As they marched through the rice paddies and jungles, U.S. combat units never knew when enemy forces would suddenly appear. Rather than trying to convince a draft board that they were physically unable to serve in the military, these men could get a note Partly due to their young age and working-class backgrounds, the U.S. soldiers in Vietnam did not tend to be well-educated. so many opted to carry special built weapons, some with sound suppressors, and some with specialized modifications. Many American troops felt that they could not trust anyone Vietnamese—including peasants, farmers, bar girls, old women, and children—because they might be agents of the Viet Cong. . Jokes are funnier, green is greener. At the same time, some white soldiers in base camps made racist comments or displayed racially insensitive symbols, like the Confederate flag (the symbol of the slaveholding South during the American Civil War). Drug use was especially common on military bases and in support units. The valleys were surrounded by steep hills and rugged mountains that were covered by a thick jungle of trees and tropical plants. One was to not load more than 18 rounds in 20 round magazines (30 round mags were still several years away). As American soldiers grew more frustrated with the war and how it was being conducted, some began to take out their frustrations on officers. When American soldiers arrived in Vietnam, they entered a land, climate, and culture that was very different from the United States.
Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. the seals used a lot of handguns with sound … from their family doctors. leader; premier of South Vietnam, 1965–67
"Every time we slapped someone around, or trashed a village, or shouted curses from a jeep, we defined ourselves as the enemy and thereby handed more power and legitimacy to the people we had to beat.". Instead, the local farmers and villagers usually viewed the Americans with distrust or even hostility. And you were sort of walking that tightrope the whole time," veteran James Webb recalled in Working-Class War. . Performance & security by Cloudflare, Please complete the security check to access. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, however, both the morale and performance of the U.S. forces declined rapidly. How long will the footprints on the moon last? The contents were varied based on short-term missions versus long-term.
In addition, the U.S. government agreed to change its policy so that war dogs would no longer be left behind when American troops were withdrawn from a conflict. Helmer, John. The combat patrols rarely found any strong evidence linking the villages to the Viet Cong. 16 Oct. 2020
At first, many U.S. soldiers felt sympathy for the South Vietnamese people. • Some of these men were career military officers. In fact, antiwar organizations often held meetings on college campuses to inform potential draftees about their options. Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Machine In the rear [non-combat support areas], back at Gator, Chip and I would go our separate ways, by color, both of us ashamed but knowing it had to be that way.
In some cases, men who entered the service by enlisting rather than being drafted received better duty assignments. "Fragging" initially referred to the practice of using a fragmentation weapon (an explosive device, such as a hand grenade) to murder an officer. William C. Westmoreland Altogether, 27 million American men came of draft age during the Vietnam War years. South Vietnam Created under the Geneva Accords of 1954, the southern section of Vietnam was known as the Republic of South Vietnam. Some American soldiers reacted to their situation by lashing out violently against the Vietnamese, while others took out their anger on U.S. military leaders. I looked straight ahead and not more than two feet away was a tripwire [a trigger for a hidden explosive device]. Baskir, Lawrence M., and William A. Strauss. ", There is no doubt that some American soldiers committed atrocities during the Vietnam War. Others resorted to drugs when they could not cope with the violence they witnessed. Zachary, the answer to your question is very dependent on the unit and mission. https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/american-soldier-vietnam, "The American Soldier in Vietnam Very few U.S. soldiers came from upper-class families. LANGUAGE: Vietnamese ." Some Chance and Circumstance: TheDraft, the War, and the Vietnam Generation. He's dead. Lewy, Gunter. They believed that the military offered opportunities for training and career advancement that were not available to them in civilian society.