements precluded LTC Steele from personally observing the end results of his efforts as a command change was directed to assign LTC Selby F. Little, Jr., vice, LTC Steele, who was temporarily assigned to Division G3 pending imminent movement to the US Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania.


LTC Little, a career Infantryman, veteran of Korea and Viet Nam action, plus an extensive background of airborne assignments, welcomed the new challenge, and immediately directed that Project Diamond requirements be met with alacrity and a demonstrated can do attitude. LTC Little explained to the assembled battalion that this unit would be currently undergoing preparation and training for possible deployment as directed by the Secretary of the Army and that this deployment may be to anywhere in CONUS, or to any overseas area to include the Republic of  Vietnam.


The inherent possibilities, and responsibilities, in our new mission immediately created a new sense of awareness and total dedication to duty. Morale, although always high, became vocal. Troop spirit during battalion level physical training gave evidence to this fact. As the battalion moved out for it's [sic] daily morning run the entire Fort Carson garrison was aware that the Pioneer Battalion was in the area. Drill cadence, marching songs, and the sound of combat boots striking the ground in unison evoked memories of the "old army", and created a sense of nostalgia in the heart of the most grizzled “ground-pounders”.


Necessary liason [sic] to turn in to the appropriate agency all of the tracked vehicles, plus those wheeled vehicles now excess to the new TOE was established. Similar liaison to procure new items was also established. The most significant being the total turn-in of the M-14 rifle and issuing to the troops the newer infantry weapon, the M-16. Concurrently with the distribution of the M-16 to subordinate units, range firing commenced to familiarize and qualify all members of the battalion with the weapon.

As a direct result of Project Diamond personnel categorized as nondeployable were transferred to other units and the battalion was brought to TOE strength by assignment of numerous deployable personnel, many of whom were combat veterans. The experience and ability of these personnel were utilized to the utmost and



[Webmaster: 1968 Annual Historical Supplement Page 4]