The MACV Patch (Military Assistance Command Vietnam). MACV was the first unit into Vietnam and the last Army unit to leave. Though vets wearing this could have had desk jobs, some of them were advisors to ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) units. Small teams, 2-6, of Americans, would be assigned to an ARVN unit, live with them, fight with them, eat their food. The idea was the US troops were to help the ARVNS with fire support and tactics. By 1969 they weren't listening to our tactical advice, or asking for it. But they sure wanted our fire support. In 1970 my Advisory Team was redesignated a "Fire Support Coordination" team, and my headquarters unit, Advisory Team 70, was redesignated a "Division Combat Assistance Team." Even the U. S. Army was required to be politically correct.
Someone wearing this unit has no big unit reunions to go to. If everyone who worked at MACV showed up, the average MACV troop would have trouble finding people he knew. The people were too spread out. I never had more than 5 Americans in my unit, and usually only 2. Occasionally it would be me and a few ARVNs.
This is not a marksmanship award. Officers in the U. S. Army are expected to earn marksmanship awards but not to wear them. This was not won at a school. This is the Combat Infantryman's Badge. The rifle, a Civil War era Springfield Rifle, represents the basic arm of the infantraman. To earn a CIB in Vietnam you had to be in combat for 30 days or be medevaced, in an Infantry position, and be in actual combat. Sitting for 30 days in an Infantry job in which no contact was made didn't count. Being a Forward Observer, an Artillery job (and a dangerous one) with an Infantry unit didn't count.
I didn't train for Infantry. I was an Armor officer. But the Army doesn't always put you where you want to be.
I don't know what this proves other than we were all much younger then.
This was taken on the Dong-Xoi to Song Be portion of Highway 13. I had an advisory team with a Vietnamese infantry unit at the time. Our job was to keep the road safe, an impossible job it turned out.
Once upon a time, after 5-6 months in country, they gave me a desk job, G3-Air "advisor." It was dull and boring, so I spent my "spare" time flying when and where I could. This is a FAC Cessna Birddog (01E, L19). The FAC, a young Lieutenant Reich, needed a photographer, and I knew how to use the Air Force issued cameras. The phrase, "You can't send the kid up in a crate like that," comes to mind.
After a few weeks of this the CO decided I wasn't a good REMF and sent me to a recon unit for punishment. I stayed in the boonies with grunts for the rest of my tour.
If you were an advisor and stumbled on this page, you might want to check out:
Counterparts Frame Page
If you were a Vietnam Vet and stumbled on this page, you might want to check out:
Vietnam Veterans of America on the Internet
Who is this guy?