7th Group Tour 1969-1971
By Mike Johnson

Retirement 1985
Marine Ball 1995

Editor's Note:

Mike contacted me 1/20/06 and provided an account of his tour as well as new listing for the roster of the 7th Group. Mike was also helpful in giving some information about the 16th Co. of which I was a member during my tour. He indicated the 16th was deployed to Laos/Thailand in the late 60's.

He added that Major Gantt set up a MARS (Military Amateur Radio Service) station in the 16th so that personnel could talk with their folks at home. He also put me on the trail of Dan Steiner who was the MARS operator for the unit. I have contacted Dan (who lives in Australia) and am awaiting a more detailed account of the 16th.

Mike also continued to support the evidence that the 14th Bn was mostly a paper unit within the 7th Group

I arrived in the 7th PSYOP Gp Oct 69 from the 895th MP Co on Okinawa. Our Bks was up on a hill but moved down next to the MP Barracks at Camp Sukiran. I was assigned to the Gp S-3 section as Gp training NCO my mos was 95b4W E5 Military Police man.

We all were handled administratively by the 18th PSYOP Co. The 14th was just basically a paper unit with names assigned. The 18th handled the Printing Co, 15th det 18th and the HHD of the 7th.The Bn Co was LTC Anderson who was getting ready to leave when I got there. LTC Hyde took
over and sometime later the Bn began to function more or  less as a Bn should.

The 14th, 16th and 18th were TO&E (Table of Organization and Equipment) units while the 7th, 15th, and B&VA PAC were TDA (Table of Distribution and Equipment) units. The 7th used personnel the way it needed them. For example, my driver clerk was assigned to the 16th but worked for the 7th Gp S-3 training. TO&E units have a set standard amount of people and equipment. Whereas a TDA unit is formed for a specific function and is unique unto itself. So the 14th almost always had no people working for it. It was a unit only on paper and used the people where they were needed.

A Battalion normally normally controls 3-5 Companies. A Group is somewhere between a Battalion and a Brigade or Regiment. A normal Detachment is just that....normally a small unit. The 15th was like a company sized unit with a LTC commanding which is not normal... A Detachment cannot normally support itself.

Taking some of the administrative duties off od the Group S-1 shop. the 18th provide mess facilities and housed every one. they also had a combined motor pool for the vehicles. We held unit training in the next to last building next to us was the snack bar and Mr. Sternberg's shop.

The group sponsored a Boy Scout Troop Troop 125 Okinawa District BSA. I was Scoutmaster for a while. Col Bents the Co was also an Eagle Scout and provided a lot of printing support to The whole Okinawa District.

I lived off post behind Jiro Bakery and use to hitch hike to work. Often being picked up by the CG 7th Log Command MG John J. Hayes and his driver. He was our District Chairman for the Scouts.

Mrs. Cradey was the S-3 secretary when I got there then Carol Stiener arrived with her husband a ham radio guy named Dan Steiner. Dan and Maj Gantt set up the 7th Gp Mars station along with the 7th Log Mars station we would call home almost daily!!!! Gantt scrounged the Collins radios and salvaged equipment to set up the station.. Major Gantt and the Comptroller use to talk during meetings with morse code. I think the Comptroller was previously either a Morse operator for Western Union or for the Navy.

When pulling Duty NCO one of the thing was to pick up messages mostly from FBIS ( Foreign Broadcast Information Service) A CIA front as was the missionaries radio station down by the VFW club in Machinato. (The missionaries all had  privilege cards like our civilians had so they could shop.

The Laosian government raido station was destroyed and the 16th was set up near their border to broadcast in its place. I think the antenna was held up with a balloon teathered like a barrage balloon..



Source: Mike Johnson