Bob Harkins

  Bob served as the commander of Alpha Company 3/187th Infantry Regiment in Vietnam 
during the Battle Dong Ap Bia (Hill 937 and Hamburger Hill). He remained in the U.S. Army for 27 years retiring as a Colonel in 1993. He commanded at the platoon, company, battalion, and brigade level during his career. That included commanding the XVIII Airborne Corps’ Dragon Brigade during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  After retiring from the Army, he worked in Higher Education at the University of Pittsburgh (where he obtained a Doctorate in 1998) and he was the Associate Vice President for Campus Safety and Security for the University of Texas from 2005 to 2017.  

  He retired from the University of Texas in January, 2018 and lives in Austin with his beautiful wife Sue. Their two sons currently serve as colonels in the U.S. Army.  His younger son, Patrick, commanded Iron Battalion from 2013 to 2015.  Bob has been the President of the Hamburger Hill Chapter for several years.  

Contact Bob at

Frank Peterson

  Frank joined the Army on 14 Feb 1985.  His first tour with the Rakkasans was in Leader Bn D Co 1-187th IN from 1995 -1998.  He joined the association then as an active duty sergeant.  Tours to Korea and Drum interrupted his stay in Rakk land but by the grace of God he was brought back to Iron Bn D Co 3-187th IN in late 2000 and served until 2004.  Frank deployed with the Iron Rakkasans to Afghanistan for Operation Enduring Freedom. During the Iraqi Freedom mission SFC Peterson was assigned as the Rear Detachment Commander of D Co 3-187 and the Rear Detachment NCOIC of 3rd Bn 187th IN.  His final tour was at FT Benning as an Advanced Non Commissioned Officer academy instructor.

  After retiring, he moved back to the FT Campbell area and became a member of the Samurai and Torii chapters.  In 2007 he became the president of the Samurai Chapter and held that position until the merger of the two Chapters as well as president of the National Association.  Among his awards are the Distinguished Member of the Regiment Crest, Combat Infantryman Badge, Air Assault Badge, and Patriotic Civilian Service Pin.

Contact Frank at

Vice President
ERik Lind

  Upon completion of Basic Training Erik was assigned to A Co., 5th BN 87th Infantry Regiment of the 193rd Infantry Brigade in Panama.  After Panama, he assigned to A Co. 3rd BN 187th Infantry Regiment, Rakkasans. In August of 1990 he deployed with the Rakkasans to Desert Shield and Desert Storm and redeployed in April of 1991 after completing combat operations in Iraq.

  After the Army he went back to school and completed a degree and went to work at a few manufacturing companies.  He has currently been working for Abbott Labs for the last 9 years in the contracting and compliance department. In August of 2018 he assumed the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary of the National Association. He now lives in Austin TX, with his wife and has a daughter who lives in Chicago.


Contact Erik at

James Sullivan 

  Jim is the President and founder ATS Advisors, A Certified Public Accounting Firm, Headquartered in Plymouth, Michigan Founded in 1996 as a sole practice the firm has grown to more than 30 employees with offices throughout Michigan.  Jim is a licensed CPA and a member of the MICPA and the AICPA and carries a Forensic and Valuation Specialty (FVS) Credential.  A 1995 Graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Jim is also the primary instructor for the University of Michigan Tax Practitioner Institute.  
   Jim served in the Rakkasan’s from 1988 to 1991 where he was assigned to D. Co 3/187th AARCT and was a member of the Advance Party during Operation Desert Shield and a TOW Gunner during Desert Storm, Jim extended his time in country to remain on Trail Party for the Wolfpack.  Jim has been the treasurer of the association since 2013. 

Contact Sully at

Irv Weinsoff

  Irv Served with the Rakkasans 1953 to 1955 with E Company in Korea Went on to join the 82nd ABN until 1956 Entered college in New York, then on to Law School in Brooklyn.

  He entered private practice until he passed the Florida Bar in 1969. Irv Moved to Florida in 1972 Retired in 1988 Served as Association Attorney over 20 years. He is the DMOR recipient for 2014 and served as the Association Vice President 2004 to 2010. He recently served as Association President 2010 to 2016 and currently operates as the Association's legal council.

  Irvs hobbies include fishing and hunting. His biggest joy comes from spending time with his wonderful wife and 4 great kids.

Board Member
Mike Smith

Mike entered the service in 1968, and experienced Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training, back to back at Ft. Polk, Louisiana.  On May 1st, 1969, Camp Evans, Vietnam, he was assigned to Delta Company, 3rd/187th, and served in 2nd Platoon.  Later in his service with Delta Co. he assumed the duties of RTO for Platoon Sergeant Jackson, and eventually PL Lt. Salisbury.


He is a former President of the Weldon F. Honeycutt Hamburger Hill Chapter and the current Treasurer of the Chapter.  Awards include the DMOR, C.I.B., Bronze Star w/’V’ w/Oak Leaf cluster, and Air Medal.


Retiring in 2017 after 45 years in public service at Federal and County Government levels, Mike now volunteers at the Chillicothe, Ohio Veterans Administration, Community Living Center and Medical facility.

Board Member
Harvey Watson

Colonel Harvey Watson was born September 3, 1944, in Rochester, New York. He was drafted into the United States Army in 1966 and was trained and assigned as an infantry anti-armor crewman with the 3rd Battalion, 39th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas. He was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant of infantry upon completion of Officer Candidate School in 1967. He went on to complete the Airborne and Ranger courses, as well as the Infantry Officers Advanced Course, and graduated from the Army Command and General Staff College and the U.S. Army War College. His civil education was completed after return from Vietnam. He was awarded the Bachelor of Arts (1973), Master of Science (1973), and Doctor of Philosophy (1980) degrees in Research Psychology from Auburn University.

             He has held a wide variety of important command and staff positions culminating in his final assignment as the Deputy Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command. Colonel Watson’s decorations include The Silver Star, Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with “V” Device with Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, and Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters.

             Following his career in the Army, he spent nearly 20 years working as a defense contractor, marketing IT products and systems to the DoD and VHA. Finally, after that period of time, he returned to his real interest, that of Research Psychology. During the four years before his retirement in May of 2015, he conducted research to determine new and better ways to diagnose and treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

             Watson has been married to the former Sharon Reid Folsom of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, for 52 years. The couple has two daughters, Shannon Reid Donaldson and Auburn Elizabeth Doege, and seven grandchildren.

Board Member
Greg Patton

  CSM Greg Patton (ret) served 28 years in the US Army as an Infantryman. He was assigned to the 187th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Rakkasans, in 2005. He served as WAR 7, LEADER 7, and in 2007 became RAK 7. He served on three deployments with the Rakkasans.

  Greg is a Life Member of the National Rakkasan Association, the Torii Chapter, and the Veterans Of Foreign War. He is also a Distinguished Member of the Regiment. He retired from the 187th in 2011, and lives in Clarksville, TN. He is married to Sheila who serves as the Secretary for the Torii Chapter. Greg currently works as a Government Contractor for the National Guard Bureau. He likes to fish and hunt in his spare time and is looking forward to serving on the National Rakkasan Board of Directors.

Board Member
Darel Schoening

  Darel Schoening enlisted in the Army in May 1982.  Upon graduation from Basic Training Private Schoening was selected for Officer Candidate School.  Upon graduation from OCS 2nd Lieutenant Schoening was branched Infantry.  His service included duty with the 16th Infantry in the 1st Infantry Division, the 187th Infantry in the 101st Infantry Division (AASLT), 509th Infantry (Airborne) at the Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk, LA, and 24th Infantry in the 25th Infantry Division where he commanded 1-24 IN (Deuce Four).

  CPT Schoening served in 3-187 Infantry (AASLT) as ASST S3, S4, and D Co Commander (Wolfpack).  He also served as the Brigade S3 (Plans).  CPT Schoening’s Rakkasan service included service in Desert Shield/Storm. LTC Schoening’s awards include The MSM, Bronze Star, CIB, EIB, Airborne Wings, Air Assault Wings, Jumpmaster School, 2 NATO Medals (Kosovo & Bosnia), and the coveted Ranger Tab.

Contact Darel at

Board Member
Chuck Vanderluitgaren

Chuck was drafted and served with the Rakkasans in Vietnam from 09/1968 – 07/1969. His awards include: Silver Star, Bronze Star with V Device, Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Purple Heart (with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters), Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Emblem, Meritorious Unit Emblem, Valorous Unit Emblem, RVN Civil Actions Honor Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with Four Bronze Service Stars, RVN Campaign Ribbon w/device 1960, Combat Infantryman Badge, Sharpshooter Badge w/Rifle and Machine gun Bars, Marksman Badge w/Automatic Rifle Bar.

He has held offices in both the Lester Hammond and Torii Chapters and is one of the founding members of the Weldon B. Honeycutt/Hamburger Hill Chapter. Chuck is a proud recipient of the DMOR. Chuck is retired from Commonwealth Edison, an electric utility company in Northern Illinois. 

11/21/19 Sadly, Chuck passed away on November 9, 2019.


For tributes, donations can be made in his honor to the Hamburger Hill Scholarship Fund

Board Member

The mission of the Rakkasan association is to provide two critical functions:

We are the link that helps our active duty soldiers understand that they are members of one of the most prestigious regiments in the history of our great nation. 

Additionally, we are the best vehicle of continued camaraderie between Rakkasan veterans. Many Rakkasans veterans feel tremendous pride in their service and knowing that there is an association full of people who appreciate their service is immensely valuable.

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Board meeting 

Meeting minutes for the

August 16th, 2018 board meeting is available below.

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