Download Eagle Days: A Marine Legal Infantry Officer in Vietnam by Donald W. Griffis PDF

By Donald W. Griffis

Much has been written approximately America’s battle in Vietnam, and a permanent and troubling subtext is the composition of the physique of squaddies that made up the U.S. troop deployment: from the at the beginning well-trained and disciplined team of principally elite devices that served within the mid-sixties to what has been termed an “armed mob” by means of the tip of that decade and into the early Seventies. Drug use, insubordination, racial antagonism that regularly grew to become violent, robbery and black industry dealing, or even “fragging” (murder of officials and senior noncoms through disgruntled troops) marred the list of the U.S. army presence. Don Griffis served within the dual roles of criminal officer charged at a number of instances with the duty of either protecting and prosecuting servicemen, whereas even as major strive against patrols in “search and spoil” missions opposed to the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese enemy. Eagle Days is a impressive account of Griffis’ own list of experiencing what the army should still do best—meet, interact, and defeat the enemy—and what it turns into while esprit de corps, self-discipline, and a feeling of goal decay.

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Extra info for Eagle Days: A Marine Legal Infantry Officer in Vietnam

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Also, I need to know the terrain, so I went out today on my first patrol to look the area over. My assistant patrol leader was Sergeant John Montgomery, a young reconnaissance noncommissioned officer (NCO) who cannot wait to mix it up with the VC; I was also fortunate to have a South Vietnamese Army inter- 26 Chapter 4 Rice paddy with paddy dikes that our troops tried to walk on. preter, Sergeant Tran Min. We went out gate number 1, loaded and locked our weapons, and plodded through a seven-hour route that threaded through dense foliage.

There were many moments of thrill-packed surprises, but the one with the greatest flair occurred when the defense counsel took the three pistol magazines and, to refute the charge of assault with a dangerous weapon, tried to show that one of the magazines would not work as it lacked a spring to push the shells up into the chamber. He said that the court could not speculate on which magazine had been inserted into the pistol and that no proof meant no offense. Then, with a de Gaullist grand gesture, he tossed the defective magazine, which was allegedly missing its spring, onto the table in front of the court-martial panel.

21 June 1968 Yesterday my schedule was packed from dawn to dusk with people to interview for coming cases, an article 32 investigation, and my first courtmartial. I defended a scared, nondescript-looking private first class who was charged with being found with a stick of marijuana on him. I called his buddies as witnesses and learned that all four of them went out to an off-limits village. They went to a house for beer and girls, but it was full, so a Vietnamese boy took them to another place. Here they had a beer, horse-traded (literally) over some girls, and then turned them down as too expensive.

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