When I got to my first assignment, right out of AIT, to Ft. Ritchie, my assigned sponsor wasn’t available for whatever reason. SSG West took me around to in-process post, the company, and the site. I worked shift while he was behind a desk for a while doing circuit actions (DCA coordinator back then) or something. Then he took over as shift supervisor and I was on his shift after returning from almost a year on loan to Crypto Maintenance Branch (CMB).
We both got selected for this special “project Kunia” Hawaii assignment, attended the SATCOM Controller course at Fort Gordon, and follow-on four months’ training at Ft. Meade in the puzzle palace together (along with all the other selectees for the Kunia activation assignment of course). I worked shifts at Kunia, he was operations NCOIC. He left Kunia back to the mainland, I went to Korea. After Korea I was sent back to Fort Ritchie, and he was there as Maintenance Division NCOIC until he retired.
About a year ago after Peaches moved to the Fort Meade area and Lou and I were strategizing when to go visit her and fam, I made mention to Mike that I’d make a run up to Waynesboro (main reason to have a cheese steak hoagie at Frank’s Pizza one more time!!) and I’d holler at him to visit. He was up to it. But the COVID environment put an open end delay to our travel plans.
Rest in peace MSG Columbus M. West. Your journey is done.