Reece, James Elmo, III, SGT

Infantry (Enlisted)
 
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Life Member
 
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Current Service Status
USA Veteran
Current/Last Rank
Sergeant
Current/Last Service Branch
Infantry
Current/Last Primary MOS
11B30-Infantryman
Current/Last MOS Group
Infantry (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1976-1977, 11B30, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry
Previously Held MOS
72E10-Tactical Telecommunications Center Operator
71L10-Administrative Specialist
Service Years
1970 - 2009
Official/Unofficial US Army Certificates
Cold War Certificate
Voice Edition

Sergeant


Two Service Stripes



 Ribbon Bar

Rifle

 

 Official Badges 

Career Counselor Infantry Shoulder Cord USA - Republic of Korea (ROK) Combined Forces Command MARS Radio AB8AN




 Unofficial Badges 

Signal Shoulder Cord Cold War Medal Recruiters Ring Cold War Veteran

Army Civilian Retired Lapel Pin Air Force Retired


 Military Association Memberships
Military Auxilary Radio SystemPost 2573, Manley-Reece-Jones PostAir Force Sergeants Association (AFSA)Army Together We Served
TWS Living History TeamTWS Memorial TeamATWS Advisory Group
  1971, Military Auxilary Radio System [Verified]
  2013, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 2573, Manley-Reece-Jones Post (Member) (Wilmington, North Carolina) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2013, Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) - Assoc. Page
  2014, Army Together We Served [Verified]
  2015, TWS Living History Team
  2017, TWS Memorial Team [Verified]
  2019, ATWS Advisory Group [Verified]


 Additional Information
What are you doing now:

http://airforce.togetherweserved.com/usaf/servlet/tws.webapp.WebApp?cmd=Profile&type=Person&ID=75492

1970-1977 with 7.6 years Active USA, 1985 to 2009 USAFR.


James Elmo Reece III, beloved husband and devoted father, is the son of James Elmo Reece Jr, Grandson to James Elmo Reece Sr, Great Grandson to William Ervin Reece, all of Wilmngton, NC.

He is the brother of Thomas(Tom) Mark Reece, Wilmington, NC and Diane Marie Reece Boyd Wilmington, NC.

Married Charlene Kay Flowers of Tacoma, WA in 1977 and divorced in 1987. Had one daughter, Chelsie Iris Reece of Tacoma, WA in 1984. He later married Elanne Joy Bender of Soap Lake, Washington on 24 Oct 1987 and has a daughter with her, Doni Shereen Reece.  He has 4 grandsons, Jimmy Myers by Chelsie Reece and Kyler Deckert, Joshua Deckert. 

Born in Glendale, CA, left at the age of 1, and lived the next twenty years in Wilmington, NC. Atternded St Mary's School 1954 to 1963. Graduated from NHHS in 1969 and promptly joined the Army. I got tired of walking, left the Army and joined the US Air Force, retired as a First Sergeant in 2009. Lifetime member of the VFW and the USAF Sergeants Association. I followed in the footsteps of my Father and Grandfather by working as a Firefighter and Civil Servant until my retirement in 2004. After retirement in 2004, I moved to Maui. Left Maui in June 2011 and settled in my hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina close to my only Brother and only Sister. Playing more golf and not getting any better except now I play from the Senior Tees. I got sick from Pulmonary Emboli and left Wilmington to be close to my daughter. Living in East Wenatchee, WA now. You really "can't" go home.
   
Other Comments:
    
   
 Countries Deployed To or Visited

 Enlisted/Officer Basic Training
  1970, 2nd Battalion, 1st Training Brigade (Fort Bragg, NC), A/1
  1970, 2nd Battalion, 1st Training Brigade (Fort Gordon, GA), B
 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
US Army Strategic Communications Command (USA STRATCOM)US Army Hawaii, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)1st Battalion, 5th Infantry125th Signal Battalion
U.S. Army79th Transportation BattalionSignal Units3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry
  1970-1971, 72E10, STRATCOM Schofield Barracks, US Army Strategic Communications Command (USA STRATCOM)
  1971-1972, 72E10, US Army Hawaii, US Army Pacific (USARPAC)
  1972-1973, 71L10, A Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry
  1973-1973, 72E10, A Company, 125th Signal Battalion
  1973-1973, 72E10, NCO Education System (NCOES) Advanced Course
  1973-1975, 71L10, HHC, 79th Transportation Battalion
  1975-1975, 72E10, 293rd Signal Company
  1975-1976, 72E10, 501st Signal Company
  1976-1977, 11B30, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 47th Infantry
 Military Association Memberships
Military Auxilary Radio SystemPost 2573, Manley-Reece-Jones PostAir Force Sergeants Association (AFSA)Army Together We Served
TWS Living History TeamTWS Memorial TeamATWS Advisory Group
  1971, Military Auxilary Radio System [Verified]
  2013, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States (VFW), Post 2573, Manley-Reece-Jones Post (Member) (Wilmington, North Carolina) [Verified] - Chap. Page
  2013, Air Force Sergeants Association (AFSA) - Assoc. Page
  2014, Army Together We Served [Verified]
  2015, TWS Living History Team
  2017, TWS Memorial Team [Verified]
  2019, ATWS Advisory Group [Verified]


 Remembrance Profiles -  133 Soldiers Remembered

 Tributes from Members  
God Bless You posted by MI Cameron, David (Pops), MSG 230 
 Photo Album   (More...


Reflections on SGT Reece's US Army Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE ARMY.
One night I was in jail, the next night I was on the way to Raleigh NC, to join the Army. I had gotten drunk at a bowling alley and got in trouble with the owner. I was young and dumb with no college on the horizon, no job prospects,
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Army.
Basic, Ft Bragg Feb 1970
living in a small town with a small town mentality. It was the smartest spur-of-the-moment thing I ever did as I spent 40 years in the Military, active and reserves.

I should have grown up quickly, but I didn't as it was a long process. I didn't have a clue what to expect, I just knew it was going to be a change and I needed one quickly. The Navy Recruiter was out to lunch and the Army Recruiter was brown-bagging his lunch. I took an eye test and signed up for a three-year stint to become a Telecommunications Specialist.

As it turned out, that was just one of my many jobs in the Army, under the unofficial "Hey You" program. It was more than I thought it could be as I found out that the Army gives you everything you need to be successful. You just have to apply yourself every day.

I left town and didn't go back home for 34 years. I had grown up and out and didn't know anyone else but family. On the other hand, nobody knew me either.

My Military time was all good and I would do it again, hopefully, smarter.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK. WHAT WAS YOUR REASON FOR LEAVING?
I enlisted as a Communications Center Specialist. I worked that job for about half my career and the other half where ever they needed me. I was promoted to E-4 in ten months, E-5 in less than three years. I took Basic Training at Ft Bragg in Feb 1970, then
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - Whether you were in the service for several years or as a career, please describe the direction or path you took. What was your reason for leaving?
Marching in Basic Training, 1970. I'm up front.
AIT at Ft Gordon, GA.

My first long tour was Hawaii for three years 1970-1973.

I left Hawaii in July 1973 and was stuck at Ft Story, Virginia of all places. They had a Communications Center there but I couldn't get a job with them as they were all civilians. I worked at the recruiter station than at the Orderly room.

Then I was sent to Korea for 13 long months in the middle of nowhere. I was on the E-6 list for two years and couldn't get promoted as the cut off was 950 or so.

Then I was re-assigned to Ft Lewis, Washington with the 9th Infantry Division. I didn't like the Infantry and ETS'd in July 1977.

I stayed out of the military for 8 years and then went into the Air Force Reserves. It was the second smartest thing I ever did. I stayed in till 2009 where I retired as a First Sergeant with over 26 for pay, 40 for years for time in service.
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN ANY MILITARY OPERATIONS, INCLUDING COMBAT, HUMANITARIAN AND PEACEKEEPING OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH MADE A LASTING IMPACT ON YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY?
There was no combat for this Soldier. I was in a so-called Combat Zone for 13 long months in Korea. What a cold place for a such a short winter. I couldn't wait to get out of that country. We were stuck on a rock called K-6 which was on
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - If you participated in any military operations, including combat, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations, please describe those which made a lasting impact on you and, if life-changing, in what way?
No combat, but a lot of Marching. I'm Up front again.
top of a rock that was 30 stories tall at least. Windy and Cold or Windy and Hot.

Humanitarian Operations? We used to go to 'Old Folks' homes and entertain the residents and cook them a hot meal twice a year. The Old Veterans would sit around and tell War stories. They described WWII as the one against the Japanese. We also collected old clothing to send to Pakistan back in the late 80's and look where that got us.

I was an average G.I. Joe looking for a change and I got it. I saw other countries and how they lived. I grew to appreciate American more and more and understood that is where I wanted to be. I'd lived in the country before, but this was way-out-there country.
OF ALL YOUR DUTY STATIONS OR ASSIGNMENTS, WHICH ONE DO YOU HAVE FONDEST MEMORIES OF AND WHY? WHICH WAS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - Of all your duty stations or assignments, which one do you have fondest memories of and why? Which was your least favorite?
Waikiki Skyline at dusk
My fondest memory was Hawaii of course. Hung out with the locals and surfed Waimea Bay and dove off the big rocks. I had a good time. I screwed up and got married to a gal from Indiana. I found out right away that we were too young. What a way to screw up a perfectly good assignment. That marriage lasted 5 years.

My least favorite assignment? Ft Story, Virginia where I didn't have a job, or Ft Bragg Infantry Basic Training where it was the first introduction to the Military. Surprise Surprise.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE MILITARY SERVICE, DESCRIBE ANY MEMORIES YOU STILL REFLECT BACK ON TO THIS DAY.
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - From your entire military service, describe any memories you still reflect back on to this day.
E-3 Signal Corps trainee
I could have done a lot better in the Military. I didn't apply myself fully. Too young and immature. I was very grateful for the chance and slowly I turned myself around on my own time as it wouldn't have worked any other way.

Later in my career, I accepted a position of high visibility and high responsibility as a First Sergeant and it turned me around. I never thought I would be standing behind the 1st Sergeants desk, but always in front of it.
WHAT PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF FROM YOUR MILITARY CAREER?
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - What professional achievements are you most proud of from your military career?
Schofield Barracks 1970.
Army Commendation Medal at Ft Story for working at the Army Community Services Office. DA Certificate of Achievement for Army Emergency Relief. Commander's letter while working at Fort Lewis. Sometimes hard work pays off when you get a small pat on the back in writing.

Being selected as a First Sergeant in my USAFR Position from 1997 to 2004 was the most fulfilling and it brings back a feeling of pride in my Unit and those that served with me.

Those were the good times, what a way to top off a career.
OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, FORMAL PRESENTATIONS AND QUALIFICATION BADGES YOU RECEIVED, OR OTHER MEMORABILIA, WHICH ONE IS THE MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - Of all the medals, awards, formal presentations and qualification badges you received, or other memorabilia, which one is the most meaningful to you and why?
Young E-5 in less than three years.
The Army Commendation Medal. It meant a lot of work on my own without direction. I turned an empty building into an Army Community Services Office.

In 1972 I scored the highest on the E-5 Board at the 25th Division with a 247.7. During the board, I was brutally honest about smoking pot and told them I didn't want my career to go up in smoke. They weren't ready for that quip. They busted a gut.

Sometimes it pays to be up-front and honest.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having the most positive impact on you and why?
1976, fresh from 13 months in Korea.
SFC Lawrence O'Keefe at 125th Signal Battalion in Hawaii. He would talk with you and not scream at you. There were several others, but I don't remember the names though. Back in those days, there were many LIFERS. I didn't understand that attitude. Hated that attitude. O'Keefe was a professional. Slowly but surely the lifers and their attitudes left. The Army was getting better.

Drill Sergeant William Sisk. He was a likable guy and retired from the Army and worked with the NC State Highway Patrol for more than 20 years. I learned recently that he passed away. He was a decent guy.
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE, WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - Can you recount a particular incident from your service, which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?
1985, good people in the USAFR
The night a wet mattress blew off of the roof of Quad K at Schofield Barracks and hit someone's VW Van in the parking lot during a really windy night. There was lots of damage to the car. This person was sunning himself on a mattress someone had disposed of. He took it up on the roof three stories up, then it got damp and windy and the mattress became a missile.
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - What profession did you follow after your military service and what are you doing now? If you are currently serving, what is your present occupational specialty?
Waiting on an Airplane to ship us out.
I took whatever job I could get. I finally landed a job in Keypunch on Ft Lewis. I then progressed up the ranks of Systems and Programming. I have retired a few times but like puttering around. I used the Active Time to help in my Reserve time. That little paycheck and all the active time(7 1/2 years), made my Reserve time worth it. I managed to dodge any conflicts without lifting a finger too. I guess I was just dumb-lucky.

I am currently and finally retired working for my wife doing honey-doos. I am working as a Volunteer for TogetherWeServed working on the Vietnam ERA profiles. It takes up all my downtime.
WHAT MILITARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU A MEMBER OF, IF ANY? WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS DO YOU DERIVE FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIPS?
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - What military associations are you a member of, if any? What specific benefits do you derive from your memberships?
Military Associations I enjoy.
I am a member of the Army and Air Force Together We Served. Also members of the VFW with a Life Membership and the Air Force Sergeants Association. The mailings that I received from those last two keep me up on current Military events.

With TWS, I can reconnect with those that I served with many years ago.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER? WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT YOUR TIME IN THE SERVICE?
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your life and your career? What do you miss most about your time in the service?
More good people I worked with.
I wish I could do it over again with the opportunities that are there now. I used the VA and went to school for 6 years until they kicked me out. I had received 5 Associate Degrees using the VA Benefits. The Diplomas also helped in my Air Force Career.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE ARMY?
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to those who have recently joined the Army?
Working on the Wall of Faces project with my brother Tom/.
Work hard now and use the benefits that are available. Pick your Career carefully. You need plenty of off-duty time to go to the education center. If you don't know what you want to do now, join the Military. There will always be someone there that will help you with guidance.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
SGT James Elmo Reece, III (Jim) - In what ways has TogetherWeServed.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.
USA Together We Served
It took me back to where I had to remember people places and things. Made me feel those feeling I felt back in my younger days. Made me want to do it all over again but better. TWS has helped me reach out to others to help them reconnect. Takes me back to those good old younger days. I have managed to reconnect with some old Telecommunication/Crypto guys.

DS 7/23/18

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