Vietnam 2nd battalion
H & H Company 1965 – 1966
Status of SGM (Ret) Curtis Duco, 2009 Update:
I change command soon and wanted to provide you an update on SGM (Ret) Duco. At 84, he’s still spry and active here in Tuscaloosa. A few years ago his grandson asked him to “temporarily” keep two Great Danes while he built a new house. That house still isn’t built and the dogs are still under SGM Duco’s care. Notwithstanding, he loves those dogs and walking them daily has kept him in good physical condition. Greatly admiring the man – reminds me a great deal of my own father – I call or visit SGM Duco at least monthly. I talked to him again last night and he’s doing well.
After retiring as our Senior Military Instructor (SMI) in 1976, SGM Duco worked as our Supply Technician until 1990. He continued to mentor Cadets – in his words “minus the stripes” – throughout that time. He then traveled the country in an RV for a few years with his wife until she was unable to travel due to poor health. Her passing in 2006 nearly killed him. He tells me he prays daily for God to let him join her in Heaven; however, I tell him the more he complains the longer God will keep him here on earth. He always chuckles when I say that.
SGM Duco provides a scholarship award to a top Cadet annually. Numerous program alumni have discussed endowing a permanent scholarship in the future. The alumni also plan to place a footstone at the oak tree planted in his honor at Tuomey Hall when he retired in 1976. We’ll ensure this occurs.
It may interest his former Soldiers to know that of the 287 2LTs commissioned while SGM Duco served as the SMI at Alabama, 10 went on to become General Officers – roughly 3.5%. That excludes two Brigadier Generals who were Cadets during his final year; a load of COLs from his final years as SMI are still serving on Active Duty and in the Reserve Components. In any case it reflects the genuine care and mentorship SGM Duco showed both Soldiers and Cadets during his long and distinguished career.
I change command 24 June and my successor is LTC James P. Shaver, a Screaming Eagle alumnus from Operation Iraqi Freedom. I’m CCing him so he knows to periodically update you on SGM Duco.
Please post this to your website if desired. Thank you for your service to our Nation. Sincerely,
Lieutenant Colonel Dan N. Clark firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor of Military Science
The University of Alabama
Sat 4/7/2007 2:37 PM
Reference this website I noticed SGM (Ret) Curtis Duco’s former soldiers had sent in their impressions of him. I’m pleased to report to you that SGM Duco is 82 years old now and living in Duncanville, near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. SGM Duco was the Senior Military Instructor for the Crimson Tide of the Army Battalion (Army ROTC department) at The University of Alabama during the 1970s and retired from the Army here. Our department has 3100 living alumni and he is-by and large-among the most beloved instructors to ever serve in this battalion. Many of his former soldiers and our alumni frequently check in with him to see how he’s doing.
SGM Duco’s wife of 61 years passed away in July 2006 after a long illness and he took it very hard. However, our old friend has started visiting our Army ROTC department with more regularity and our cadets absolutely love hearing him speak. Indeed, only a rare man can command the undivided attention of over 100 college students for an hour. A long-time benefactor to our program, we named our historical collections room in his honor. SGM Duco’s only request is that our cadets and instructors carry him to rest when his time comes, a request we will sadly but respectfully grant.
I completed my doctoral studies here at Alabama after Gulf War I and enjoyed SGM Duco’s acquaintance during that time, never dreaming I’d someday return as the Army ROTC commander. Each time we talk I am awed by this great man’s character and intellect. SGM Duco is a living legend and we are blessed to have him in our lives. He’s listed in the phone directory for Tuscaloosa, AL and would enjoy hearing from his former Screaming Eagles comrades.
Major Dan N. Clark
Professor of Military Science
The University of Alabama
SGM Duco was our Bn SGM in 65 when we went over on the Eltinge. Even though he was not a Command Sergeant Major, Duco was the toughest SGM I ever served under. He had master jump wings with three combat jump stars and a chest full of decorations from WWII, Korea about every “cold war” police action there was. He was a totally “NO BULLSHIT” guy and although feared, he was highly respected by all who knew him. The story throughout the Bn was that if Duco liked you, you could call him God.
WOW, a name from the past! Was a 17 yr old E-2 B Co 2/327
I remember his voice when I got off the bus from replacement det.
Looked for a rock to get under .
Jim Kwasniewski ( SKI )
B Co 2/327 65 -66
L Co 101st
About SGM Duco:
He was a very tough NCO and I can remember when he had a dump truck bring a big rock to Battalion HQ for the Goon Platoon to bust up with sledge hammers.
But he was fair man.
For those who knew SGM Duco, one of the hardest SGM I ever knew, he is
doing fine. I just spoke with him via phone. He’s 80 and as sharp as a
tack and I could hear in his voice that he is still as feisty as ever.
1 & 2/327th
61 – 67
Duco was one of the few people who received the Combat Infantry Badge for W.W. II, Korea and RVN.
Yes he was hard but I always found him to be fair & willing to help younger NCO’s.
Here’s an article from the “Shield & Circle” dated Apr 16, 1965 just prior to our
deployment. Click HERE.
S-4 Sgt 2/327th Inf. 64 to 6-66.