Free-Fire Zone

A free-fire zone was an area that had been cleared of all civilians, with any remaining people assumed to be hostile forces. “Free-fire zone” is also one of those terms that if repeated often enough will make folks dive under the coffee table and hide their heads. Only in Vietnam was political clearance required prior to placing fire on the enemy, that is, clearance from ARVN officials was required for all but clearly defensive fire except into a “free-fire zone.” A free-fire zone, however, did not relieve the commander of his concurrent obligation to comply with the laws of war, operating authorities, and the rules of engagement. Continue reading

US Army Sniper Program

In the Spring of 1969 9th Infantry Division’s most successful ambush tactic was the sniper mode. This sniper program was initiated in the States and was set in motion as result of a visit to Fort Benning in January 1968. The Army Marksmanship Unit cooperated to the fullest extent, and funds were made available to increase the accuracy of fifty-five M-14 rifles and to provide sniper-scopes. The idea was to get an outstanding training team from the Marksmanship Unit to train 9th Infantry Division soldiers in Vietnam in sniper tactics.

The Army Marksmanship Unit team led by Major Willis L. Powell and consisting of seven non-commissioned officers arrived in Vietnam in June 1968. Upon arrival in the country they revamped the M-16 training methods at the 9th Infantry Division training establishment, the Reliable Academy. Subsequently they supervised the construction of a 500 yard range at Dong Tam and periodically accompanied ambush patrols to assimilate the delta tactics. Progress was slow. Continue reading

George Jones 50,000 names on the wall

In God we trust… God bless America

Our own Charlie Company Curt Fletcher forwarded this to me.  I had no idea that the song existed.  This is an important piece of music. I think everyone should hear it.  The radio stations probably wouldn’t play it because it is not politically correct.  

A big Hoo-Rah to Curt.

Turn on your sound

Click here  50,000

Vietnam War And The Zippo

Vietnam War And The Zippo

Zippo lighters have played an important role in almost every war since World War II. They have been used in many ways including, warming hands, starting campfire, providing light and even deflecting a bullet or two. Zippos were commonly referred to as “trench art,” some servicemen used their lighters as a drawing board to convey their feelings and decorated their lighter cases with hand-etched design. Continue reading

Combat Air Assaults

Combat Air Assaults

The “combat air assault” was the zenith of the attack phase of air mobility.  A combat air assault, as a tactical mission, was more than merely transporting troops from point A to point B by helicopters.  Once the enemy was located and contact was made, troops could be swiftly deployed by helicopters from less critical situations and concentrated at the point of battle. Continue reading

Military Slang Terms

Military slang is colloquial language used by and associated with members of various military forces. This page lists slang words or phrases that originate with military forces, are used exclusively by military personnel, or are strongly associated with military organizations.

A number of military slang terms are acronyms. These include SNAFU, SUSFU, FUBAR and similar terms used by various branches of the United States military during World War II and beyond. Continue reading

Commemorating the War

Commemorating the War

The Vietnam Memorial, like the POW-MIA flag, stands as the physical embodiment of the desire of the American people to understand the meaning of the Vietnam conflict and remember the men and women who took part in it. During the late 1970s both public and private efforts began to congeal around the idea of establishing a monument to the 58,000 American dead in Vietnam. Influenced by the film The Deer Hunter (1978), Jan Scruggs, a Vietnam veteran, teamed up with two other servicemen in 1979 to create a non-profit organization known as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Continue reading