Paniqui, Tarlac, Luzon, P.I.
19 September 1945, Wednesday
Dear Aunty Clara,
Well, I got it rather unexpectedly. About nine bells this morning somebody was throwing paper clips at me and it turned out to be Jimmy Osis. He pointed to the stencil Smarrito had in his machine and then pointed at me after which he described an arc on his sleeve. Meaning, of course, that I was being promoted to Staff Sergeant.
My first thought was that I was wrong about Colonel Shubat, but that seemed impossible. He had sent out a note to Lt Suitor which read rather curtly, "Adj. Make Klick S/Sgt. GJS". That was all there was to it and they began cutting the order. Later they went through the formality of having Marsh type up a promotion recommendation, get it signed by Hanton, then I had to have Kuras sign it and finally George J had to initial it. Although by that time the order had been published.
Then Lt Kuras gave me the low down. For two weeks Lt Kuras and Lt Suiter have been giving Shubat a hot time trying to get my promotion but to no avail. Well, the promotion day - the 16th of the month - came and passed without anything for yours truly. So today Captain Cook had a talk with the Colonel and convinced him that Sackett would never come back and that resulted in the action.
I sure don't feel like a S/Sgt and it seems strange to be going about the company being kidded about being a first three grader etcetera. One thing, though, that I took immediate advantage of was the fact that I could dispense with my rifle, my bayonet, and my cartridge belt. In place of those I was issued a carbine (a much smaller and lighter gun), a different kind of belt for holding clips for the carbine and that was all. For tomorrow's parade I had no intention of carrying around the extra weight when I didn't have to.
Also Reedy gave me three sets of Staff Sergeant chevrons which I have not as yet sewed on but will have to get around to sometime tomorrow. Funny though that last night my last thoughts before hitting the hay were about my chances of remaining a Tec 4 for the rest of my army career and being discharged as one.
The increase in pay is considerable. $5 a week or a jump from the $98.60 I'm making as a fourth grader to $115 I'll make as a third grader. In November when I I'll draw my first full month of longevity pay I'll pull down $120 a month which is okay. The promotion was a day late in two respects. One was that they caught me for that darn old show guard my last night as a Tee 4 and then I had to make out that allotment for that amount yesterday when today I could have made it out for twenty bucks more.
Now that the censorship is over and Joe Suitor can't see what I'm mailing home, I am enclosing a copy of the promotion order - something I never could do with the Tec 4 business.
The work is getting along so smoothly now that I'm beginning to think I must be doing some thing wrong someplace or another. What in the world happened to that terribly rocky road of last week? Today I handled mere routine matters such as checking outgoing and incoming records, typing up a few odds and ends, prepared a form letter for the company commanders to use when submitting names for TDR&R, and then this evening after I finished fooling around with the carbine and the rifle, I came up here and began typing up a true copy of an order which we will need in a few days and if we have enough copies of, it will make the morning reports a bit easier when the changes come through.
We were working on a Court-Martial and Teddy (that's Lt Ted R. Kuras) was getting more and more burned up at the fact that the Personnel Section has to do all the ground work for it. He says things are going to be changed around here and the companies are going to do more of their, own work instead of pushing it on to the Personnel Section. He said that is against Joe Suitor's reasoning but he, himself, can't see going through all that extra work.
Teddy is the ideal Personnel Officer - he is an ex-Company Clerk when an enlisted man and he does a lot of his own typing. And while I can't say I am an ideal Sgt Mjr, I'm more on my own order of what a Sgt Mjr should be like and that is a good typist (honest, Aunty Clara, during the day time I can type good, believe me). I hope things keep working out this way from now on because we can work well together both being office men, hating to have work shoved off on Personnel and generally disgruntled with The Army's policy of red tape in office work.
He pulled off a slick one the other day when an order came through saying we could release any officer we had declared surplus on the 25th of August. Well, we hadn't declared any surplus at that time because we didn't know we were assigned to the Sixth Army then and weren't turning in all our reports to them. Captain Hanton was surplus at the time with 100 points so he had me type up a report as of the 25th of August and we sent that in followed by a request to release Captain Hanton. I Corps approved but Group Headquarters like army group headquarters gnashed its teeth at the trick that had been pulled and tried to say we couldn't do something like that but Teddy stuck to his guns and as soon as this staging is over, the Colonel is going to send Captain Hanton back home.
We received some more rations (we have no PX) for free and this evening it included 3 packs of cigs, 3 candy bars, and 3 packages of chewing gum. Well, I traded my 3 cigs for 2 candies and had five big bars of Baker's Sweet Chocolate. Up until now I've been giving my cigarettes away but I can see they have a potentially good trading value. Actually I'm getting the better of the deal, since a pack of cigarettes is only worth 5¢ and a bar of candy that size, even in the army costs more than 10¢. And most of all I appreciate the candy more.
It is almost bed check time so rather than cause any undue disturbance this evening I'll sign off in a moment and hie off to bed.
I received a letter from Bob Hesser this afternoon and I think that maybe this Sunday I'll have the time to answer some letters for a change.