Development[ edit ] "Vietnam was really visceral, and I had come from a cerebral existence: I came back really visceral.
Gebhardt RetiredEyes Behind the Lines: This unit was expanded to a company in July This provisional company arrived in Vietnam in late November The doctrine The wounded platoon reconnaissance of specific routes, areas, or locations, and did not emphasize general reconnaissance of an area of operations AO.
While the LRP company had sufficient wheeled-vehicle transportation to move itself from the garrison to the field, it could only insert its own patrols by walking. Any other means of delivering a patrol to an operations area required external support.
Finally, while higher headquarters exercised continuous control of a LRP The wounded platoon, this control was accomplished through the LRP company commander, who also was responsible for the recovery of his patrols. Two missions were added to the manual: This paragraph also strongly reflects Vietnam experience accumulated up to that time.
A section later in this study will compare LRRP and Ranger employment in Vietnam to the doctrine contained in these two field manuals. Doctrine of Employment Depending on how one counts, two field-army or corps-level companies, eight divisional companies, and five brigade detachments were employed in Vietnam in the four-year period before their re-designation as Ranger companies.
Eventually 13 Ranger companies were formed. One can also add to this a number of routine close-in ambush patrols around the brigade base camp, which were required of all combat units but also were used by LRRP units to train new personnel in patrol procedures. The main body of the st Airborne Division deployed to Vietnam in November The st Airborne Division used this LRP company for a variety of defensive missions in southern and northern South Vietnam through the late spring ofwhen the division commander finally released it to the control of the division intelligence staff.
Many brave soldiers of the st Airborne Division were killed and wounded in these actions. But the mission analysis alone leads to the conclusion that, in this division, LRP teams were employed more as an intelligence asset than a combat asset. Despite this change in designation, the unit continued to maintain an intelligence-gathering focus.
In Februaryfor example, patrols were sent out to identify and call in indirect fire on enemy rocket-firing sites, implant remote sensors, monitor NVA infiltration routes, verify enemy activity in a particular area using saturation patrols, and monitor enemy sampan traffic on a river.
The ensuing warning from the Ranger patrol gave the firebase defenders approximately 2 hours to prepare for the ground assault, which resulted in a successful defense of the position.
This team provided instruction at the Screaming Eagle Replacement Center and also followed the ARVN soldiers into the field for the field-exercise portion of the training.
These patrols frequently relied on remotely sited radio-relay stations operated by other Ranger teams. Although the overarching purpose of these patrols was to acquire intelligence information on the enemy, the mission was often accompanied by contact with enemy forces and ensuing Ranger casualties.
The Ranger company was also tasked on occasion to conduct raids, such as three unsuccessful platoon-size efforts in April to ambush an enemy motorized convoy in the A Shau Valley. Trained to operate in six- to man teams, they were poorly tasked to perform offensive operations.
Their successes in small ambushes and in defending themselves even when heavily outnumbered by enemy forces often misled brigade and division commanders into believing they were capable of conducting large, more complex offensive combat operations. Supporting each platoon were two officers, an intelligence sergeant, operations sergeant, and six communicators, for a total of 56 US and six indigenous personnel in each platoon.
Negative observation reports-the absence of sightings of enemy units-were also considered important. LRRP teams were also used extensively to reconnoiter helicopter landing zones in preparation for combat assaults by larger units.
The LRRP teams were inserted into an area three to five kilometers from a landing zone LZ two to three days ahead of a planned operation and would then walk into the LZ. This practice saved large amounts of artillery ammunition that would have been expended firing preparations on undefended LZs, and gave infantry units greater confidence in the ground situation as they approached an LZ.
The LRRP team thus functioned as a lure, and was quickly extracted and replaced by a much larger infantry force.
LRRP teams were also employed as screening forces to detect enemy infiltration into specific areas. Pepke, who commanded this division from 30 November to 14 Novemberon 6 October directed the consolidation of all the brigade LRRP platoons into the division Ranger company.
The mission of Company K Ranger75th Infantry is to provide a long range reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition capability to the 4th Infantry Division; provide personnel and equipment to train, administer, plan for, and employ LRPs as directed; and conduct limited harassing activities.
The 9th Infantry Division LRRP units, deployed in the lowlands south of Saigon, had an entirely different problem-terrain that teemed in civilian population and lacked in concealment.
Helicopter insertions were problematic due to the high likelihood of compromise of patrols. Regardless of the insertion method, patrols frequently had to be extracted after 24 to 48 hours on the ground. The missions performed by 9th Infantry Division LRRP units included general surveillance of enemy infiltration routes and suspected base-camp areas, terrain analysis of the many waterways and canals in their AO, providing security for underwater demolition teams UDT and explosive ordnance detachments EDT while they removed enemy-placed ordnance, and point reconnaissance of designated locations.
In Januarysome 9th Division teams joined with US Navy SEAL teams to conduct ambushes and attacks in the waterways of the Mekong Delta, while others continued the reconnaissance of this water-logged terrain. When the 3d Brigade of 9th Infantry Division was selected in June to stay in Vietnam while the remainder of the division redeployed back to the United States, the Ranger company was transferred to that brigade and prepared for brigade-level reconnaissance tasks in the province southwest of Saigon.
There, the Ranger company continued to conduct ambush patrols and, later in the summer, responded to reports from unattended electronic-surveillance and manned ground-surveillance radar systems.
During March through Julyfor example, Ranger teams used engineer-crewed small boats to conduct ambushes in the canals and tributaries of the area. These areas contained significant routes for enemy infiltration into the Saigon area from Cambodia. In the summer ofRangers from four teams trained for a POW-camp raid into Cambodia, but the mission was cancelled.Among the infantry's basic fundamentals are the principles of war, the elements of combat power, and the tenets of AirLand Battle.
These fundamentals have application at the platoon and squad level. This section provides the mission of the infantry and the doctrine principles basic to the infantry rifle platoon . May 18, · “The Wounded Platoon” opens with the death of an American soldier. He had been to Iraq, but he didn’t die there.
That soldier, Specialist Kevin Shields, survived combat only to be killed in.
Note: An asterisk in the citation indicates that the award was given posthumously. Section IV – Casualty Procedures. Following are the procedures that should be followed in the treatment, evacuation, and reporting of combat casualties.
When Robert Swan Mueller III deployed to Vietnam as a Marine infantry platoon commander in , he surely knew it would be difficult.
Mueller’s regiment, the 4th Marines, had faced bloody. Platoon is a British-American anti-war film written and directed by Oliver Stone, starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, and Charlie Sheen. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films directed by Stone, followed by Born on the Fourth of July () and Heaven & Earth ().