1/27TH Infantry, 25th Infantry Division...
1/27TH Infantry, 25th Infantry Division Question:
(Note that all information I have presented in this question I can prove by sending you copies of my records, morning reports and orders. Or I can scan them and post them privately where you can review them. I will gladly provide those records upon your request).
When I first arrived in Vietnam for my first long tour in February 1968, the 1968 Tet offensive and counteroffensive were in full force. I was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division as a SSG E-6 with a MOS of 71H40L.
When I arrived at the 25th, and due to an extreme shortage of NCO’s and Lieutenants, I was presented with a letter from the Division commander that asked for NCO’s and Officers that were Infantry qualified to volunteer for combat duties. I was asked by the Division to perform those duties because (1) I carried an Infantryman’s MOS for years, (2) I missed being the top scorer with my rifle in my entire Battalion by one miss (3) I was a former Marine (albeit only in the USMC for a short time) (4) I had attended Infantry OCS at Ft. Benning (which I did not complete due to leaving on an Emergency leave. When I returned to Ft. Benning after the emergency leave, and was awaiting another class I could attend, I was offered the aforementioned France assignment. I was told I could return to OCS later or ask for a direct commission if I successfully completed the European assignment and, depending upon my efficiency ratings on the European assignment a direct commission application would be favorably considered. So I took the France assignment, the promotion to SSG E-6, and delayed returning to OCS. I never filed for a direct commission as after Europe I first wanted to go to Vietnam before I decided whether I wanted to stay in the US Army as an Infantry Officer. I of course decided to leave the US Army on my ETS date).
After I agreed to perform combat duties, and as my records reflect (DD 214) I was sent to RVN combat training which was provided exclusively to NCO’s and Officers that were designated to go into combat, and my records also reflect my first assignment in the 25th Infantry Division was to a very famous combat unit, the 1/27th Infantry, Wolfhounds.
The smear gang leader that has been waging a smear campaign against me for months agrees that my records reflect my initial assignment in the 25th Infantry division was to the 1/27th Infantry, and he agrees and has stated that my records also reflect that I attended RVN combat training when I first arrived in the 25th Infantry division. (As a part of their smear campaign the gang leader requests records on their target victim via a FOIA request, then he promptly starts lying about or distorting the contents of those records if they contradict his or his gang’s previous accusations about their target victim).
Although the smear gang admits to my RVN combat training and my initial assignment to the 1/27th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division, they preposterously claim that I was assigned to the 1/27th for duty as a Personnel Staff NCO, because my MOS was never changed to that of an Infantryman from 71H40L.
I of course know they are lying, and in fact, I believe anyone knowledgeable about the US Army and its units will confirm that fact:
1. At that time the 1/27th Infantry simply did not have any kind of a Personnel department. All Personnel departments for all units assigned to the 25th Infantry Division were consolidated in the 25th Admin, and NONE of the combat units assigned to the 25th Infantry Division maintained any semblance of Personnel operations of any kind. Therefore, it was virtually impossible for me to be assigned to the 1/27th Infantry to perform duties as a Personnel Staff NCO.
2. The only other duties I was qualified to perform which that unit desperately needed were that of an Infantry NCO, and after I completed my RVN combat training, I was assigned to a Special Reactionary Force that performed part time combat duties wherever and whenever the Division needed it. I was ultimately reassigned from the 1/27th to 25th Admin, but I still had to perform my SRF duties when called regardless, which I did often along with my normal other NCO combat related company duties. (During periods of the 1968 Tet offensive and counteroffensive months, Cu Chi and Tay Ninh and Dau Dieng came under enemy rocket and mortar fire almost on a daily basis, and we were constantly sending out reconnaissance and interdiction patrols trying to find the enemy rocket and mortar sites and their operators, and of course those patrols were fired on as well. But just living at Cu Chi or Tay Ninh and performing normal NCO company duties, such as Sergeant of the Perimeter Guard, was extremely dangerous. While the Guard stayed in the Bunkers, the Perimeter Guard NCO was required by Division to personally and constantly move from bunker to bunker on our bunker line to check the guard, and as a result he was constantly exposed to sniper fire, RPG’s and of course enemy Rockets and Mortars).
2-a. I should also mention my SRF unit suffered several casualties during that period and some of those casualties were in my squad or platoon. Sometimes I performed duties as a squad leader, and a few times I performed duties as a Platoon Sergeant and then as the Platoon Leader because it was rare we were assigned a commissioned officer to command our patrols due to the shortage. Several of the men in that SRF unit received Purple Heart Medals (Medals, not Cards). Two of which were in my squad and were walking a few feet behind me when they were hit during an ambush. The names of the aforementioned men that were awarded the purple heart medal that were in my squad and wounded during a patrol I was helping to lead, were Sp4 Olson and Sp4 Nelson. (Sp4 Olson was med-evacuated the next day and I was erroneously told later that he had died of his wounds. And because I could not remember his first name, and because there were several “Olson’s on the Wall, I thought he was listed as KIA. Yet I ultimately and thankfully found out that he recovered from his wounds after a few months in the Hospital). I also remember one man by the name of John Pate (which was not in my squad but was in the SRF) that was killed. There were several other casualties in that force but after 40 years I cannot remember all of their names. However, I can provide the addresses, and general records information of the aforementioned two men in my squad as I have that information and I will be glad to send it to you or provide it on-line privately.
3. I should also note that my SRF experience allowed me to perform other similar duties after I extended my tour in Vietnam and was reassigned out of the 25th Infantry Division, which in turn helped to prompt my Colonel to promote me to a SFC E-7 with only six years in total service. I was told I was the youngest (23 year old) SFC E-7 that existed in the US Army at that time - but I do not know if that is true and I had no way of verifying it. But my point is that had I not volunteered for duties outside of my MOS often, I would have never been promoted to SFC E-7 in Vietnam with only six total years of service and only two years of service as a SSG E-6. (I went from Pvt. E-1 to SFC E-7 in a little more than six years).
Here is my question:
1. Do you have any knowledge of the above-mentioned letter from the 25th Division commander during the period I was first assigned to the 25th Infantry division begging for NCO’s and Officers without a combat arms MOS, which were qualified as Infantry, to agree to perform combat duties which were outside of their MOS? If not, do you have any general knowledge of such letters begging for combat qualified NCO’s and Officers from various combat units during the period of the 1968 Tet offensive and counteroffensive?
2. Do you agree or disagree that ALL qualified NCO’s in a hostile fire zone are required to perform their share of combat duties, as the following general policy of the US Army clearly states? And if you do agree, do you also agree that anyone that claims to be an expert on the US Army and states something directly contrary to what the official US Army policy is regarding combat duties in a hostile fire zone, is either (1) not knowledgeable of US Army policy and is certainly not an expert on the US Army, or (2) is being deceptive for the purpose of demeaning my service, or both, or neither.
ARMY COMBAT POLICY
From 1. Rod Powers,
Your Guide to U.S. Military.
"It is Army policy that assignment to combat or duty in a
hostile-fire or areas must be shared equitably by all similarly
3. Do you agree or disagree that NCO’s often and regularly perform extensive duties outside or different from their MOS, and regardless of those duties their MOS is never changed to those new duties, unless of course the NCO asks for or agrees to the MOS change?
4. Do you agree or disagree that the 1/27th Infantry Wolfhounds did not have a Personnel Department of any kind in February 1968, and therefore it would have been impossible for me to be assigned to that unit to perform Personnel Staff NCO duties? And if you agree, then do you also agree that since I was assigned to the 1/27th and immediately sent to RVN combat training for NCO’s, the only duties I was qualified to perform for that unit, and the only duties that unit could have possibly required of me, were combat related duties.
5. Do you agree or disagree that I was promoted to SFC E-7 on a fast track, which normally indicates a soldier assigned to a combat zone is performing his duties well, and is also agreeing to volunteer for and is efficiently performing duties outside of his MOS?