At annual training in 1978 and 1979, when active-duty evaluators from the 82nd Airborne noticed First City Troop tank crews dismounting at happy hour for cocktails, pickled herring, and smoked oysters, they thought the Troop was a joke. But they were soon fascinated by the unit's cohesion and proficiency. Many of the Troop's tank crews were composed of men who had served in other military branches before joining the National Guard. With such a hodgepodge of training backgrounds, they discovered surprising strengths. For example, at tank ranges, gunners with Navy experience tended to do well because, as Roy West (a former U.S. Navy officer) explained, “Shooting 40-millimeter Bofors cannon and five-inch naval guns at sea made operating tank guns easy.” Also, in contrast their active-duty counterparts, First Troop tank crews typically stayed together for four or five years at a stretch, which gave them time to learn each other’s quirks. This sort of co-dependence surely reached a high-water mark in a tank crew where both the gunner and commander were equally dyslexic, with a tendency to confuse right from left. One year a range officer sitting with them during a training exercise was mystified when he heard the commander clearly tell his gunner to swing the turret to the left, when he obviously intended the turret to swing right. The gunner obeyed, swinging it to the right, thinking it was left.