Story by Nico Nagel, USAG Rheinland-Pfalz Public Affairs Apprentice
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany – The U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz truly is a “home away from home” for many. Serving a U.S. military community with over 10,000 people, you might not realize how “small” the community really is…until you run in to an old high school or family friend at the commissary.
It’s really a ‘small world after all’ for two Dover, Delaware natives, Claude Armstrong and Maurice Evans, both serving U.S Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz (USAG-RP) and living in Kaiserslautern.
Claude Armstrong serves as the Master Planning and Real Property Chief for the Directorate of Public Works (DPW). His division manages a portfolio of over 7,000 real property facility assets across sites in Bulgaria, Germany, and Romania. He is responsible for the coordination, facilitation and management of short, mid, and long-range planning and programing for facility repairs, renovations and construction supporting the various missions of U.S Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz.
Maurice Evans serves as the S6 Director, Lead Information Management and Technical Consultant in Information Management for U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz. In this role, he supervises the Directorate of Information Management and provides Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Information Management (C4IM) support to the installation, including providing technical management and expertise for current and long-range programs. He is the technical representative for coordinating overarching Enterprise Information Technology issues, projects and programs for U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz.
Both graduated from Dover High School in Dover, Delaware, home to the Senators, the High School mascot. Claude graduated in 1983, while Maurice graduated in 1986 – a seemingly small gap now, but in high school years they were in two different worlds! Claude however, was best friends with Maurice’s older brother, Spencer, and they share memories of Maurice as the younger, um, annoying, but funny kid who looked up to his big brother and his friends.
Dover is the state capital of Delaware. Dover is well known for what was originally ‘Dover Downs’ racing track, but is now the ‘Dover International Speedway’, a major race car track in the U.S. for Formula One and stock car racing. It’s also known for Dover Air Force Base, an installation many of Air Force personnel are familiar with. The capital city of Dover is the host site for many historical state and national events, especially in celebration of Delaware being the first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution in 1787.
The first time the gentlemen saw each other again after high school was at the Volgelweh Commissary around Christmas time, 2022. Despite Claude wearing a mask, Maurice could tell that he knew him and called out to him.
Both were extremely surprised to see each other there and started to laugh and reminisce of the “good old days” back home.
Through the conversation, they realized that not only are they both living here in the KMC, but they both also serve U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz and work at Rhine Ordnance Barracks (ROB).
We asked the Dover High School alums some questions about their high school/good old days memories and thought it would be fun to share/compare their answers.
Did you play sports or participate in extracurricular activities in high school?
Claude: I ran track as long and triple jumper, as well as a distance runner (1600m and 3200m); in the fall, I ran cross-country.
Maurice: I was a wrestler for all four years as well as serving in the Air Force Junior ROTC program. I also played little league baseball for five seasons!
What were your hobbies and interests?
Claude: I loved to build models, primarily military models, and dioramas for display with my brother, and Lego creations of all kinds but mostly buildings and houses.
Maurice: Wrestling, baseball and racing my scooter back and forth to school – which helped in my other career in professional motorcycle racing (Maurice won three German/European Supersport 600cc motorcycle racing championships in 2012, 2016 and 2021!)
What was your favorite movie in high school?
Claude: I didn’t have one favorite, but I’d say Chariots of Fire, both Star Wars and The Outsiders.
Maurice: Star Wars, Breakfast Club, Weird Science, and Eddie Murphy’s stand-up show, Delirious (which my mom didn’t know I was listening to via cassette tapes in the garage!)
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Claude: Easy, an architect.
Maurice: Alive, lol! I wanted to be an Air Force fighter pilot, but motorcycle racing was a more attainable goal.
Did you ever think you’d be working and living in Europe?
Claude: No, it wasn’t ever on my radar.
Maurice: Definitely not. My “dream sheet” consisted of all east coast assignments, however my very first Air Force duty station was at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan – followed by over 25 years, collectively, living in Germany!
What do you like most about working for USAG-RP?
Claude: I love working with the Master Planning and Real Property team and how we work together to provide the data, information, and plans for our various stakeholders. They are truly professional and great fun to be around! It is truly a microcosm of how the DPW and Garrison functions and works together.
Maurice: I sincerely love my job! The S6 team consists of a group of professional, ambitious, and amazing people. We have a leadership team here that fully supports our garrison families and I’m proud to be a part of the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz team!
In the process of reminiscing and catching up, the men discovered that another U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz garrison team member, Greg Williams, Director of Public Works (DPW) is married to Leonie, who attended the same church in Dover that Maurice attended!
“This really shows how small our world is,” said Maurice. “Having the opportunity to live, work and play in Europe, plus run into old friends from back home, is pretty cool.”
U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz is the Army’s premier Strategic Readiness Platform overseas in delivering unmatched mobilization and installation support services to enable readiness for a globally responsive Army and providing a safe home for our Total Force community and families.