Incredible Military Stories
CMSgt Jerry Shelton, Jr., U.S. Air Force (1983-2013)

CMSgt Jerry Shelton, Jr., U.S. Air Force (1983-2013)

What personal and professional achievements from your Military service are you most proud of and why?:

Boots on the Ground. Promotion to the Air Force’s highest enlisted rank, Chief Master Sergeant (one percent of the Air Force enlisted structure), certainly tops my list of professional achievements. But it was not the promotion itself that stands out as my most memorable military moment…well, not exactly. Let me explain. In May 2009, my Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) flight and I reported for duty at Combined Joint Task Force Paladin, headquartered at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, where our EOD flight was under operational control. Supporting the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division throughout Wardak and Logar Province, our 16 EOD teams resolved 476 improvised explosive device incidents and 103 weapons cache operations, effectively removing over 21,280 pounds of explosives from the battlefield.

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LCDR Curtis Smothers, U.S. Navy (1962-1986)

LCDR Curtis Smothers, U.S. Navy (1962-1986)

What personal and professional achievements from your Military service are you most proud of and why?:

My proudest achievement during my 24 years’ and 6 months’ service in the U.S. Navy was my Presidential Meritorious Service Medal award. The award recognizes my performance as an Administrative Officer on the USS Coral Sea (CV-43) before and during the 1983 change of home port and around-the-world cruise. The Coral Sea was an older aircraft carrier dating back to about 1948. Duty on this proud ship could best be characterized as arduous and challenging. We had a fully deployed complement of the ship’s company and embarked squadrons consisting of about 5,000 officers and men. This was before the age of computers, email, and social media, so we had to do everything on paper and mostly by the seat of our pants.

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CDR Denise McCallaCreary, U.S. Navy (1973-2000)

CDR Denise McCallaCreary, U.S. Navy (1973-2000)

What personal and professional achievements from your Military service are you most proud of and why?:

I retired with the rank of Commander, United States Navy. During my career, I garnered medals, friendships beyond my wildest dream, and a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and Navy War College. While these achievements are extremely meaningful to me, what I am most proud of was being elected in 2019 by my peers to the position of National President — making me the first female National President of the National Naval Officers Association (NNOA) in 50 years. As a 15-year-old teenager arriving from Kingston, Jamaica, landing in the cold, freezing city of Chicago, Illinois, my dreams were small. After being taken out of my high school in Jamaica, when I was set to graduate, I knew I would need my diploma to succeed in a new country. Failure was not an option. I would have to graduate and go to college. As for what college or vocation I should have strived for, I had no clue.

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Cpl David Mulldune, U.S. Marine Corps (1967-1969)

Cpl David Mulldune, U.S. Marine Corps (1967-1969)

What personal and professional achievements from your Military service are you most proud of and why?:

Military Training Develops Life Skills. The day before graduation from boot camp at MCRD (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) San Diego, all the platoons gathered on the parade deck to do final drills in front of Major General English, CO of MCRD, and Colonel Boress, CO of the Recruit Training Regiment. We wanted to look sharp and make our DIs proud. Did we ever! Everyone performed flawlessly. Our boots all struck the deck at the same time. It was amazing that so many guys were in complete unison and moving as one. I was feeling so much pride when we did an “eyes right” as we passed General English’s stand and the Marine Corps Hymn started playing. Chills went down my spine, and I felt like my chest was going to pop the buttons off my shirt! I will never forget it.

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CAPT David Edling, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1999)

CAPT David Edling, U.S. Coast Guard (1969-1999)

What personal and professional achievements from your Military service are you most proud of and why?:

I’m proud I didn’t crash the ship that day in May. Being proud of something you didn’t do may not exactly be on point with the assigned question, but given the circumstances (and my relative inexperience), I’m still proud I didn’t crash the ship that day. Some old sea service sayings: “It’s been a good day whenever you don’t have a collision at sea or don’t run aground,” and “A collision at sea can ruin your whole damn day.” As a 22-year-old Navy Ensign (O-1), serving aboard the destroyer USS Duncan (DD-874) in the waters off the coast of Vietnam in 1970, I had finally qualified as a full-fledged Officer of the Deck Underway (OOD) in April. The following month (May 1970) was our first rotation on the gunline. The Duncan was a “well-used” WW2 naval vessel that had seen action in WW2, Korea, and, of course, Vietnam. Her main armament was three 5-inch/38 twin mounts. The primary tasks assigned to our ship were Naval Gunfire Support (NGFS) and plane guarding with the aircraft carriers operating in the South China Sea.

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Joining the Braves by Winique Payen

Joining the Braves by Winique Payen

"Joining the Braves" is a must-read for anyone considering joining the military, especially young Americans and immigrants who want to give back to the United States, as author Winique Payen comes from both backgrounds.  About the Author of Joining the Braves Today, he is a non-commissioned officer in the United States Army who has served multiple deployments overseas and is currently stationed in Tennessee. But Payen started his life in Haiti, where he was born and raised. He came to the U.S....

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The First Air-to-Space Kill

The First Air-to-Space Kill

Even before the creation of the U.S. Space Force, American military leaders have had to grapple with what a war in space might look like and what we would need to be successful. In 2022, Russia launched what U.S. intelligence believes to be an orbital anti-satellite weapon into space. China is thought to be pursuing a range of anti-satellite weapons.  The F-15 Eagle: The Triumph in Cold War Skies While that may seem surprising to some and downright frightening to others, it's...

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TSgt Norman Lear, U.S. Army Air Force (1942-1945)

TSgt Norman Lear, U.S. Army Air Force (1942-1945)

Norman Lear, most known for his TV producing as the creator of such shows as All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Maude, Sanford and Son, Different Strokes, Mary Hartman, Mary, One Day at a Time and Good Times, didn't always bask in the glitz of Hollywood. Before crafting iconic television shows, Lear's journey unfolded in the United States Army during World War II. Norman Lear's military service, encompassing various roles and a transformative encounter, marked the inception of a prolific...

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Three American Battles Fought on Christmas

Three American Battles Fought on Christmas

In the days before industrialized warfare, armies would hole up in winter months, as colder temperatures and harsher weather limited the mobility and food quantities of forces on campaigns. Even after the rise of industry, mechanized warfare, and powered flight, the operational tempo of fighting seems to have slowed down slightly.  Christmas is a national holiday for the United States (even celebrated by most non-Christian Americans), and so having a combat operation is rare. Even more...

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Clint Eastwood, U.S. Army (1951-1953)

Clint Eastwood, U.S. Army (1951-1953)

Clint Eastwood, the renowned actor and director, did not always grace the red carpets of Hollywood. Prior to becoming the legendary "Man with No Name," Eastwood's path unfolded in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. Clint Eastwood's military tenure, spanning from his initial odd jobs to a pivotal encounter, marked the commencement of a 70-year career in the entertainment industry. TogetherWeServed salutes Clint Eastwood for his honorable military service and the indelible mark he has left on...

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Col. Robert Lewis Howard, U.S. Army (1956-1992)

Col. Robert Lewis Howard, U.S. Army (1956-1992)

The last time someone received a second Medal of Honor was in World War I, and it's unlikely we'll ever see another two-time recipient in our lifetime. But if anyone were going to come close to receiving multiple Medals of Honor, it would have been U.S. Army Col. Robert Lewis Howard. During his 54 months of active combat service in Vietnam, he was wounded an astonishing 14 times and received eight Purple Hearts and four Bronze Stars. He was also nominated for the Medal of Honor three times in...

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Marine Corps Mascot Chesty XVI Gets Promoted to Private First Class

Marine Corps Mascot Chesty XVI Gets Promoted to Private First Class

Like any other Marine, Chesty XVI, the Marine Corps' Devil Dog mascot, has been promoted after six months of honorable, satisfactory service. Unlike every other Marine, Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro dressed him for the event. Chesty XVI and Marine Corps Tradition Chesty XVI is an English bulldog, the mascot of the United States Marine Corps. He took over for his predecessor in a relief and appointment ceremony in May 2022. Lance Cpl. Chesty XV was a little too rambunctious, so the Corps...

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Soldier and Writer
Lt Col Michael Christy (USA) Ret.

Many articles contained in this Blog were written by Together We Served’s former Chief Editor, Lt Col Michael Christy, and published in TWS’s Dispatches Newsletter.

Lt Col Christy’s military career spanned 26 years, beginning in 1956 when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Following two years active duty, he spent another two years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. In 1962, he joined the Army National Guard and in 1966 was called up for active duty with the U.S. Army. After an 18 year distinguished Army career, Lt Col Christy retired from military service in 1984.
Lt Col Christy saw action in Vietnam with Special Forces Units, including the renowned Delta Force, and was awarded two Silver Stars, six Bronze Stars (three with Valor), and two Purple Hearts.
As a military consultant and accomplished writer, Lt Col Christy has contributed to several TV military documentaries, including those found on the History Channel, plus significant military history publications, including Vietnam Magazine.