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Oral history interview of Mr. Steven Allen Epkins. Interview conducted by Anthony Pilot at Faith Lutheran Church in Naples, Florida on October 9, 2018.


0:22 Birthplace and family; 1:42 Life before military service; 2:15 Enlisting in the military; 3:52 Choosing the Army; 4:50 Experience in boot camp; 5:38 Specialized training; 8:52 Feelings on reporting to Vietnam; 10:13 Job in Vietnam; 11:40 Interactions with foreign nationals; 12:25 Adapting to jungles; 13:25 Food in Vietnam; 14:15 Survival in Vietnam; 15:43 Comradery and correspondence in Vietnam; 16:56 Meeting and marrying first wife; 17:24 Worst memory of Vietnam; 20:38 South Vietnamese forces; 22:04 Becoming/Being a Captain; 25:35 Anecdote: Range Control Officer; 27:36 Assignment to Special Forces Thailand; 28:57 Military strain on family; 29:20 Anecdote: Special Forces Thailand; 34:30 Army Security Agency Officer/Cryptologist; 35:42 End of Vietnam War (Mood); 36:23 Treatment upon returning from Vietnam; 37:27 Second time in Fort Bragg; 38:32 Year stationed in South Korea; 41:46 Teaching English in South Korea; 43:10 Third time in Fort Bragg; 44:50 United States Central Command; 46:22 Children; 47:12 Scope of surveillance; 48:50 Taking command in Germany; 53:50 Changes to technology through career; 54:33 Command in Berlin; 56:00 Stationed in Saudi Arabia; 56:32 Writing debriefing reports and Army War College papers; 58:05 US Army Special Operations Command in Fort Bragg; 58:35 Determining combat effectiveness; 59:22 Reputation as a high ranking officer; 1:01:12 Retiring from the Army and joining civilian workforce; 1:04:57 Selling cars; 1:05:30 Teaching Army JROTC in Florida; 1:08:04 Teaching in charter vs public schools; 1:08:33 Retiring from teaching; 1:09:29 Property management; 1:10:09 Impact of time in the military; 1:10:37 Veteran's organizations involvement; 1:11:00 Adapting to civilian work after military; 1:13:17 Life lessons from the military; 1:15:23 Message for future generations.

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Dixon (Ill.)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

Vietnam Era



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage


Entrance into Service


Branch of Service

U.S. Army

Unit of Service

Army Security Agenda; Intelligence Center of Maryland; Fort Bragg; Fort Bliss; Military Command in Vietnam; 36th Engineer Battalion; Special Forces, Thailand; 18th Airborne; 358th Army Security Agency; 3rd Brigade; 501st Brigade; 313th MI Battalion; U.S Army Special Forces, 7th Group; U.S. Army Field Station Berlin, 82nd Airborne; U.S. Army War College; U.S Army Special Op Command

Location of Service

Laos; Cambodia; Vietnam; Germany; Fort Bragg (N.C.); Fort Bliss (Tex.); Thailand

Highest Rank

Colonel; COL

Prisoner of War


Service Related Injury



Operation Desert Storm


Legion of Merit; Bronze Stars; Defense Meritorious Medal


See interview for details.


The veteran was awarded 2 Legions of Merit and 2 Bronze Stars.

City of Birth


Country of Birth

United States


Pilot, Anthony

Interview Date

Fall 11-29-2018

Location of Interview

Faith Lutheran Church, Naples, Florida


Epkins, Steven Allen; Vietnam War, 1961-1975 -- Personal Narratives; United States. Army

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES University of Central Florida


Pilot, Anthony

Length of Interview

77 Minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections & University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type