After Action Report 4/6/13
3rd BCT 82nd Airborne Division Regimental Ball held on March 27, 2013
On Wednesday March 27 the Convention Center in Raleigh, North Carolina was the site of the 3rd BCT’s first Regimental Ball held in four or five years. Approximately 1200 Officers, NCOs, honored veterans and the wonderful ladies that put up with all of us were in attendance. The Marriott Hotel just across the street from the Convention Center provided rooms at a good rate for all the out of towners and those who did not wish to return to Fayetteville/Ft. Bragg at the end of the evening.
Happy hour in the lobby preceded dinner. Gracing the lobby was a beautiful ice sculpture of the Division crest with a Panther above it.
Before dinner there were toasts and remarks by Col. Fenzel as well as the always touching explanation of the significance of the items on the Fallen Comrade Table. After dinner we were entertained by an all too brief performance by the All American Chorus. Following the Chorus was a Highland Pipe and Drum Corps whose lads and lassies created a “bonny grand racket”
Guest speaker was LTG Jack Nix (ret), a thirty year plus professional soldier, serving in Airborne and non- airborne units as well as many staff and administrative jobs within the Army. After retirement, LTG Nix had a second career was with the large and varied J.E. Dunn Construction Company.
Five troopers were introduced and inducted into the Order of the Distinguished Panther for their contribution to the regiment. Congratulations to them.
A “grog Ceremony” was held in which a bottle of liquor from each area that the 505th has campaigned in are mixed in a large bowl. Sicilian and Italian wines started the flow, with French hard cider, Dutch beer, rum from Panama and Vietnamese rice wine to complete the potent mix. For service in non- drinking areas a can of Rip-Its energy drink and a pot of thirty six hour old coffee was added. It tasted far better than it sounds and had a serious kick to it. Four or five cups of it would tend to make one a little tipsy.
Rather than amaze “the youngun’s” with our graceful and almost poetic dance floor moves, most of us retired to our hospitality room to catch up with each other and socialize with the guests that dropped in including LTC James Hayes , Brigade XO.
The people of Raleigh were warm and friendly. The weather was cold and windy—high 20’s to low 30’s at night and mid 50’s by day. There were plenty of touristy things to do within walking distance of the hotel such as shopping, the State Capitol Building numerous museums, etc. We ate at an English pub called the Oxford and if you really like Barbeque and/or ribs try The Pit, but go early as it is very popular.
Besides the Golden Brigade, the 505th Panther Association and 555th Parachute Association were also in attendance.
Another job well done by the Panther Brigade !!
For photos of the Ball go to the 3rd BCT face book page or go to www.flickr/pantherbrigade.
For pictures of our welcome home in September go to page 61 on that website.