First Team Academy

Flag brought back to the ‘World’ by Harley Higginson in 1971
(see Harley’s comments below)

In-Country Jungle Training

If assigned to an Infantry unit in the 1st Air Cavalry Division, you were given a week of In-Country training before being sent to your new unit. This training was at the First Team Academy in Bien Hoa.

There they issued you a M-16, spent time on the range zeroing the weapons, did some (rappelling, claymores, trip flares, etc.) They also showed us booby traps used by the Viet Cong and discussed the poisonous snakes in the region.

I recall the 45 foot rappelling tower, a little shaky going up that ladder. The first time I tried it, I went down head first. If I knew then, just how much rappelling I would do with C Troop 1/9, I would have made a few more trips up that tower.

With training complete, it was time to head north to Phuoc Vinh, the Headquarters for C Troop 1/9th…


Filed under Vietnam War

13 responses to “First Team Academy

  1. Harley Higginson

    During “stand down” in early 1971, the First Team Academy re-deployed back to Fort Hood, Texas. THEY LEFT THE FLAG HANGING ATOP THE POLE!! As our 229th Headquarters Company was reassigned to the vacant space, I was the first to start inventorying and inspecting the premises as the HHC NCOIC of Maintenance & Utility. I stared at it in wonder and sadness thinking how in the hell could they do that – just leave it here!!. I brought it home in mid summer of 1971. For forty years I have kept it a secret so the idiot that left it there would not catch holy hell. I am returning it to the First Team Academy soon wrapped in reverence To all those who served under this flag for one nervous week in your life, I wish you God’s Speed because our flag is home guys!
    Sgt-E5 Higginson

    • usastruck

      Welcome Home Harley, along with the flag…

      • Harley Higginson

        Thank you. I have made contact with Major General Daniel B. Allyn, Commander of the First Cavalry in Fort Hood and wil soon make arrangements for it’s proper home. It is time to pass the Baton of safekeeping the flag to all of The First CAV!!

  2. No pictures Harley?
    Jack Schwarz

  3. Lynn Titus

    I was with the 8th Engineer Battalion of the 1st Cavalry from Sept-1968 until Nov-1969. We moved south from Camp Evams to Phouc Vinh the latter part of 1968. During March and April of 1969 I was part of a team that built the Cav’s in-country training facility.

  4. Jerry McDonald Sgt.

    I was transferred from 5th Special Forces to the First Team Academy where I served my remaining time in country as company armorer and weapons instructor , Jerry McDonald ” Indian ” 1969-70

  5. Assignment to an Infantry unit was not the only requirement for a stop over in tie First Team Academy. When I arrived in country the end of Aug 1969, all individuals assigned to the 1st Cav went through a weeks training at the First Team Academy.

  6. Tom Covington

    I was assigned to the 12th Field Maint. Squadron, Cam Ranh Bay Air Force Base. Capt./Maj. George P. Cady, C. O. recruited me for a TDY to the 1st. Team Accadamy to work as a Repelling Instructor. I was the only Air Force member on station. I ended up bunking in the Jr. Officer’s Quarters. That didn’t go well with one 2nd Lt. but Maj. Cady educated the young Lt. about the Air Force housing requirements for N.C.O.s. We were all 10ft. tall and bullet proof. Msgt., U.S.A.F. Retired.

  7. Joseph J Kopac

    Thanks for posting this. I went thru 2 Jungle Schools. Was originally with the 101st, and when they stood down was transferred to the Air Cav. 5th and 8th regiments. That tower scared the shit out of me. The first time, I went down like a rock. People thought I was hurt, but I rolled properly. But I went up again. Didn’t want to look like a pussy. I’m still scared of heights, but for some reason sitting on the side of Huey with my legs in the wind never bothered me. Most of been the adrenaline. Peace Brothers.

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