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    From 1st Log to First Team: Veteran Sustainers Share Their Most Memorable Experiences

    From 1st Log to First Team: Veteran Sustainers Share Their Most Memorable Experiences

    Courtesy Photo | A sign with the now-famous 1st TSC logo represents the (then) 1st Logistical Command's...... read more read more



    Story by Wendy Arevalo 

    1st Theater Sustainment Command

    FORT KNOX, KY. - Since 1950, 1st Theater Sustainment Command and its precursors (1st Logistical Command, First Field Army Support Command and 1st Corps Support Command) have worked both behind the scenes and on the front lines to provide the warfighter with the supplies they need to accomplish their mission.

    In honor of Veterans Day, three veterans share their most memorable experiences working as sustainers with the 1st Logistical Command, 1st Corps Support Command and 1st TSC.

    In April 1965, 1st Logistical Command deployed to Vietnam to serve as the logistics command headquarters for all units in the conflict.

    Neil Barmann, of Brooklyn, N.Y., was a personnelman with the 516th Personnel Service Company, 80th General Support Group, 1st Logistical Command, in Da Nang, Vietnam from 1968 to 1969.

    Barmann’s job was to compile morning reports, (DA-Form-1) for all the companies attached to 80th General Support Group. The morning report was a document clerks in each unit produced which detailed any personnel changes from the previous day. It listed which personnel had transferred, were on temporary duty (TDY), wounded in action (WIA), killed in action (KIA), missing in action (MIA), etc.

    “The morning report was of critical importance because it allowed command-level decision makers to have an accurate and up-to-date picture of our exact level of troop strength,” Barmann said.

    Barmann, who had been drafted during his last year of college at Pace University, said he had been trained to be a stock control accounting specialist; however, when he reported to the 80th General Support Group, they asked him if he wanted to reclassify to personnelman because they needed someone to do morning reports.

    “I guess I got lucky,” Barmann said. “They took a look at my test scores and they said, ‘how would you like to stay right here and be a personnel specialist?’”

    After about six weeks of working as a personnelman, he was told they needed volunteers to form a “contact team.” The mission of the contact team was to teach Soldiers at the outlying units how to fill out morning reports.

    “It turns out when you go out to these units in the boondocks, in the rice paddies, they never get clerks sent to them,” Barmann said. “So, if you had someone who was lightly wounded, and on limited duty, that guy would become the company clerk. You take a guy who might have been a [infantryman] or a mechanic, and say, ‘fill out these forms,’ and he didn’t know how.”

    Barmann spent the next 10 ½ months traveling the entire area of coastal I-Corps, (from the southern-most units at Chu Lai to the northern-most point of Quang Tri) training clerks.

    “We came under hostile fire very often in these far out places and we were just lucky that no one on my team was ever wounded,” Barmann said. “We traveled a lot of time in helicopters, at tree-top level, and that’s what’s really dangerous.”

    He did actually get wounded once though, but, it occurred back at his base in Da Nang when he was running to a bunker during a rocket attack.

    “I don't know what hit me on the scramble from my bunk to the bunker, but when I got into the bunker with everyone else I had a small flesh wound and blood was running down my leg,” Barmann said.

    Barmann said when his platoon sergeant saw the wound, he said, 'here's the deal--when you get the all clear—I can take you down to the [hospital] EVAC unit and you'll get a Purple Heart, or we can fix you up right now with our kit.'"

    Knowing they had limited medics, and there were likely more seriously wounded Soldiers that required their attention, Barmann chose not to go and had his wound patched up with the first aid kit.

    “My personal moral code just told me not to do it,” Barmann said.

    Although he didn’t get the Purple Heart, Barmann did earn a Bronze Star for volunteering for the contact team.

    After finishing his enlistment in 1970, Barmann went to work for the city of Bayonne, N.J. as a clerk for the water/sewage utility. Years later, he went back to finish his degree and became a municipal tax collector. He is now 76 years old and retired.

    The 1st Logistical Command transformed into the 1st Corps Support Command in 1972 and would remain so for the next 34 years.


    In November 2004, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 1st Corps Support Command (COSCOM) deployed to Iraq to provide logistics support to the joint Multi-National Corps-Iraq and its coalition partners.
    In 2005, Staff Sgt. Ansenio White, an automated logistic specialist, deployed to Iraq with COSCOM.

    While there, he was an operations/training noncommissioned officer for Headquarters and Headquarters Company (HHC), Special Troops Battalion (STB) at Logistical Support Area (LSA) Anaconda.

    White’s daily duties included providing accountability of all Soldiers and making sure personnel were up to date on their training, especially weapons training.

    Soldiers in his unit were often going out on convoys to deliver supplies and needed to be ready in case they were attacked by hostile fire.

    Another challenge during this time was dealing with the high-frequency of enemy mortar attacks.

    White said he could deal with the mortars, but the most challenging thing for him was dealing with casualties.

    “We had riggers and they escorted the cargo wherever it had to go and they were hitting improvised explosive devices (IEDs),” White said.

    One bright spot for White was having the opportunity to serve under a Medal of Honor recipient, his battalion commander, Lt. Col. Gordon Roberts. Roberts received the medal for his actions while serving as an infantryman during the Vietnam War.

    White said when he first heard his battalion commander was a Medal of Honor recipient he was blown away.

    “I didn’t even know there were any still on active duty,” White said.

    Derek Canute was another Soldier who was on LSA Anaconda at the same time as Roberts and White.

    Canute, a utilities equipment repairer, deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005 with COSCOM. He worked in the motorpool repairing vehicles and performing scheduled maintenance.

    He said he remembers talking with Roberts and sharing a smoke while waiting for tower guard formations to take place.

    Canute said he, and all of the Soldiers there, had a lot of respect for Roberts. At that time, Roberts was the only Medal of Honor recipient still on active-duty.

    “Everybody knew he had the Medal of Honor,” Canute said. “I don’t think there was one of us who wouldn’t have followed him anywhere.”

    Even though it has been almost 15 years since they served together, White still remembers the advice that Roberts gave him.

    “Stay calm and focused in every situation you may come up against,” White said. “Who better to give you that advice than a Medal of Honor recipient from Vietnam.”

    After leaving COSCOM, White went on to serve another five years at 1st TSC, retiring as a Sgt. 1st Class in 2009. He now lives on Fort Knox, Ky. with his wife.

    Canute retired in 2017 as a staff sergeant and lives in Gaines, Mich.

    These are just a few stories of veterans who have served under 1st TSC and its forerunners. 1st TSC remains in the fight every day, ensuring warfighters have the supplies and transportation capabilities they need to accomplish their mission.



    Date Taken: 11.07.2019
    Date Posted: 11.07.2019 15:20
    Story ID: 350967
    Location: FORT KNOX, KY, US 

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