1ST SGT BOBBIE J. NELSEN, B CO, 1/8 CAV, FORT HOOD COMMENTS: (29 Jul 00)
First I want to thank each and every one of you for your selfless service and service to our great nation.
I found this site looking for information and the history about B Company 1-8 CAV. I'm the current 1SGT of Bravo. I'm
trying to link the present day "Bandits" to those who proceeded us. I want the soldiers of today to know and be proud
of the unit's history and the "Trooper's" that served before them.
I would enjoy any contact from any of you. Thank you and God's speed. 1SGT Bobby J. Nielsen
RAY B. POYNTER, 1ST SGT B CO, 65-66, (1st Sgt Retired), COMMENTS
WW II, Korea and Vietnam.
This note is to let some of you know just what a First Sergeant's duties and responsibilities are in combat.
Though a First Sergeant is not supposed to be a fighter and go into combat to shoot and kill the enemy, it sometimes
becomes necessary when he is in a situation where he must kill the enemy and fight as other warriors. To explain what I
mean, a First Sergeant's job in combat is mainly to keep the unit supplied with food, ammunition, and other supplies that
will keep the men ready for fighting when the situation comes up, and there's battles to win. He can make the unit or
break the unit if he does not do his job. It is a real serious job for him to keep the status of his men, all of them to
include his Commanding Officer. He must think ahead to be sure that the supplies are there on time. This can be really
sensitive at times under fire. Some units are lost by not having the supplies on time, especially ammunition and radio
batteries which are a real necessity under fire.
As I look back at my tour as a First Sergeant in Vietnam and I am proud that I did the job I did. I was always aware of
what was needed and was first to call for the right supplies. I had a complete status of all my men at all times even at
times if it meant working up reports in the bottom of a fox hole with a dim light.
I remember one battle that lasted until after midnight where we had ten men killed and many more wounded. After the
casualties were taken care of I had to make the report to Battalion. It meant making out a Form 1155 and Form 1156 on
each of them. These were casualty feeders for reporting the KIA's and WIA's in battle. It was important the Battalion
received these reports immediately.
On calling for supplies, we had a code to keep the enemy from knowing what we were calling for. Each type of
ammunition had a code word for that kind of ammunition We had codes for all the unit supplies that were or might be
needed and in many situations it was impossible to look up the code word meaning that we had to memorize them before
going into battle. I was a radio operator in WW II when we hit the beach on Cebu Island Philippines. Sent in on the first
wave I was fortunate that I had memorized all the code words for locations as we moved into the beachhead. Just a
point how important codes can be. Many of our troops never realized the First Sergeant was that important but in the
end if it had not been for the TOP not doing his job under fire, he and many others may not have came home at all.
I feel for those who were victims of men not doing their job in combat and causing many to die there. God forgive them.
COMMENT: Steve Rivera comments on above: "It was really great reading Top Poynter's statement on the home page.
Quite a first shirt, always hanging out on the skid on the first re-supply chopper when ever we were in a fire fight.
Airborne/Airmobile all the way "Top".
|Bravo Company 1965 - 1971
1st Sergeant's Page