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The Marine Unit Leaders Handbook for Vietnam


This is a tactical handbook. everything in this handbook is as tactical as an "op plan" or the manual on the Marine Rifle Squad.

As this is being written we are involved in a war. Time is precious. We want to hurry to get every job done right away. But this part of the war takes time.

In a real way this is the war. It is a war for people. It is a war in behalf of people and a war for their allegiance. Unless this war in won, our strategic victories could be worth very little.

-- Introduction, Marine Unit Leaders Handbook (NAVMC 2616)


In October 1967, the U.S. Marine Corps published and distributed a remarkable training booklet intended to help Marine unit leaders to fight and win the "other war" in Vietnam -- winning the lasting friendship and willing cooperation of the Vietnamese people. Created by three chaplains at the request of Gen. Victor Krulak, this little-known document shows how the Marines worked to incorporate respect for local people, their habits, and their customs into counterinsurgency operations. Using a down-to-earth, case-by-case approach, the Handbook provided vital information about the attitudes, culture and religious beliefs of the Vietnamese.

Nearly 40 years later, this booklet gives valuable insight into what was expected of Marine leaders in Vietnam. It also refutes the false claim made by the Vietnam Veterans Against the War and others that the U.S. military taught hatred of the Vietnamese as part of a war of racist genocide. Although its situational examples are specific to Vietnam, the larger lessons the Handbook teaches are as relevant today as they were in 1967.

Marine Unit Leaders Handbook [PDF: 8.3MB]

Give the file a little time to download. You'll find it worth the wait.

Last Updated Wednesday, January 03 2007 @ 06:14 AM MST; 5,901 Hits View Printable Version