It was my honor to attend Class 06-03 Graduation and witnessing these guys blouse their boots and don their berets for the first time, it gave me chills I was so proud.  Somehow I managed to squeeze in on their class photo and then I had a few presentations to make.  The first was to talk about Greg and how he turned down a pilot slot to become a CCT Officer.  

The second was to give Greg his Secretary of the Air Force Coin back; he presented it to me when I gave him a SgtMacsBar Coin for Good Luck.  I told him he needed to keep Jim's Coin, but he insisted mine meant more.  With that thought, I returned Jim's Coin to Greg and told him now that he's a Combat Controller, his first team coin means more to me than Jim's Coin and I was looking forward to receiving it soon.  Greg later told me Jim's Coin was mine, but I told him not to argue with me and be happy!

I presented a  SgtMacsBar Coin to each new Combat Controller with promises they would become SgtMacsBar members and they certainly honored me at the bar later on.  They understood the tradition of the 48, 49, 50 depicted on their  SgtMacsBar Coin and practiced within their graduation and made the Code Word for the bar tab, Some Shit!

However, before the party; I was also able to present Greg with a Combat Control Association Life Membership in the name of Dick Sigman, R.I.P.

Sig met Greg at SgtMacsBar before he entered the Air Force and we all had a few beers together while telling stories and wishing Greg well.   Sig passed away before Greg graduated, but he wasn't forgotten.  Betty, Sig's wife, wanted to donate some money to SgtMacsBar and what better use of it, than to promote the Combat Control Association.  

Sig was one of the Founding Fathers of the Combat Control Association and our involvement and support of the Combat Control Association was very important to him and for that reason, the money was used present Greg with a Life Time CCA Membership.  

We both saw something in this young man and rather than saying Good Luck with your endeavors, I said I'll be there when you graduate.  Greg is a future Commander of Combat Control and will help "Bring Us All A Little Bit Closer!", through his Leadership!  HooYa Greg..............................

Did I Say Party?

"Strange Traditions -- 48, 49, 50 s-o-o-o-m-e. . .S#!+"

                                                                                                                                                           by Dave Pearson

In our continuing effort to educate the current CCT/Special Tactics Warrior on the mysteries of past aberrant behavior, it has come to light that a once common-place, albeit strange tradition has become lost from the contemporary language of today's operators. I refer to the well worn but little understood practice described herein. Much as in the days of knighthood, when fellow warriors would pass in their travels and salute and give greeting, CCT had a similar method of expressing mutual respect and admiration. When gathered together in groups of more than five, whether the occasion be a formal military assemblage such as a briefing, or a social gathering like a party, one member of the group would loudly proclaim "48". Upon hearing this stirring salute, several other members of the group would then quickly chime in with "49". As this inspiring cry gained new voice, more would join in with "50", at which time the multitude would the boldly shout in unison "Some……. Shit!". Immediately after which, wild laughter would ensue, and situation permitting, copious consumption of alcoholic beverages and revelry would prevail. The whole experience would prove very satisfying, further cementing the already strong bonds of camaraderie. The origins of this tradition are lost in the annals of history, but we believe that it was something akin to the 1940s ditty of "23 skidoo".

At this juncture, it should be noted that once the second number was repeated, the effect progressed geometrically, gaining momentum much like that of a small snowball rolling down a hill, ultimately becoming an avalanche. As one might expect, this could pose some interesting and potentially delicate situations in military protocol. An example of one such incident occurred during the awards assembly of the 1973 Tactical Airlift Competition at Pope AFB. This was the first ever Competition wherein OCT participated in Team to Team Competition, rather than in support of their parent Airlift Wing. The Competition proved to be a rousing success with each of the participating Teams turning in excellent performances. In those days, an entire 12-man element with appropriate mix in grades had to compete. As it turned out, the surprise overall winner was the dark horse candidate, the infamous Langley Motorcycle Gang, (much to the chagrin of the Group Weenies (Editor's Note: a.k.a. 1st Aerial Port Group, Langley AFB, VA), who had hoped that their aberrant behavior and esprit de corps would be tempered by defeat). Upon hearing the announcement by the TAC Commander, one all too exuberant SSgt (see note) let loose the opening salvo of this proud battle cry. The chorus was immediately picked up by a third of the assembled CCTers, and gained full participation by the final number. The concluding crescendo rang through those hallowed halls with all of the bravado of our National Anthem!

The silence that followed was almost as poignant as the red faces of the Command Staff and the key note speakers. Truly a glorious moment!! The ensuing investigation proved futile as no one could trace the original provocateur, and when questioned, each NCO resorted to well rehearsed survival resistance procedures, requesting medical aid and complaining of disorientation from (d)ejection and subsequent capture.

It is not entirely clear when this noble practice began to fade from common use, however, its proud refrain may still be heard in the back rooms of seedy motels during reunions, or at any of Clyde and Kay's backyard gathering of Eagles in Florida, and whenever distinguished retired warriors gather at funerals to salute their fallen comrades. Perhaps it does not belong in the politically correct vernacular of today's articulate, clean-cut Operator, but somehow, I think a little of the color is gone, or maybe the spark is not as bright without this kind of dubious act. 'Til the next time, this is the way it really happened…………….. Ain't No Bullshit!

Note: Said SSgt is believed to be retired in the vicinity of FWB, FL. and selling autos under the initials of T.H.B. the Third. Yes, Tom, another vicious rumor based entirely upon facts... I was there.

Editor's Note: I will verify the accuracy of the above tale, as I too was there!!! I was first introduced to this glorious tradition in South Vietnam, as the various Tailpipes tied up the HF Net saluting their fellow warriors deployed to numerous locations throughout South Vietnam over the net!