The military deserves our eternal gratitude, and this Veterans Day, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for their immeasurable sacrifices...for their blood, sweat, and tears shed in defense of this great nation of ours.
You may not know this, but Electronic Component News has two veterans in its midst.
Your humble author, formerly 2nd Lieutenant Lomberg, served three years in the Army Reserve. I enlisted in 2007, and shortly thereafter, went to Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Fort Benning, Georgia. OCS is a rigorous 12-week course designed to mold green civilians (or grizzled veterans) into commissioned officers in the United States Army.
Distinguished OCS graduates include: William F. Buckley, Senator Bob Dole, General Tommy Franks (former CENTOM Commander), Caspar Weinberger (former Secretary of Defense), Major Dick Winters (of “Band of Brothers” fame), and Jackie Robinson (yes, that Jackie Robinson).
After my commission as a 2nd Lieutenant, I joined the 2nd Battalion 309th Regiment, 72nd Field Artillery Brigade, based out of Fort Dix, New Jersey (unit crest seen to right). Our overarching mission was to train mobilizing units (to Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.) in basic soldiering skills and cultural immersion. The 2nd/309th’s duties were myriad: administering weapons ranges, Humvee rollover training—Humvee Egress Awareness Trainer (HEAT), Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) training, and more.
I stayed at Fort Dix for the duration of my time in service.
My Editor-in-Chief, Alix Paultre (formerly Specialist Paultre), was on the frontlines during the Cold War. Before he became a superstar in the electronic design community, Alix was digging foxholes, eating C-Rations, and spying on the ruskies.
Alix attended Basic Training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri (aka “Fort Lost in the Woods”) in 1978. Given the choice between Fort Dix and Fort Leonard Wood, Paultre chose the latter (he’d “already seen New Jersey”). Alix went to Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Goodfellow Air Force Base in San Angelo, Texas. It was there that he learned his trade as a 98C (Electronic Warfare Radio Traffic Analyst). For the curious, I was a 25A (Signal Corps Officer)...Officers are generalists, while Enlisted personnel are specialists (not to be confused with Alix’s military rank).
From there, Alix deployed to Baumholder, Germany, where he joined the 415th Army Security Agency, 8th Infantry Division. The 415th fell under the NSA's jurisdiction before being integrated into the 108th Military Intelligence Battalion. In Baumholder, Alix built the foundation of his career as a tech editor.
While deployed on the East Germany border, Alix performed live intel missions. He monitored communist transmissions and was literally on the front lines of the Cold War. If the bombs started flying, Specialist Paultre would’ve been the vanguard of the West, standing between Soviet tanks and the free world. Luckily for him (and future generations), it never came to that.
After his discharge from the Army in 1983, Alix remained in Germany for an additional 13 years. From 1987-1991, he was a Sales Manager for Anheuser-Busch, and served as AB’s point man for Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Alix assumed various other sales positions, often working within the PX system. Eventually, he found his way to a humble electrical engineer trade magazine.
ECN is the premier source for the electronic design community, and has served in such a capacity since 1956. But our expertise extends beyond ICs and semiconductors. Next time you see Alix, ask him about his time in Germany...
Happy Veterans Day!