|Radio Telephone Operator, 3rd Infantry Division, REFORGER, West Germany, 1975|
| The annual REFORGER, Return Forces Germany, training exercises allowed U.S. military and NATO planners to fine tune defensive strategies in the event the Warsaw Pact crossed the East-West German border. Entire Divisions were activated and shipped to West Germany. Once in Germany, the soldiers linked up with pre-positioned supplies of tanks, vehicles, and ammunition and headed out for maneuver exercises.
The 3rd Infantry Division played a key role in training the units that participated in REFORGER exercises. When not actively engaged in exercises, the 3rd Infantry Division maintained a routine of patrols and outpost duty along the East-West German frontier.
This soldier is based on Sgt Karl Clapp who was a veteran of REFORGER '75, '79 and '81. He describes his uniform:
"This RTO uniform was used in REFORGER '75. The pants on the RTO were generically known as "field pants", I believe the nomenclature was "M1942 field trousers". These were in service up until 1999, when they were completly replaced by the new ECWCS (Extended Cold Weather Clothing System) trousers. The field pants could be worn by themselves, with liners, or over regular fatigue trousers. The field jacket is also an M1942, it differs from the M1965 most notably in the collar and sleeve cuffs. I secured an old M1942 field jacket from a surplus store before going on active duty. I had most of my NCO's make offers for the jacket. It was a highly prized item because it starched up so well and presented a very strac appearance. The Vietnam leaf pattern helmet cover was in service up through the very early 80's."
"The 30 round mag pouches were not common issue in Germany in '75. I bought mine at the Clothing Sales store. You didn't see a lot of 30 round magazines around at that time. By the early '80's they were becoming more common. The load bearing Y-harness was the same way, that's why this RTO is still using the H-harness."
The last REFORGER was in 1993, just a shadow of the original. It included only a part of one unit from the U.S. and the rest was simulated on computers.