425th Regimental Association

The regimental home of Company F (RANGER) 425th Infantry

425th Regimental Association 2014 Dining Out

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Dining In LOGOThe first Dining Out since the inactivation of the unit was held at the Bruce VFW Post on April 12th. It was well attended with over 100 members and family present.

2014 Dining Out - 10The evening started with time to reacquaint with old friends and comrades. Some had not seen each other in years and many of the most recent members of Co F were able to meet some of the original members of the unit. As the stories (jump lies) were told with the altitudes higher, winds stronger, and nights darker, the revelry was interrupted as everyone was asked to take their seats for dinner.

The formal portion of the evening was initiated with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Airborne Prayer.Flag at halfstaff

The Roll Call of Absent Friends was followed by a moment of silence.

Regimental CSM Dean Burchill discussed the Memorial Monument at Camp Grayling and

President Dick Anderson recognized former First Sergeants and Commanders in attendance and introduced the guest speaker, former Co F First Sergeant and now CSM Bryan Merkel of the 1st Bn, 125 Infantry.

CSM Merkel recalled his time with Company F, his two deployments with the unit. When comparing his time on active duty prior to joining Company F and his time in other units since leaving the unit, he said his time with Company F was the best.

2014 Dining Out - 1The key point of his presentation was that soldiers from Company F have been assigned to many other units and they are making a difference and adding value in every case. They are setting a new standard for excellence that is increasing unit performance.2014 Dining Out - 7

Following CSM Merkel’s presentation dinner was served. It was generally agreed that the food was delicious and there was plenty of it.

The social gathering continued after dinner and many members hung around to adjourn to the post’s club room to continue the celebration.

2014 Dining Out - 4We want to give a special thank you to the team that coordinated this event:

425th Regimental Dining Out

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Dining In LOGO425th Regimental Association Dining Out

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Bruce VFW Post

28404 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI

This will be our first formal event since the unit was deactivated in 2012.  This is a great opportunity to renew past friendships and make some new ones.

The Dining Out will include dinner, open bar, and a free membership in the 425th Regimental Association for all NEW members.  There will also be unit and association t-shirts, hats, coins, and other memorabilia on sale.

Our guest speaker will be CSM Bryan Merkel.  A former Co F NCO, a veteran of tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, who is now the CSM for the 1-125 Inf.  He will discuss “Life after Company F.”

The cost of this event is $30 per person.  Payment must be made in advance NLT March 31, 2014.

Payment made be made by check (payable to 425th Regimental Association), or by credit card.  For credit card payments go to PayPal.com, select “Make Payment,” enter your own email address, and CoF425thRegimentalAssociation@yahoo.com for the payee email address.  Make the payment as a gift, not a payment.

Regardless of your method of payment, send the attached form, or the same information in an email to csm@425regiment.org.

The appropriate attire for this event for members is the Army Service Uniform, business suit, or sport coat and tie, and comparable attire for female members and guests.

A block of rooms have been reserved at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Roseville, 31900 Little Mack Ave, Roseville, MI 48066 at a special rate of $79/night.  To get this rate, register in one of the following ways:

1 – Call the toll free reservation line 1-888-HOLIDAY and ask for the Company F-425 Association Reunion Group (group code CFA)

2 – Call the hotel direct (586) 285-5800 and ask for the Company F-425 Association Reunion Group (group code CFA)

3 – Click the link:  www.hiexpress.com/redirect?path=rates&brandCode=ex&localeCode=en&regionCode=1&hotelCode=RVLMI&_PMID=99801505&GPC=CFA

This rate is only available until 15 Mar 2014, after that you are on your own.

Ranger Scroll Small425th Regimental Association Dining Out

12 April 2014

Registration Form

 Name ____________________________________________________________________

Address __________________________________________________________________

Highest rank held _________________  Number of guests _____________________

Email address ______________________________________________________________

Phone Numbers:   Home  (______) ________________ Cell (_______)  _______________

Amount Paid $ ______________

 

One of our fellow Rangers has fallen

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SGT Bob Nanni recently passed away in a car accident. The details on the funeral as we know them are-

Saturday, 29 Jun, 10 AM – Visitation is at the Creek Center Banquet Hall 72025 North Ave Armada, MI the service will start at 11 then we will go to the West Berlin cemetery in Allenton (near the intersection of Almont and Capac Roads, east of Almont). After the service at the cemetery we will return to the Creek Center Banquet Hall for a luncheon.

Normal attire for funerals is the Class A uniform.  Retired personnel are authorized to wear the Class A uniform for such functions.  Informal Association policy is to wear slacks with a dark (Navy Blue, etc) sport coat with beret if an appropriate uniform is not available.  Retired personnel are authorized to wear decorations on the sport coat in lieu of a uniform.

The Wall – Lest We Forget

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Memorial Day will be upon us soon.  As we enjoy our time with family, friends and former comrades, let us pause and remember those who gave the last great act of devotion so many years ago.

A little history most people will never know. Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010. The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

1LT Ralph P. Miller, a former member of Co F (Ranger) 425th Infantry, is memorialized on the Wall – http://www.virtualwall.org/dm/MillerRP01a.htm. 

Miller Drop Zone at Camp Grayling was named in his honor.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those among us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

The NEW Michigan National Guard Museum

The Michigan National Guard has its own museum! 

Some of the Company F memorabilia will be on display

The museum is in building 2834 near Custer’s ‘First’ stand on the West Side of the base on Wayne Road, and is operated by the Fort Custer Historical Society.

The museum is in one of those old WWII wooden barracks. Please understand that these efforts are funded completely on donations from groups like ours and what they can get from the DOD.  The Museum is supposed to open sometime this year, but a definite opening date has not been set yet.

The directions to Ft. Custer is as follows:

You can also ask for directions at the main gate.

If anyone doesn’t have an ID card, please call SFC Marietta to arrange access onto the base.  SFC Marietta’s phone number is 269 731-6643.

 

425th Association Picnic, July 2011

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Dave Lincicome, Bob Wangen, Dick Anderson

The joint picnic with the 82d Airborne Division Association was a great time for all who attended.  As usual there was plenty of food and beer.  It was great to get a chance to meet old friends from Co F days and to meet some of the new members and hear jump lies that took place less than 20 years ago!

The 82d Association was highlighting the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, the “Triple Nickel,” the only all-black parachute unit in the Army.  It was still undergoing training at Fort Bragg in 1945 when WWII ended and was inactivated in 1947 with other units at Fort Bragg.

The skydiving demo was great.  I wasn’t sure they would do it as the wind felt pretty strong, but then I was thinking of T-10 and MC1-1 days, not high performance canopies!

Of course, much of the conversation related to the inactivation of the unit.  Getting rid of a unit with the history and proven capability as Company F is proof that the Army often doesn’t think straight.  Basil Zaviski is taking the sign he painted for the armory at Selfridge and displaying it in the Bruce VFW Post.  Dick Anderson is working with the State HQ to have the Association take possession of many of the unit items, such as the Regimental Colors and Guidon.

In the future you will be able to find copies of the E-Newsletter that Ben Walker sends out on this website and Membership cards will be sent out in an email so you can print out your own.

Don Bugg is in the final stages of completing the unit history, so if you have a story or picture that you want in it, send it to him ASAP!

The Deactivation Ceremony (End of an Era, Part II)

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Sunday, 12 June 2011, was a day we all dreaded to see arrive.  It was the day of an event we had all fought as hard as we could to keep from happening, but it did.

Home Station - Co F, 425 Inf

Few Rangers that still remain in the unit as most have been reassigned to other units or gotten out.  The mood was somber as former members watched the unit prepare for their final airborne operation.

No one was surprised that the jump came off perfectly and with no injuries. Three flights were made and five sticks were dropped.  However there were so few jumpers left in the company that everyone got at least two jumps.

At 1400 hrs the deactivation ceremony took place on the lawn outside of the armory.  The ceremony began with the 82nd Airborne Association drill team, presenting the colors.

The Final Formation

The new Adjutant General for the State of Michigan, MG Gregory Vadnais, was introduced and he conducted his part of the ceremony which included a reading of the history and honors of CO F.

Following that, CPT Adam Jenzen the Company Commander came to the podium and gave a great farewell speech for Company “F” which is included in full below.

CPT Adam Jenzen (The last "Old Man"

After his speech CPT Jenzen took his place before our company one last time and the Regimental Colors, were retired by simply encasing them.  A very austere ceremony, for an end to the greatest company the MIARNG has ever seen or will ever see again.

The National Colors were then retired and it was over.

And yes there were tears in the eyes of many of those present.

Thank you to former 1SG Ben Walker for his input to this post.

The FAREWELL SPEECH by CPT Jenzen

I would like to welcome all of our honored guests, friends, family, and former members.

I came to the unit in 2002 taking the position of unit armorer shortly after joining the Michigan National Guard following 4 years on active duty. I expected to serve a short time with Company F, just long enough to finish my degree, hopefully receive a commission and then move on to other things. Boy was I wrong…

Company F grows on you. Here, men were encouraged to constantly improve themselves through rigorous training that pushed soldiers to their limits. Those soldiers who choose to quit, were encouraged to seek units elsewhere. This mind-set instilled a sense of belonging to those who made it.

Through an established and well executed selection and training process basic soldiers were taught to become long range surveillance team members. With the support of their fellow soldiers, new recruits gained respect and earned their positions. Bonds were established through blood, sweat, and tears creating a warrior mentality that spurred self-confidence and devotion to the unit.

Company F became a home for these men, a sanctuary from the everyday world, where you were not judged on your social status, how much money you had, or what car you drove, but on your level of dedication and performance. The friendships that were made here and the sense of pride in each soldier and the unit as a whole is one of the reasons men chose to stay here, passing up promotion opportunities and career advancement in exchange for a true sense of self accomplishment.

Through the years, the men of Company F have prided themselves as being the most highly trained and tactically proficient soldiers in the Michigan Army National Guard. Through multiple overseas training events and two deployments we have demonstrated our professionalism and level of expertise. We have proven ourselves to be the best at what we do.

I wish that I could stand before you and discuss the unit’s future; unfortunately that is not the intent of this event.  Instead, I stand before you as the last commander of Company F. It is a solemn occasion, one that we hoped would never come. The men that you see here will be the last to don the red berets and proudly call themselves members of F Company, 425th Infantry.

We find ourselves in difficult times, being forced to make choices we would rather not make. Many of you have voiced your disdain and frustration at the events that have led to this moment. We have all pointed fingers, written letters, or searched for a course of action that we hoped could prolong this moment or alter the path we have been given. Unfortunately, the decisions have been made and the time has come for us to part ways.

I encourage you to brush off the chip on your shoulder and go forth, taking with you the lessons you learned while you were here. Develop new bonds and friendships, push your fellow soldiers to improve themselves, and pass on your knowledge and experience to others. Each of you have now been charged with the responsibility of being a representative of this Company. You must set the standard, and through your actions show others that while this unit may be gone, the principles we established and the professional soldiers we created live on.

Remember that you are and will always be a member of Company F.

Rangers Lead The Way.

For "Absent Friends"

Now gone, but never forgotten – We, the 425th Regimental Association, now carry on the lineage and honors of the best LRRP company in the U.S. Army!

Annual Picnic at Bruce VFW Post

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EVENT: 425th Regimental Association, Meeting & Annual Family Picnic.

WHEN: Saturday. 30 July 2011 / Family Picnic starts at 1100 hrs / Business meeting will be held at 1500 hrs.

WHERE: Bruce VFW Post / 28404 E. Jefferson Ave,   St. Clare Shores, MI (Located between 11 & 12 Mile Roads)

As in the past, the 82nd Association will be supplying hot dogs, hamburgers, condiments, paper plates, utensils, and beer.

NOTE: that this is still a pot luck and those attending are encouraged to bring a dish to pass.

There will be games for the kids, so you are also encouraged to bring a prize to donate (possibly something from the dollar store) for kids up to age 12.

At present there will be a skydive demo jump between 1300 and 1400 hours.  The 82nd will be running a closest to the pin raffle where for $5 you can buy a measurement (in increments of two inches).

If you pick the closest skydiver to the target you will win 50% of the money taken in.  The skydivers volunteer their jump to help the 82nd Association but the Jump aircraft and fuel are not free so this pays for their expenses.  Make as many guesses at 5 bucks per as you wish.

There will also be the 82nd Associations annual 50/50 raffle tickets on sale to help defray the picnic expense.    The drawing date is October 3rd during the meeting at the Bruce Post .  Ticket prices are $1 per ticket. You need not be present to win.

David Lincicome will be at the picnic selling our new line of  EMBROIDERED hats, shirts, and  license plates. (All proceeds go to the 425th Association fund)

Dean Burchilll has just ordered a new batch of our newly minted 425th Regimental Association challenge coins and will be selling them as well.  (Don’t have one? Better buy one or be prepared to do a lot of pushups)   (All proceeds for coins also go into our 425th Association fund.)

The 425th Regimental Association will have their business meeting at 1500 hrs inside the Bruce Post like we did last year.  An agenda will be provided at a later date.

This is our biggest event of the year and we are looking forward to a large turnout and a lot of fun for everyone.  As usual please leave all explosives, claymores, grenades, bayonets, machine guns and brass knuckles at home.

Final Jump and Deactivation Ceremony

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The formal deactivation ceremony for Company F will take place at the unit armory on Sunday, June 12, 2011 at 1400 (2:00 PM).

If you wish to attend you MUST contact SFC Brandon Post at (586) 239-6121 or email him at brandon.l.post@us.army.mil.

Unless you have a current  Military ID Card,  SANGB is a bit difficult to enter.  Even if you have a Military ID Card all other adult occupants of your vehicle should have a picture ID. Preferably a drivers license

If you do not have an ID Card contact SFC Post ASAP but NLT than 1200 hrs on Wednesday,  8 June,  to be put on a list that will be sent to Gate Security.  You should still have a picture ID for all adult occupants of the vehicle but being on the list will make entry easier.  There are events on two different days. You must specify what date or dates you plan to attend.

Due to number of people attending it is suggested you get to the gate as early as possible.

The final parachute jump of the unit will also be on June 12th.  First lift at 1200 and the second at 1300 from CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

For unit members and former members only, there will be a farewell party on Friday June 10th at the armory at Selfridge ANGB starting at 2000.  Food and beverages are provided.

The End of an Era

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Saturday, Dec 11, 2010 marked the end of an era. Company F (Long Range Surveillance), 425th Infantry held its last Dining Out. Company E & F (Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol), 425th Infantry was created from Companies A & B of the 1st Battalion (Airborne), 225th Infantry in 1968. Company E was stationed in Pontiac and Company F was stationed in Detroit. In 1972 Company E was inactivated and Company relocated to the Pontiac Armory. Company F has moved from designations as an LRRP unit through Ranger to LRS. To my knowledge Company has never failed to accomplish an assigned mission. Throughout its history the unit had a love/hate relationship with its higher headquarters, always loved by the Adjutants General and hated by the staff, yet always called on and counted on for difficult assignments.

In addition to its two recent deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, it was the first Michigan Army National Guard unit to deploy overseas with all of its equipment since the Korean War. In the early 1990’s it got its regimental colors and Distinctive Unit Insignia from the Department of Heraldry and its motto, “Around the World Unseen.”

The final Dining Out was a great event with present and past members coming together for a final hurrah! It was a special event in that we were fortunate to have Company F’s first Commanding Officer, Tom Tack attend and speak to the audience.

Tom Tack (Gray Suit)

LTC (Ret) Tom Tack & COL (Ret) Don Bugg

MSG (Ret) Bill Poynter, COL (Ret) Don Bugg, 1SG (Ret) Charles Lovett, LTC (Ret) Bob Wangen, CPT (Ret) Wayne MacKalpain, LTC (Ret) Tom Tack, CPT Jenzen