The 173rd ABCT St. Michael’s Jump at Aviano, Italy

| December 8, 2011 | 25 Comments

Parachute Cutie sends a link to her blog, From Cow Pastures To Kosovo, in regards to the 173rd ABCT St. Michael’s Jump at Aviano, which she got an opportunity to observe. She thought I ought to see the pictures and she was right. i miss that shit…and the whopping tax free $55 I used to get for jump pay.

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  1. ROS says:

    Holy shiitake mushrooms, that is a million kinds of awesome!

  2. COB6 says:

    Day/Hollywood sans weapon? I don’t remember too many of those. I do recall the $55 bucks though and another incentive for me to go to OCS was because officers got paid more for some unknown reason. Of course by the time I became a 2LT the Army had figured out that gravity doesn’t discriminate and the jump pay was equalized.

    Have to admit that I do miss it sometimes.

  3. Why would anybody jump out of a perfectly good airplane?

  4. CI says:

    @3 – Because it’s safer than landing in one.

    …and chicks dig Paratroopers.

  5. TSO says:

    I love Leta. One of the nicest people around, when she isn’t hugging me.

  6. Jonn Lilyea says:

    CI Roller Dude: You saw the part about $55/month, right?

  7. NHSparky says:

    @3–because of the same mentality of guys who get on ships designed to sink–a few extra bucks and some shiny bling on your chest that they said would impress girls.

    Sadly, $55/month? Ya’ll got screwed.

    • Jonn Lilyea says:

      $55/month was good money when my base pay was $255/month. That’s like a 20% pay increase. Remember, a case of Miller Ponies was $3.50 and a cheeseburger, fries and a Coke at Mickey Ds got you change back from your dollar..

  8. Old Trooper says:

    Hey, I did it for free and in fact PAID to do it. A couple of knuckledraggers from 1/75 talked me into joining them in doing some civilian skydiving (the pilot that flew the jump plane was a CWO from one of the aviation units at Hunter, who was just as nuts as they were) and, like a dumbass, I said ok. Of course, I didn’t come to my senses for about a year, after they both had left the Battalion it just wasn’t as fun without those two nutbars.

  9. NHSparky says:

    Then you really don’t want to know what I was making on the boat…sea pay, sub pay, SDAP, and annual SRB checks…but then someone showed me what I’d be making on the outside and I couldn’t leave fast enough.

  10. OWB says:

    Whatever it was, it would not entice me to go on a sub except under the most dire of circumstances. Really, REALLY dire! Same with jumping out of a perfectly good aircraft.

  11. Doc Bailey says:

    It sure isn’t $55 a month now.

    Makes me wish i hadn’t been a Leg my whole career.

  12. jonp says:

    Nothing like putting your knees to the breeze. I got, i think, $110/month extra for it.

  13. jonp says:

    @#3: Until you’ve stood in the door at o’dark thirty in full battle rattle you havn’t lived.

  14. NHSparky says:

    jonp–On my first boat, we had a guy who, every time we did a deep submergence if he wasn’t on watch, would sit on one particular shitter until we came up and would time it. The purpose of which was he could quite literally claim to the nubs, “I got more time on the shitter at test depth going backwards than you do in the fleet, nub!”

    Almost miss that extra $700/month or so (IIRC, it was $350 sea pay (over 7), $255 sub (over 5), and $175 SDAP). Then I remember what I had to do to earn it and I don’t miss it so much.

  15. Parachute Cutie says:

    Jonn – thank you for posting “my” guys
    ROS – it was beyond more than a million kinds of awesome. Definitely in the top 3 most cherished moments in my entire life.
    TSO – I haven’t seen you in so long I’ve lost count of the number of hugs I owe you buddy. And thank you for the kind words. Maybe I’ll deduct a few hugs for those.

    I’m not trying to get people to read my blog. Lord knows TAH sure has more substance than mine but, if you haven’t gone to the link to read the story and the part about one of the Paratroopers who jumped that day please do so. He’s a dear friend of mine (Jonn’s spent time visiting with him at WRAMC) and he’s an absolute STUD!

  16. NHSparky says:

    Ah, what the hell. When I die, I want to be thrown out of an airplane wearing a Superman costume.

  17. Jonn Lilyea says:

    “I’m not trying to get people to read my blog”

    Yeah, me, too. I wish they’d stop.

  18. Beretverde says:

    It was $50/mo enlisted and $100/mo officer then raised in the let 40s to $55/110 mo. respectively. Around 1982/3 Reagan’s regime kicked it to $83/mo for enlisted… $110 (no change) for officers. That lasted a year or two, then all made $110. A few years later it jumped up to $150 for all. I was at the premier showing of HBOg’s Band of Brothers. I mentioned to the original 506 guys (some were 501st 2nd at the party) the fact that jump pay didn’t increase for over thirty years. They said tough shit… They were going somewhere. We all had a good laugh over that.
    Again- What hold up a chicken’s ass? A leg!

  19. 2-17 AirCav says:

    “…and he’s an absolute STUD!” Insipid, did you see that, pumpkin? Now, there’s a site for you. Go for it!

  20. NHSparky says:

    Sorry Jonn. Yeah, it IS damned impressive to see a jump like that and realize each and every parachute is a human life that put one hell of a trust-their very lives-in the equipment folks, the people who trained them, the buddies who helped check their gear….

    THAT, boys and girls, is what you call trust. That is a brotherhood and a bond few outside those who have worn the uniform will ever comprehend.

  21. OldSoldier54 says:

    I do miss the camaraderie, at times. Don’t miss the Mickey Mouse, though.

    IIRC, base pay was around $90 in late 1970, so $55 more ain’t nothin’ to sneeze at. Though by the time I got that, late August ’72, base pay was $200-something.

    HALO looks like a real rush.

  22. Daniel says:

    Parachute Cutie:

    Thanks for the great write up on a fantastic event, appreciate the effort and the support.

  23. Doc Bailey says:

    You know one thing I don’t miss about the Army, and high speed units in particular (though Lord God did the REMFs sure try hard) is that fucking Good Idea Fairy. That Bitch just needs to die.

  24. OldSoldier54 says:

    Heh. The Good Idea Fairy. Straight from the Evil One, I swear.

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