My first unit as a newly commissioned Army Officer was the 64th Forward Support Battalion at Fort Carson, Colorado. At the time (2000 to 2003) the 64th FSB was part of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. The unit had a headquarters detachment, a supply company, maintenance company and medical company. In all, there were about 550 Soldiers.
After graduating from college and the Clarkson R.O.T.C. program I attended my QuarterMaster Officer Basic Course at Fort Lee, Virginia. From there I had assignment orders to Fort Carson, Colorado. I was definitely excited, considering many of my friends and peers had orders to places like Fort Irwin, California or Korea.
In September 2000, I made the drive from Fort Lee, Virginia to Fort Carson, Colorado. It was a long road trip and I had a lot of fun. I had a brand new, black 2000 Honda Accord (V-6) coupe and boy was it fun to drive. I enjoyed traveling across country and seeing the beautiful scenery.
To this day, I remember seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time, a short time after I crossed the Colorado state line. To say I was in awe would be a complete understatement. Colorado is such a beautiful place to visit or live.
Arriving at the 64th FSB
I remember signing into my new unit for the first time. I arrived at the staff duty desk at the battalion headquarters. The building seemed vacant and I wondered where everyone was. The Staff Duty NCO quickly informed me that the unit was at NTC (The National Training Center). Apparently, the unit had just left about a week earlier and everyone would be gone for the next few weeks. I bet there weren’t 30 people left with the rear detachment.
I coordinated with the Rear Detachment Commander and took some leave. That gave me time to get settled in, to find a place to live and explore Colorado Springs a little bit. I think I took about two weeks worth of leave. About the time I finished leave the unit returned from NTC.
My Thoughts on Fort Carson
Fort Carson is like a dream assignment. The surrounding area is military friendly. The scenery is beautiful. There is lots to do. You can do everything from hiking, fishing, hunting, to white water rafting. There is also a great night life for single Soldiers and affordable housing. You’re about an hour south of Denver, so you can make a quick road trip and have tons of fun.
My First Year
For my first month in the 64th FSB I worked in the Support Operations Office as an assistant. Basically, I was waiting for a Platoon Leader slot to open up in the maintenance company. My first duty assignment was as the Supply Support Activity (SSA) Platoon Leader and Accountable Officer. I spent about a year in that job. That was definitely an eye opening experience for me, being in charge of approximately 30 Soldiers and millions of dollars worth of equipment.
My Second Year
My second year in the 64th FSB I was reassigned as the Ground Support Equipment Platoon Leader. I spent almost a year in this assignment and really enjoyed it. During this time I earned my Master’s Degree from Troy University. I also got married and my son, Devant, was born.
My Third Year
My third year in the 64th FSB was quite busy. I was reassigned, first as the Material Management Officer in the Material Management Center. After spending a few months in that assignment I moved over and became the Battalion S4.
In February 2003 (on Valentine’s Day I believe) I received stop loss orders. I had already tendered my resignation, since I only had a three year commitment. Apparently, our unit had just received orders to deploy to Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 1. We were going to be part of the initial invasion.
As the new Battalion S4, my job was to come up with a game plan to get our Soldiers and equipment overseas. That was a crazy, fun and challenging task to say the least. I learned a lot in that job.
We ended up deploying to Kuwait in March 2003 and within a couple of weeks we were convoying into Iraq. I spent a few months in Iraq until the stop loss orders were lifted. One that happened, I was on the first flight home, along with some other officers in the same predicament.
If there is one thing I can really remember, it’s that our unit was well trained, mentally tough and prepared for combat. We had exceptional unit leadership and all knew how to do our job.
My Overall Experience in the 64th FSB
My overall experience with the unit was wonderful. I was fortunate to have some great mentors and great leaders. My subordinate NCOs and enlisted Soldiers were amazing too. Everyone definitely worked as a team and wanted to help the unit succeed. Looking back now, I sure was green and inexperienced. I consider myself very fortunate to have such a great initial assignment as an Army Officer. To this day, I am proud to call myself a Mountaineer.
64th FSB History
The 64th FSB traces its roots back to 1942 when it was activated as the 64th Quatermaster Battalion. The unit has participated in World War 2, the Vietnam War, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. They have been awarded the Presidential Unit Citation and have 13 battle streamers. The unit has been at Fort Carson since 1987. The unit nickname is the “Mountaineers.”
About Fort Carson
Here are a few neat facts about Fort Carson:
- Approximately 130,000 acres in size
- Located in Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Home of the 4th Infantry Division
- Established in 1942, after the attack at Pearl Harbor
- Named after Christopher “Kit” Carson
- Approximately 11,000 Soldiers stationed there
In conclusion, I really enjoyed my time at Fort Carson with the 64th Forward Support Battalion. It was a wonderful unit and duty assignment. I met lots of great people and have tons of great memories that I will remember for the rest of my life. If you are fortunate to get stationed at Fort Carson, consider yourself lucky and be sure to make the most of it.
On a side note, if you’ve ever spent time in the 64th FSB, or at Fort Carson, I would love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below to share your story. Tell us about your experience and what you liked and disliked about it.
Former Army Major (resigned)
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