Skip to Content
The VVMF Registry

Thomas Leon Bass, Jr.


I did not intend to enter the military but after running out of money and leaving college, I faced being drafted or enlisting. My army recruiter told me I could enlist for OCS and become an officer. He failed to tell me that only college graduates were guaranteed a slot in officer candidate school. Fortunately, my score on the OCT in basic was good enough to get me a slot in the transportation officer candidate school. After having graduated from OCS in May 1967 I was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Ft. Bragg, NC. Would you believe that it was practically impossible for a second lieutenant to be in an airborne division without being jump qualified. That led to a quick trip to Fort Benning, Georgia and three weeks of jump school jumping out of perfectly sound aircraft while in flight. One year later, I received my orders to the First Cavalry Division. I processed in country at Cam Ranh Bay and then to the 1st Cav’s rear base camp in An Khe. From there, I went to Camp Evans in I Corps and ultimately to Bien Hoa.
When I returned home in the spring of 1969, I immediately went back to college full-time to get my undergraduate degree. Upon separation, I was told to either find a reserve unit or they would assign me to one so I joined a local reserve unit which was part of the 108th Training Division. I remained in the reserves until 1987 at which time I retired.
The training I received throughout all my time in the army far surpassed any other experiences I’ve had during my life. The principles, values and ethics have served me well in my 76 years.

    Corrections for this page?
    If you see an issue or inaccuracy on this profile, please submit the issue for review.
    Back to top
    S - Skip navigation / scroll top
    1 - Home page
    2 - Page search
    0 - Access key details