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Man. 1009s and -46s. I remember them well.


Cobra Alemaster aka "Alemaster." 129th AHC gun platoon call sign "Cobra." Each aircraft commander had a nickname/callsign assigned by senior aircraft commanders. regards, Alemaster


Uh, mine was "Chunks". Very fortunately it didn't last long, tho I still make use of it occasionally. Got it during a Reforger Exercise when I was "captured" by the guys from Texas. Got stuffed in a Huey taking me to the rear. Flying side facing seat during "NOTE", and heaved very heavily into my helmet. When I noticed the smiles from all the "enemy" flight crew I turned my helmet over to let them deal with it.

SFC Dunlap 173d RVN

VRC-46's, big, not really man portable, but they nearly always worked and carried such a huge comms load during its tenure!!


Rhino Six. A few from my deep, dark past still call me that.


From time to time I encounter someone whose callsign makes me think his mates didn't like him much...


Non mil related. Back in the day when labor strikes were very violent I worked as a "Roving Patrol" for a strike security provider. This required me to move in and out of the perimeter multiple times per day. It was not uncommon to lose windows and such in transit, so vest and helmet were required.
One day as I was going through "the line" I got one picketers undivided attention and in berating me he started calling me a Weasel. It reached the point where that's all he would say just repetitiously over and over and over. Finally after getting "stuck" for a extended period right at the line with this guy I entered the perimeter and modified my helmet, writing "Weasel" as my call sign across brow. I then got a pair of large ears set up like the arrow through the head gag and put those on then the helmet. I went back to the gate and kept a straight face staring straight ahead.

Now the picket must have not really looked at me on my approach but as I got to "the line" he came up to my side and opened his mouth to yell when I slowly and with a straight face turned and looked at him. He froze up and started sputtering trying not to laugh. Then began telling me that I was "alright" and laughing and he really didn't harass me much after that. But, from that day forward I was call sign "Weasel" instead of Rover as the gate grunts picked up on it.


When I was in 1st BDE, 1st AD, they went by "Forerunners" as a holdover from having reflagged from 3AD. Later, they changed it to "Ready First Combat Brigade" and just "Ready" for call signs. As the AS3, my call sign was Ready 3P.

Over the years, I've been White 1 twice, Hellcat 5, Forerunner/Ready 3P, Battle 6, Highlander 6, Bayonet 77, Raider 3A, Warpaint 3, Warpaint 5, Raider 3, Raider 5, Falcon 5, Warhorse 6, and Timberwolf 07. All fun.

I so much prefer the fixed "Hollywood" call signs to the old number/letter combinations. Ahh, to be approved for abbreviated call signs was a lifesaver back then.

My favorite call sign story: When I was the mortar PL, we used "1" to indicate PL and "4" was for PSG. Unique to that time and place, the battalion's physician's assistant went by "Finger." We used colors for the platoons, with Red for support platoon, White for mortars, Blue for scouts, and Brown for the medics. That's right, used proudly and with confidence, the PA would come up on BN CMD with key transmissions such as "Power 6, this is Brown Finger. The chicken has been in the marmite cans for over four hours and I'm shutting it down."

Having the unfortunate experience of sitting under the camo nets in the "waiting area" behind the M577 at the forward aid station while Brown Finger renewed his call sign by conducting an airborne physical is another story, but one that is best forgotten...


When I was in it was called the CEOI.


As platoon RTO in Ger. long, long, ago I was K46I. I got to play with PRC-6, A/N PRC 25 (backpack & vehicle mounted), VRC 47, field telephones & switchboards, and various antennas. Lots of fun. Except for having to re-reel all the WD-1 wire in a hurry. It grows, you know.

This was pre-PRC 77, so no encryption. We "shackled" numbers using a crude but memorable substitution code using e.g. "white cloud".

In RVN my battalion was "Roving Gambler", with appropriate co. callsigns, for at least a year. Easy for both sides to remember since we still had no encryption. We got to play with a new toy, PRT-4/ PRR-9. It never worked well for us.

Buck Buchanan

Cougar 36 3rd PLT LDR
Cougar 46 Weapons PLT LDR
Bear 5 XO
SPADER 44 Support Platoon Leader (1st Battalion, 26th Infantry was the Blue Spaders)
Devil 35 S3 Air (Reflagged to 4th Battalion, 16th Infantry the Blue Devils)
Rock 35 S3 Air (3rd Battalion 19th Infantry is the Rock of Chickamauga)
Rock 4 Battalion s4
Gator 6 (I commanded A Co, 3/19th INF. We were the ALPHAGATORS)
Vanguard 4 (2d Bde, 24 ID was the Vanguard Brigade…BDE S4)
Victory 39 (I was OIC of DIV TAC)
Reader 26 (I was OIC of a military history detachment in the reserves)

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