Fort Myer, VA Memories
Featuring South Post c1940-1970
Fort Myer South Post - Michael Snyder 1967-1968
Fort Belvoir
Mike Snyder sent us the photo of him below when in basic training, his pass and commissary shopping card and the photo of South Post barracks 524, where he lived when stationed at Myer. To follow is the text he sent us regarding his stay at Myer and The Pentagon.

My journey to Fort Myer began on Friday March 17, 1967 at Fort Ord California. I was a PVT assigned to an infantry unit, E-2-2 and was on a field exercise at Hunter-Liggett Reservation. Hunter-Liggett is in the dessert in the middle of 'no-where'. I was there with my entire company and CO training to be an (RTO) radio telegraph operator using the ANPRC/6 back pack radio. An Army staff car, a Plymouth Fury, came down the road, kicking up dust, and our company clerk got out and told the 'Old Man' that he was to take PVT Snyder back to the company area. I left in the car with him for a twenty-seven mile drive back to Fort Ord California. During the trip I tried to pump the clerk for more information and he said he didn’t know anything. His instructions were to make sure that I reported, as is, to the XO for further instructions.

I was scared to death that I was about to spend the rest of my three-year enlistment at Fort Leavenworth Kansas. Some of us, from E-2-2 Infantry AIT, had spent the previous weekend in San Francisco during the huge Saint Patrick's Day celebration. That weekend probably involved some misbehavior. We were all between nineteen and twenty years old. I reported to the XO and he told me to put everything I owned into my duffel bag, take a shower and report back to him in my class 'A' uniform. I did exactly what he asked in less than 15 minutes. On my second trip to the Company HQ's he gave me orders for Fort Myer, VA and two airline tickets. I left Fort Ord and headed directly to the Monterey airport for a Pacific Airways twenty-minute flight to San Francisco at 1600. My flight in San Francisco was not scheduled to depart until 2300. Meanwhile I had plenty of time to ask, 'Where in the hell is Fort Myer.?? No one seemed to know exactly, even the old line sergeants milling around at the airport.

My arrival in Virginia was on Saturday morning March 18, 1967 at Dulles Airport aboard a United Airlines flight. I managed to hitch a ride to Fort Myer, in an Army staff car, that was headed to the Pentagon. This was pure luck and was the first time anyone mentioned the Pentagon. My first full day at Headquarters Company South Fort Myer was on Palm Sunday March 19, 1967. I still had no clue what this was all about. On Sunday I met the infamous Sgt. Perez and was assigned to his temporary 'Palace' where I had crashed the night before.
On Monday morning, about 0800, I reported to the company clerk at Headquarters Company, Fort Myer S/A. He helped me with all the paper work for my 'in processing'.

I was now officially a member of the Fort Myer, 'South Beach Club', effective March 20, 1967. I was to be assigned there, for rations and quarters, until October 20, 1969. The clerk explained I would report, later that week for processing to my duty section at the Pentagon. I couldn't wait to call my Mom and Dad to let them know the good news. I lived at South Fort Myer, in barracks 524, until April 1968 when I moved off post. I believe that coincided with my promotion to E-4. I moved into a one-bedroom apartment at 1326 South George Mason Drive in Arlington, VA. I believe the complex was called the Barcroft Apartments. My only claim to fame while on post was playing for the Post football team in 1968. We lost the championship game of the Inter Service League to the Air Force 2044 Comm. Group. I played outside line backer for one season. The worst team in the league was known as 'White
House Security'. They never seemed to have the same personnel twice.

My duties at USAMSSA, room BD972, were as an IBM mainframe computer console operator, MOS 74E20. I was assigned to the Computer Operations Branch, which we nicknamed; Fort C.O.B. Our mission was to keep track of TOE troop strengths, Table of Organization and Equipment for world-wide Army units. We were on a four shift rotation and were also responsible to publish NLT 20:00 each night the JCS Action Papers. This was a special report to the JCS, Joint Chiefs of Staff, to inform them of activities both foreign and domestic that
could pose a threat to our country. It read like the 'Evening New' before Walter Cronkite could even report it the next day. The computers were all the latest IBM mainframes including the IBM 1410, IBM 7080 and the IBM 360/50.

During my tour of duty, at the Pentagon, we experienced three defense alerts. The first occurred during the six day Arab-Israeli war. The second occurred during the Hippies March on the Pentagon. On October 21, 1967 the objective was to 'elevate' the Pentagon fifteen feet in the air through chanting and séance. I never knew the government had so many federal marshals untill that afternoon. We went to work on second shift at about 1430, through the tunnel, from South Fort Myer. We were equipped with gas masks and wearing fatiques.
The third defense alert came on January 31, 1968 during the TET offensive in Vietnam. Other significant events were the riots in DC, after the assassination of Martin Luther King, the funeral for Robert F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon's second inauguration.

After out-processing, I left the Pentagon and Headquarters company, Fort Myer, which by the then had moved to North Post, I got in my car, a 1967 Red Chevelle, which I had purchase new from Rosenthal Chevrolet, in Arlington and drove home to Hamilton, Ohio. One of the things I remember about South Fort Myer was a great Mess hall. I believe it was called a consolidated mess because officers and enlisted all ate there. I also remember a great group of guys that I worked with at USAMSSA, United States Army Management Systems Support Agency. Some of them still keep in touch to this day.

Snyder fort myer
Fort Myer Request to Leave
Fort Myer Meal Card
Above, from left to right: Mike when in basic training, his 'pass card' and PX Commissary shopping card.
Snyder Barracks
Synder Graves

Above left: Barracks 524, photo taken July 1969, looking east. The barracks block the view of the Washington Monument, which is about 2 miles in the distance. To the direct right is Barracks 523, know as 'Perez Palace', named for Sgt. Perez who tried his best to keep this transient barrack spotless. To the right of that was the steep stairway leading to the post pool, then the tunnel to The Pentagon. This area of South Post became deserted in April 1969 (allowing for the graffiti), when Headquarters Company moved to North Post.

Above Right: The same location in a photo taken a few years ago by Bill Jentz; but instead of Barracks 524, it is now known as Section 58 of Arlington National Cemetery.

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