Just one big happy family. That’s the battalion. Everyone loves
everyone and no one would think of knifing anyone. Not unless they
thought it would do the victim some harm. The rest of the regiment,
they think, is going to the dogs. Except that when comparing other
regiments to this one, they cannot understand how those regiments can even
function -- after all, they have no training like us.
Still forgotten is the spectacle of Lt. Gen. Walter Krueger at Gordonvale.
His sad voice, “Take a kindly interest in the welfare of the men.”
“Morale is that hidden spirit.”
(By the way, soldiers, I, Riseley, the Adjutant whose Journal this is,
kept as required by Army Regulations, have a disclosure to make as to how I
arrived at the important job of Battalion Adjutant. But before I
was battalion Adjutant, back there in Gordonvale days, I was an officer in
Lt. Cole’s Headquarter’s Company. His First Sergeant was the wonderful
Eddie T. Bright. But while the Table of Organization said the
Executive Officer of Headquarter’s Company should be the Battalion Mess
Officer, I was the Battalion Mess Officer, and the Assistant Platoon Leader
of the Machine Gun Platoon. I spent much more time Mess Officering
than Machine Gunning. But there came a time when we did a jump up on
the Atherton Table lands, at a place called Mareeba. So my mess hall
was left down of Gordonvale, and I went off on the Mareeba problem.
had scarcely gotten back from the Mareeba problem, when there was a call
that General Krueger was in the area on an inspection. I followed him,
General Krueger, and Colonel Jones, then the Battalion Commander, through
the mess hall. At length, General Krueger turned to me. My hero.
I had first seen him when I was with the 23d Infantry at Fort Sam Houston.
That day at Fort Sam Houston, he spoke to an officers’ meeting. “There
are two things I want to leave with you,” he said, “two of the most
important things I can say to you. First, when there comes a time when
it is a choice between doing your duty and saving your life, you will always
choose the alternative of doing your duty. Second, when GI web
equipment is being washed, make sure that it is carefully rinsed so as to
get rid of all the GI soap. Because if it isn’t, the equipment will
“Riseley,” said General Krueger, the greatest Prussian of them all,
“This mess hall looks like a pig sty.”
“Yes, Sir,” I said. And, of course, those are the two words that win
The “Guinea Gold”, an Army house organ, issued 2000 copies of the
issue showing the picture of the jump. How do the men know this? Some
of them worked at the Gold office. But not one copy has been issued to
this battalion. A little thing, perhaps, but where is the “kindly
interest”? Maybe a younger regiment has it.