Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. vii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xiii-xv

I want to thank several professors at the University of Houston for help-ing me to understand the critical elements of analysis and writing: HannahDecker, Landon Storrs, Frank Holt, and Jim Martin, all of whom also intro-duced me to the joys of rigorous research. The Department of History at theUniversity of Houston was also very generous in awarding the John O. King...

read more

Prologue

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-2

Determining the genesis of a research project is always difficult, but the idea for a study on the role of junior officers in the Vietnam War probably originated with this incident. The impact of Lt. William Laws Calley’s behavior on March 16, 1968, at My Lai has permeated all studies, attitudes, and observations about company grade officers...

read more

ONE: A Thousand Calleys

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 3-10

In 1981 the bdm Corporation published a voluminous report titled Strategic Lessons Learned in Vietnam. Among the strongest indictments of U.S. failures was that of the junior officer corps. ‘‘We have at least two or three thousand more Calleys in the army just waiting for the next calamity,’’ said one anonymous colonel.≥ In numerous official...

PART ONE: COUNS

read more

TWO: The Selection Process

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 13-29

The early years of the Vietnam War found the military in a healthy position regarding the prospects of officer procurement. President John F. Kennedy’s stirring words that ‘‘the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans . . . [and] that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose...

read more

THREE: The Training Process

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 30-49

Whether a recruit was black or white, rich or poor, the civilians who wereselected by the army to become officers had to be trained to lead men in life-or-death situations. These citizens not only had to learn to be combat leaders;they also had to acquire certain skills that were vital to performance as a leader,such as map reading, small-unit tactics, marksmanship, weaponry, and fire...

read more

FOUR: The Evaluation Process

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 50-72

The army has periodically reviewed its officer school system through formal boards, informal investigations, and academic inquiries. It has traditionally recognized the importance of all of its schools, with pre-commissioning being as important as career education, because there are more lieutenants in the army than any other officer...

PART TWO: Vietnam

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 73-76

read more

FIVE: Training in Vietnam

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 77-95

Junior officers assigned to a tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam experienced the same emotional fireworks as enlisted soldiers when they embarked from the United States to the jungle-laden battlefields of Southeast Asia. Except for priority boarding on aircraft, similar to first-class patrons boarding first on today’s airlines, junior...

read more

SIX: Rules of Engagement

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 96-112

Junior officers were usually introduced into combat on an individual basis, without the benefit of extensive training with their unit. From their first contact with the enemy to their last day in the field, they were responsible not only for the efficient destruction of the enemy force but also for adherence to the rules of engagement...

read more

SEVEN: Atrocious Behavior

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 113-138

The opinions of Vietnam combat veterans concerning Lt. William Laws Calley at My Lai on March 16, 1968, are as varied as the combat experiences of each former soldier. Virtually every book on the Vietnam War has a section on, or at least a reference to, what has been referred to as an ‘‘incident,’’ ‘‘massacre,’’ ‘‘mistake,’’ ‘‘operation...

read more

EIGHT: Discipline

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 139-161

Junior officers in Vietnam were responsible for morale and enforcement of discipline in their platoon. Because the war was fought on a squad, platoon, and company level, the responsibility for the day-to-day behavior of the troops was most often without senior officer review. In previous wars, soldiers were surrounded by large...

read more

NINE: Conclusion: One Calley

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 162-168

The U.S. military establishment blamed the junior officer corps, in part, for America’s defeat in the Vietnam War. However, the lieutenants who served in combat performed their duties with efficiency and aplomb, and the criticism afforded them after the war contrasted sharply with the reports and evaluations made during the war...

APPENDIX ONE: Glossary

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 169-170

APPENDIX TWO: Historiographical Essay

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 171-176

APPENDIX THREE: OCS Leadership Qualities and Traits

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 177-178

APPENDIX FOUR: Questionnaires and Interviews

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 179-182

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 183-212

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 213-232

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-238