Nice post Big Snake. My original MOS in the Marine Corps was 6060, Flight Equipment/Parachute Rigger the school was in Lakehurst, NJ. You had jump with the chute you packed and inspected as part of the final. It was the NT-7. We jumped out of an old Navy C-1 aircraft. It was 3500 feet and no static line you had to pull the rip cord. The day of the jump was cold and the sticks were 3 students and 4 instructors, arranged so the first and last out was an instructor. When I got to the door I froze and the next thing I know I am looking at the tail of the aircraft pass over my head. Later the Jump Master said he slapped me on my ass and I jumped forward. I waited the quickest 3 seconds of my life and pulled the cord. When my chute opened, I got riser burns on the back of my neck. Once I opened my eyes its was a nice ride, until I did a half ass PLF and got a bruised thigh. Did I go back up for a second time, no. Probably should have though.
Ended up with 150 jumps.
Closest call I had was the Chaplain almost ran into me in the air at about 800 ft.
Only thing I could say was ( get the hell away from me) and his reply was ( that's my job) and I pulled a hard right riser toggle on the dash1 and drifted clear .
I had two tours at Fort Bragg and the big sandbox in the middle, so 38 was my final count. However, my favorites are listed here;
4. Hollywood jump at night time over Sicily DZ with shooting stars in every direction in 88.
3. First Chinook jump, was supposed to be over water, but got changed at the last minute.
2. First jump at Benning, I could have done all of them in one day I was so pumped up.
1. Last day of jumping at Fort Bragg. A one star General was retiring and we had as many jumps as we would like from two Blackhawk helicopters. The fall colors in NC were brilliant golds, orange and green with a perfectly blue sky.
It is great to sit behind my desk and reflect about the places I have seen, the people I have known and the country I served.