Korea: A Dozen Question Test

south-korea-checkpoint-600

south-korea-checkpoint-600

Best attempted by those Who Served in Korea After Vietnam and Before Desert Storm

by DAVID OSTERHOUT

I joined the Army in 1976 the nation’s bicentennial. It was a transitional period for the military, we were still wearing the green pickle suits, the draw down from Vietnam had leveled out, the all-volunteer army was in the experimental stage, the Cold War was raging and we drove real jeeps.

My “career” only lasted five years due to a mis-step while on patrol inside the DMZ in Korea. By 1981 I was out of the army looking for something else to do. I went on and had a reasonably successful and happy life but I have always carried a few regrets.

  • Between 1974 and 1991 there was this period of peace where a soldier could serve an enlistment without earning a National Defense Service Medal. My “career” fell right in the middle of that time frame. No medal for me.
  • Obviously I regret never being able to finish my career. For anyone who joins the military, my advice is “have a plan B”.
  • While on my only weekend pass during OCS, we were given the choice of going to Busch Gardens and chasing bikini clad girls or going to Washington DC to see the monuments. I have yet to see the monuments.

Those are not all of my regrets but, what I did do and I will never regret is volunteer for Korea, get stationed with the most forward deployed infantry battalion and walk in the valley of the shadow for my country.

To separate the soldiers who have been to Korea, really been there, from those who have only heard of kimchee, there is a test below. Please take the test with tongue in cheek, a grain of salt and an open mind.

Now that you have finished taking the test, I know what most of you are thinking. This test was supposed to have a dozen questions in it. There were no instructions but you should have gone back and answered question #1 again. How were you supposed to know that? My point exactly. This is a test about Korea. The answer to #1 was what?….The Land of the Not Quite Right.

 

davidosterhout

David Osterhout is an ex-Army intelligence officer who served on the Korean DMZ in 1980. He was injured and spent 8 months in Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. During his recovery, he wrote a book about his experience . The book is titled OinK! Only in Korea!.The book is based on true events and covers everything on the previous test. If you would like to read more about the author and see some pictures and rare news clippings from that era, go to the author’s website: www.davidosterhouttx.com. Paperback and Kindle editions of OinK! are available at Amazon.

OinK! Only in Korea! Book Cover 2

  • Ben Wallace

    “Between 1974 and 1991 there was this period of peace where a soldier could serve an enlistment without earning a National Defense Service Medal.”

    What?

    1975 — Evacuation from Vietnam
    1975 — Evacuation from Cambodia
    1975 — Mayaguez Operation
    1976 — Korea DMZ Tree Chopping Incident
    1980 — Failed Iranian Hostage Rescue
    1982 — Deployment of Marines to Lebanon
    1982 — Deployment of Army to the Sinai
    1983 — Invasion of Granada
    1983 — Deployment of USAF to Chad
    1986 — Gulf of Sidra Incident and bombing of Libya
    1989 — Invasion of Panama

    • David Osterhout

      I was just saying that you “could” serve an enlistment without earning a NDSM, unlike the period between 2001 and today where every military member earns one on their first day of service. “Peace” in this instance basically means “not war”. I am not trying to minimize anyone’s service during 1974 thru 1991, I am only saying that I regret that I did not get to serve in a capacity in which I could have earned a NDSM.
      I appreciate your history lesson. You must be a military scholar.

    • Phillip Newton

      Yes from August 15, 1974 – August 1, 1990 no NDSM were authorized. United States Campaign, Expeditionary and Service Medals were authorized and given for all of the above, or should have been.

    • Ed L

      MILPER MESSAGE NUMBER : 02-150 TAPC-PDO-PA REINSTATEMENT OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL

      A. MEMORANDUM, OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, SUBJECT AS ABOVE, DATED 26 APR 02.

      B. PARAGRAPH 2-10, AR 600-8-22, MILITARY AWARDS, 25 FEB 95.

      C. DOD 1348.33-M, MANUAL OF MILITARY DECORATIONS AND AWARDS, SEP 96.

      1. THIS MILPER MESSAGE WILL EXPIRE NLT MAY 2004.

      2. REF A AUTHORIZED THE REINSTATEMENT OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE SERVICE MEDAL (NDSM) FOR MEMBERS OF THE U.S. ARMED FORCES SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY ON OR AFTER 11 SEP 01. THE TERMINATION DATE WILL BE DETERMINED IN THE FUTURE. REFERENCES B AND C WILL BE UPDATED LATER TO REFLECT THIS CHANGE.

      3. THE NDSM IS AWARDED FOR HONORABLE ACTIVE SERVICE AND INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING INCLUSIVE PERIODS: 27 JUN 50 TO 27 JUL 54; 1 JAN 61 TO 14 AUG 74; 2 AUG 90 TO 30 NOV 95; AND 11 SEP 01 TO A DATE TO BE DETERMINED.

      4. FOR AWARD OF THE NDSM FOR THE PERIOD 11 SEP 01 TO A DATE TO BE DETERMINED,

  • Fred

    Nah, he’s not a scholar so much as someone who perhaps thinks that everyone gets to deploy to every incident or operation the military has. It ain’t so. I missed Grenada and Panama by being in Ft Carson and Ft Knox, respectively. Not everyone gets to go everywhere. Though I did get to deploy for Desert Storm, so that was good…..

  • George Herschell

    I served in Korea in 1952-54. Before during and after the truce talks.
    Just recently I looked up Korea on the net and was amazed to see
    how far the country has come since my time there. The rice paddy’s
    where our company was stationed are now a modern and beautiful
    City. When I was there Bupyong was only the intersection of two roads,
    with rice paddy’s all around. Today it is a modern city and one I wish
    I could go back and visit but at 84 I doubt that is going to happen.
    I have never been sorry that I had had that experience although it took
    three years before my late wife and I were able to spend an anniversary
    together. The first two I was in Korea. Looking at the photos today it
    makes me very pleased to see how far that country has come and I like
    to think that in some small way I had a part of that happening.

    ex Sgt George Herschell
    .

    • David Osterhout

      SGT Herschell.
      Glad to know that a veteran of your stature is still watching over the country (and reading blogs on the internet). The South Koreans have you to thank for their freedom and all those beautiful cities that you are describing.
      Thank you for your service.
      David

      • Flyfanatic

        Agree! And thank you to ALL of the veterans that served. Matt

  • Bob

    Will have to read your book. Served there ’78-’79 with 2ID & two Team Spirits in ’90 & ’91 with 25ID(LT).

    • David Osterhout

      If you buy the book I will greatly appreciate it. Since you have been there, reading it will be like “going home”. I don’t know what unit you were stationed with or where it was located but I was with the 1st BN 9th INF. Our compounds were north of the Imjin River. I hope you had a good tour, mine was a little rough.
      Thanks for taking time to look at my “test” and giving consideration to purchasing my book.

  • Carma

    very good Mr Osterhout, I enjoyed the test…learned a lot. Will pass your article on to my dad…I am sure he will do much better on the test.. I am so very glad you made it home…and very thankful for your service…

    • David Osterhout

      Thanks for taking a look at my “test”. I hope your Dad enjoys it too.
      I appreciate the well wishes and I sincerely hope that every soldier comes home safely.
      Thanks again for taking the time to look at the experiences we have to offer.

  • Jeffery Johnson

    This is amazing, I served at Kunsan AB, 81-82. I was part the aircraft maintenance transition from F4’s to F16’s. Many memories and a major wake-up to a 21 y/o. This will be some interesting reading. Thanks.
    Jeffery Johnson TSgt, USAF Ret.

    • David Osterhout

      TSgt Johnson,
      Thanks for taking a look at my stuff. I hope you enjoy the book. Be sure and take a look at the website to see the pictures but most all, take a look at the articles.
      Thanks again for giving me a shout back.