The 16th Infantry Regiment here boasts a long and distinguished combat record.
It fought at Manassas and Gettysburg. It was the first unit to hit Omaha Beach on D-Day in For the last week, a small army of FBI agents has swarmed over the tree-lined, campus-like setting of Ft. Riley, interviewing soldiers about a former sergeant who is the prime suspect in the worst civilian bombing in American history.
Current and former soldiers of the 16th say they are furious that the stellar reputation of their unit is being tarnished by the arrest of Timothy J. McVeigh, who was decorated for his service in the Persian Gulf War. Charlie Company taught him better. Now, as McVeigh is under heavy guard at a federal prison outside Oklahoma City and Terry Lynn Nichols, another former soldier from the 16th, is being held in Wichita on conspiracy and explosives charges, Ft.
Top defense officials in Washington and commanding officers at Ft. Riley have gone out of their way to scuttle any suggestion of ties between active duty personnel at the Kansas Army post and the Oklahoma City bombing.
They have stressed that there is no evidence anyone involved in the bombing is enlisted in the military or ased to the 16th. Nor should the apprehension of suspects who once served at Ft. Ben Santos, a Fort Riley spokesman.
Riley was established in to battle Indians in the Kansas Territory. The Army post was named after Maj. Bennett C. Riley, who led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail in The 16th Infantry was formed in by consolidating two infantry regiments, one of which took part in the bloody Civil War battles at Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania.
At Gettysburg, the unit lost half its men.
The 16th Infantry has seen action on numerous occasions since. Military records released by the Pentagon this week show that McVeigh and Nichols ed the Army on the same day in May,and were sent to the same basic training center at Ft. Benning, Ga. He served as an infantryman and was trained as a gunner in armored Bradley Fighting Vehicles before being promoted to sergeant.
Va, who served with McVeigh in the Gulf War. Riley spokesman Gary Skidmore. McVeigh left the service on Dec. Nichols, who enlisted when he was 33, received a hardship discharge after less than a year of active duty.
The leaders of the 16th also declined to accept questions. Charlie Company was the best time of my life. Brian Stoutenburg, 24, of Grand Blanc, Mich.
On March 2, Pfc. Maurice Wilford, 20, of Cleveland, armed with a gauge shotgun and apparently angry with his supervisor, randomly shot and killed two other soldiers and wounded another before fatally shooting himself, authorities said. All Sections. About Us. B2B Publishing.
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Troops in Distinguished Ft. ZIP: 66531