Combined Action Platoon (CAP), Vietnam —Part VI


A marvelous conclusion to a man’s combat experience in Vietnam along with his learned insights. If someone in your family or a friend went to Vietnam, I recommend you read this excellent bit of writing.

By Lieutenant Colonel William C. Curtis, USMC (Retired)

LtCol William C. Curtis, USMCLtCol William C. Curtis, USMC

I always tried to think about what we were doing in terms of how the enemy would view it: our defensive positions, our offensive tactics, and in our relationship with the civilians who surrounded us. Politeness and courtesy toward village officials, women, and the elderly was very important.  The medical treatment of villagers by our Navy Corpsman paid dividends.

The quality of my Marines was mostly good, although I did have a few knuckleheads —but dealing with these Marines as an older brother always brought them around. As a Sergeant I didn’t have official disciplinary powers, but I could rail at them and also send them away if they failed to abide my rules.  I was also older than the average sergeant. I had already seen a good bit of the world, and I was (and continue to…

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