Team 19 in Vietnam: An Australian Soldier at War

Team 19 in Vietnam: An Australian Soldier at War

Team 19 in Vietnam: An Australian Soldier at War

Team 19 in Vietnam: An Australian Soldier at War

Excerpt

The diary of my military service experience in Vietnam laid in my desk for about thirty-five years. As the pages were filled with cryptic entries of a controversial conflict, I realized I had a duty arising from my involvement there. This was to present the events in a readable form for my family and for people who might have an interest. While seeking and sorting the source material, a thematic structure of the manuscript slowly evolved. Fortunately, letters sent to my family had been saved and were an invaluable memory jogger. Other sources, such as scrapbook items and research of written histories of the war, added to the body of the work. I sincerely hope I have done justice to the people who participated in the epic events in which we were involved.

Gradually, as the significance of the content of my story became clearer to me, I realized that career military staff officers are seldom seen and rarely heard. Commanders, formations, and units rely on them for the efficient and effective planning and conduct of operations. Bookshelves are crowded with worthy Vietnam War histories written by historians, biographers, and others, as in the sample listing in the bibliography, but few operational staff officers have written of their experiences. As an Australian Army officer in U.S. Army Advisory Team 19, I had a privileged insider role to play in a multilayered and multicultural setting.

I cannot claim to have a complete grasp of all the influences at play in my remote province of South Vietnam, but I have judged that what I did experience was worth noting then, and worth writing about now. Snapshots of some of the small, medium, and big cogs in a giant military system may be of interest. Each cog needed oil, and the axles needed to be greased. In some instances there was a need for glue—for instance, to help keep an operation going. It was an effort at times to overcome negative feelings of frustration, futility, sadness, and concern.

I expect my story, set in Quang Tri Province, will be of interest to American and Australian military, past and present, to students of the military art, historians, researchers, politicians, and people who have a desire to learn about the conflict in a fascinating part of central Vietnam. I hope readers enjoy this rare exposition.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.