OK, enough of that. I was in the Army of Occupation many years ago. It meant something different and it was actually an honor.
The only shoulder patch the US Army issued with a city name on it
The Occupation I’m talking about is the US Army Of Occupation- West Berlin, Germany. Charlie Company 2/6.
I liked to say that each day I could get up and look out the window and see the East German guard towers…but that’s not true, I had to walk across the hall in the barracks and look out the window from one of the other soldier’s rooms to see them. My room face the center quad area where we held our formations.
I got there when I was 18 years old and left when I was 20. I had learned how to accurately fire weapons from the 1911A1 .45 to the 81MM mortar. I could drink up to 6 liters of German bier in a night (not every night) and I had a lot of good friends with me.
Some hated being there, but I realized that I was in a place that I could someday look back and say: “That was cool.”
After being there for 6 months, each soldier was awarded the Army of Occupation Medal. It was the last medal from WWII that was still being awarded to troops. It’s odd and every time I had to stand in Class A inspection in the National Guard years later, I’d always have some younger officer ask me: “What’s that ribbon for…I’ve never seen it before.?”
I’d say proudly: “Sir. That is the US Army WWII Army of Occupation Medal.”
They’d walk along and shake their head, not knowing if I was joking or telling the truth.
Go look it up.