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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Vietnam War

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Vietnam War The Battle for Vietnam. .

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  #1  
Old 10 Oct 11, 16:30
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MACV Recondo School

In Jan, 1968, I attended the "Toughest School" that was offered by the US Army. MACV RECONDO SCHOOL in Nha Trang. Although it only lasted for 20 days, The classes went from 0430 hours until 2100/2200 hours each night.

The course had an actual combat mission as it's graduation exercize.

RECONDO

One of the most prestigious qualifications that could be earned by soldiers during the Vietnam War was to graduate from the Recondo School.

The inspiration for the school was the successful Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) training program provided for personnel from Detachment B-52 of the 5th Special Forces Group (Project Delta). The Project Delta course was established in May 1964 and the effectiveness of its techniques quickly led to student application requests from regular Army units. By August 1966 soldiers from conventional units accounted for 52% of each class.

Cognisant of the success of Project Delta course, General William Westmoreland1 directed that Special Forces organize and conduct a three-week course of instruction on LRRP techniques for selected personnel from U.S and FWMAF2 units. The resulting MACV Recondo3 school was opened in Nha Trang by Westmoreland in September 1966 and Major Edward Rybat was named as its Assistant Commandant and Detachment Commander of the school staff4.

Student selection was deemed to be critical to the success of the LRRP program and a result the school implemented the following stringent selection criteria:

Each student must:
• Be a volunteer
• Possess a combat arms MOS (Military Occupational Speciality)
• Be in excellent physical condition
• Have a minimum of one month in-country
• Have six months remaining in Vietnam
• Have an actual or anticipated assignment to a LRRP unit
• Be proficient in general military subjects
Having been accepted each student was required to bring to the school three sets of Jungle Fatigues, three sets of underwear, three towels, two pairs of Jungle Boots and his M-16 or CAR-15 rifle. He was then issued with the following specialist equipment:
Amount Type
1 each STABO Harness

1 each Navy KABAR Knife or
M-16 / CAR-15 Bayonet

1 each First Aid Pack w/ Bandage
2 each Morphine Injection
2 each One Quart Canteen w/Cover and one bottle of Water Purification Tablets

2 each M-16 Ammo Pouches

2 each Fragmentation Grenades

1 each Smoke Grenade
1 each Smoke or CS Grenade
2 each Snap link / D-Ring

1 each 6-foot rope Swiss-Seat (for rappelling)
1 set Camouflage Jungle Uniform or Indigenous Tiger Stripe Uniform

1 each Camouflage Jungle Hat

1 each Indigenous Poncho
1 each Ground Sheet
1 pair Heavy Duty Leather Gloves

1 each M18A1 Claymore Mine

each Rations: Indigenous (VN), LRP (US), C (US)

18 each M-16 Magazines

1 each Indigenous Rucksack

1 bottle Insect Repellent

1 each Map with protective plastic wrapper
1 each Notebook with protective plastic wrapper
1 each Pill Kit containing:
12 Tablets: DARVON
12 Tablets: Codeine
6 Tablets: Dextroamphetamine
12 Tablets: Cold
8 Tablets: Chloroquine-Primaquine, Anti-Malaria
12 Tablets: Polymagma
24 Tablets: Tetracycline
1 set Pen Flare gun
1 each Signal Mirror
1 set SOI (Signal Operation Instruction) with protective plastic wrapper
1 each Lensatic Compass



After being suitably equipped students began a gruelling course of instruction that lasted 20-days and encompassed 310.5 hours of training,


De Oppresso Librer,

SFMike
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File Type: jpg RECONDO2.jpg (37.6 KB, 10 views)
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  #2  
Old 10 Oct 11, 18:18
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We provided helicopter support for the Recondo school in early 67. One fine day a group boarded my ship for an insertion, my gunner was a guy known universally as "Jonesy."

As we came to a hover prior to settling down, one exhuberant troop yelled "recondo" and jumped off the skid promptly being sucked down into the 12 foot elephant grass. The more sensible types waited until we had settled down and flattened the grass. There was no sign of "the Recondo Kid."

We offloaded and departed the LZ only to be called back to pick up a medevac. It was the Kid with a broken leg. They laid him on the floor of the aircraft and as it took off, Jonesy leaned over and said, "Hey, can I see that "recondo" bit again?"

Rotorwash
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Old 10 Oct 11, 22:34
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Mike, In Jan 68 I was out at A-502. Was that a STABO Rig you were issued, or the McGuire rig? I was under the impression that the STABO came in about a year later, though it was developed at the Recondo school.
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Old 11 Oct 11, 00:11
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Always love your war stories Don
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Old 11 Oct 11, 02:08
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SNIP
The course had an actual combat mission as it's graduation exercize
SNIP

I think this example could be profitably included as the conclusion to current academic programs.

"Congratulations, Student Smith! Here is your hard-earned honours degree in social anthropology."

SMACK

(The chinned student is dragged out of the hall, leaving a trail of claret and a couple of teeth on the deck.)

"Student Smith has successfully graduated from the School of Hard Knocks. Next!"
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Sixty years later, the full story is told at last:
http://tothelastround.wordpress.com/
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Old 11 Oct 11, 06:38
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I know of at least one group that got into a firefight and it was not planned ahead of time as a training exercise.
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Old 11 Oct 11, 11:31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lirelou View Post
Mike, In Jan 68 I was out at A-502. Was that a STABO Rig you were issued, or the McGuire rig? I was under the impression that the STABO came in about a year later, though it was developed at the Recondo school.
Our class had McGuire rigs and previewed the STABO. SGM McGuire was in attendance during a portion of our training!

SFMike
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Old 11 Oct 11, 15:52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwash View Post
I know of at least one group that got into a firefight and it was not planned ahead of time as a training exercise.
My team captured a VC Courier on our noon break just south of Nha Trang.

We were set up in typical "wagon Wheel" fashion with every other man on alert as the other half of the team ate their lunch. The courier walked into the site with his head down and didn't react until he felt the barrel of a CAR15 in his chest.

The NVA wet his shorts and started crying. He was carrying overlays of the Air Force sections of Nha Trang and he was carrying an old French MATS 49 submachine gun with five rounds in the magazine.

De Oppresso Liber.

SFMike
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