Jay Nelson describes his time as an infantryman in the United States Army during the 1980s. He discusses basic training and advanced Individual training [AIT] at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he was part of an experimental COHORT unit. Nelson talks about the unit’s posting in Hawaii. He notes the physical demands of training and the leadership style of different commanders. He also talks about how the unit became well-known for its cohesiveness and success during practice maneuvers and recon missions. Nelson recalls how, after he left active duty, he joined the Montana National Guard in the 1990s as a water treatment specialist. He discusses his deployment to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War and details a conflict between him and his commanding officer that resulted in his temporary removal from base and a delay in the officer’s promotion. Nelson concludes the interview by sharing his opinions about local Missoula politics.
U.S. Military; U.S. Armed Forces; Montana National Guard; Fort Benning; Fort Lewis; Infantry; Water Treatment Specialist; Recon assignments; Kahuku Training Unit; East Range, Hawaii; Gulf War (1990-1991); Basic training; Saudi Arabia; Drug use, Military; Disciplinary action, Military; Missoula, Montana; Politics, Montana; Local government; Advanced Individual training [AIT]; Cohesion, operational readiness and training unit [COHORT]; Quick reaction force [QRF]; Military veterans
Montana; Saudi Arabia; Hawai'i
The Veteran’s Experience Oral History Project, OH 472
University of Montana. Mansfield Library. Archives and Special Collections
University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library
Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / email@example.com
Oral History Number
1 MP3 file (01:28:33): digital + 1 transcript (33 pp.: 28 cm.)
Nelson, Jay T., "Jay T. Nelson Interview, November 3, 2019" (2019). The Veteran’s Experience Oral History Project. 11.