Glendive native’s family lineage of military service prompted him to join

Derrick Calhoun Star Staff Writer
Sunday, November 28, 2021
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Glendive native Mark Teeters served in the Army National Guard

Miles City’s Mark Teeters remembered his time in the military on Veterans Day earlier this month.

Teeters served in the United States Army National Guard.

When asked why he decided to join the armed forces Teeters talked about his family’s lineage of serving in the military.

“I come from a really long line of military people,” Teeters said. “My dad was in the Army, I have a brother that was in the Navy and I had an uncle in the Air Force.”

Originally from Glendive, Teeters went to basic training as a junior in high school and then returned to finish up school.

Teeters went back to Glendive to tie up some loose ends before going to Advanced Individual Training and then instead of staying in the guard he went to active duty. He was stationed in Korea.

“I ended up getting out and took a leave,” Teeters said. “Five years later I went back to the guard, which is actually what brought me to Miles City in 2005.”

According to Teeters, 9/11 had something to do with him deciding to return to the National Guard. At the time of the 9/11 terrorist attacks Teeters was living in Connecticut and was at Ground Zero in New York City with the fire department.

“It kind of woke me up,” he said.

Another reason Teeters said that he returned to the military was because of the camaraderie and brotherhood.

“I think every military person feels that emptiness, we miss that camaraderie, we miss all that stuff,” Teeters said.

In Miles City, once returning to the National Guard, Teeters worked as recruiter under Joe Baker. Baker was the recruiter and Teeters was his assistant.

One day while in the office with Baker, Teeters said that he went onto the National Guard Bureau website and volunteered to go to Iraq.

“Then I forgot all about it,” he said. “Then six months later my orders came in and I was just like ‘uh, what.’”

According to Teeters, it was a great opportunity for him. He was a 19D Cavalry Scout with the 163rd. Teeters missed the deployment that the 163rd were on so he stayed back behind and continued to be a recruiter’s assistant, tied to the field artillery unit.

One day, while helping the Billings recruiting office, Teeters received a call from his captain, asking where he was. The captain told him that he needed to get to his office immediately, and to not worry, it wasn’t anything disciplinary.

When Teeters arrived at his captain’s office, he was given orders with 20th special forces group.

“It was a great opportunity,” Teeters said. “Especially for someone in conventional service, like the infantry. To actually be attached to a special forces unit was huge.”

Teeters reported to the special forces unit at Fort Campbell in Kentucky in 2006.

“What was great about this unit is that they turned a group of guys who had never worked together before and made a fully functioning platoon out of us in less than two months,” he said. “You would have thought by the way we worked together that we had been together for years.”

Master Sergeant Al Rizzo was the special forces team sergeant, and Teeters still talks to and looks up to him today.

According to Teeters, the unit was on the road over 80 times, running convoy support during the nine months they were over seas. Teeters was in the No. 1 truck, he was the lead gunner of the whole convoy.

“I was like the beginning eyes and ears of everything,” he said.

While running convoys Teeters and his unit were involved in two IEDs, one of which he said should have killed them. Teeters explained that it was that training, knowing what they were doing, that saved them.

Teeters explained that being part of the Miles City Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has helped him find that camaraderie again that he missed from his time in the military.

“That was the piece I was missing, and now I am the Junior Vice Commander there, working my way up the chain, getting back into it,” he said.

Contact Derrick Calhoun at mcsportsreporter@gmail. com or at 406-234-0450.