Robert Wolfe, U.S. Army 82nd Airborne and Alaska Army National Guard, 1972-1992

Robert Wolfe's military service lasted over 20 years.

Robert Wolfe enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1972.  His military service included stations in Alaska, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Fort Ord, California and Fort Stewart, Georgia.  He also served in Panama.  In January, 1973 he attended Jump School in Fort Bragg.

After his first enlistment, Mr. Wolfe went back to Hoonah and was carrying his duffle bag.  He saw his uncle’s boat, the Donna Ann, and said hello to his uncle.  His uncle said to one of his crewmen: “You!  Get your stuff and get off the boat.  Bugs (his nickname from his uncle), c’mon aboard!”  Robert couldn’t say no and so spent his first week and a half on the Donna Ann before he even went into his home. 

He re-enlisted in the Army in 1974.

Mr. Wolfe said that the most exciting thing he did was his time spent training in the Panama jungles.  “It was the first time I’d been in a jungle… besides Alaska’s underbrush!  More exciting then repelling out of a helicopter.” 

When he got out of the Army he joined up with the Alaska Army National Guard.

At the end of his Guard service, he ran into Colonel Austin who told him “First Sergeant Wolfe, I’ve been hoping to run into you. I’ve been looking for you for three years.”  The Colonel pulled a paper out of his wallet and unfolded it, “Here you go.  You are now Pathfinder qualified.”  (A pathfinder is a specialized soldier inserted or dropped into place in order to set up and operate drop zones, pickup zones, and helicopter landing sites for airborne operation, air resupply operations, or other air operations in support of the ground unit commander.)

Mr. Wolfe served his country for 20 years, 4 months and 17 days, ending his career as a First Sergeant.

Robert Wolfe