Info. about my Military Service|
by Donald E Hassler; Tempe AZ, 12-08-2008
This material is a synopsis of my activities from June 1948 through mid-1965 in the Illinois National Guard and subsequently in the US Army Reserve. I served 17 years of honorable service in the Guard and then the Reserve and ended as a 1st Lt. in a Captain's vacancy. I resigned from the USAR in 1965 when I realized that further participation in regular weekly drills and 2-weeks of summer training would be negative to my civilian career objectives.
In the summer of 1948 I knew that the impact of the impending Korean War would make me (a 19 year old college student) eligible for the military draft. The best alternative I knew of for deferment was to enlist in weekly reserve training and take 2 weeks of active duty each summer. So I went to the National Guard armory on North Ave. in Chicago and joined the 33rd Division Band as a buck private.
There was summer training every summer and weekly drills from then on. As a military musician I was among others like me and progressed rapidly through the ranks until reaching Master Sergeant (E-7) and Assoc. Conductor of the Band in 1952. In 1952 I was promoted to Warrant Officer and Bandmaster. After I moved to Harvey Ill. in 1953 I realized that training, in Chicago 40 miles away was impossible so I transferred to the 33rd Division Tank Co. right there in Harvey and became the Unit Administrator. During my time with the 33rd we trained at Camp Cook in IL, Camp Grayling in MI, Camp McCoy in WI and several other military bases that I don't remember.
In 1955 our family moved to Los Angeles CA and after a short inactive period I transferred from the National Guard to the Army Reserve and joined the 63rd Division Hq on Western Ave. to organize and develop the 63rd Infantry Division Band. In the late 50s I was promoted to Chief Warrant Officer Bandmaster. During the remainder of the 50s I served as Conductor and Commander of the 63rd Inf Div Band. We trained at Camp Roberts CA and had our weekly rehearsals at the Recording Studios on Western Ave. We recorded a transcription disk of military marches for Armed Forces Radio during this period. While with the Band, attached to Division Headquarters, I was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, AG Corps and assigned to Div Hq in a Captain's slot.
Around 1962, when the family was living on Moorpark Ave, the 63rd Div Hq and all of the associated units moved their training out to Buena Park in Orange County. I left the Band at that time and transferred to the 205 Army Overseas Radio Station and trained with that group until my resignation. The AORS trained weekly at the Army Reserve, Burbank Blvd & Sepulveda in Encino and in the summer for 2 weeks at Fort MacArthur in San Pedro CA.