Michael S

Face-Off At The Border

Michael Scott
Director of Golf Course Maintenance
The Polo Club of Boca Raton, Boca Raton, FL
Branch Served: Army

The skills learned training to defend freedom and democracy are countless! I would say Leadership, communication, adaptability, and critical thinking are four of the big ones that have helped me in my career.

I was in the Army, stationed in Germany at the end of the Cold War. Once or twice a year my unit would spend 30 days on border patrol. Political tensions were heightened during that time and it was a very stressful 30 days. The East German troops were constantly trying to provoke the U.S. soldiers. They would aim their weapons at us and charge the border, only to stand down at the last moment. One day they flew a giant helicopter up to the border and started doing aerial tricks to intimidate us. Our Commanding officer had had enough! He scrambled an Apache attack helicopter and the two faced off directly above the border. They took turns copying each others’ maneuvers for about 15 minutes. The soldiers on each side of the border erupted with cheers after every maneuver. The energy was electric! On the final maneuver, the Apache went from 200 feet above the ground to about 10 feet in a blink of an eye. The pilot of the larger, heavier Russian made Mi-24 Hind-D helicopter tried to mimic the maneuver and ended up bouncing his aircraft off of the ground. Embarrassed, he quickly departed. Someone started playing “Born in the U.S.A” by Bruce Springsteen over the loud speaker and the the soldiers went crazy! The Berlin wall was toppled a few months later.

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