In the early days of Marine involvement in Vietnam, it quickly became apparent that doctrines drawn from fighting the Japanese and the North Koreans were insufficient for fighting the Vietcong. The Japanese, North Koreans, and Chinese had used defined front lines, something the VC explicitly did not. Stopping small, mobile units of guerrillas with conventional infantry formations was not working. The reaction time for large formations was too long; the orders process alone was prohibitive for tactical agility.
In 1965, it was becoming obvious that something else was needed. Up until that time, Reconnaissance assets were considered strictly non-combat support elements. They were intended to go in lightly armed, lightly burdened, look around, and get out. It took some doing to even get higher headquarters to consider applying Recon to a combat role. It was actually doctrine, according to FMFM 2-2, that the Force Recon Company had “no offensive capability and is not employed as a tactical unit…”
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Bingwest Amazing to read this story, and then find this follow-up by a participant! I never served but am a voracious reader of stories like this! Thanks to all of you!
@JackMurphyRGR Team Primness
Holy shit! Bing F-ing West on SOFREP!!!!! Some old school badass coming' to town. Niiiiiice!
Ok! I hate to delve into a bromance moment, but having Bing Freakin West comment and add onto a story posted on this great forum HAS to be one of the highlights of SOFREP. I've been a voracious reader since Chief Webb moved over from another site, and while I haven't read everything, I've read nearly everything. This is in the Top FIve highlight reel! I emailed Bing yesterday and gave him a heads up on the article. He sent me back a great email in return. Then, I heard him this morning after dropping the kids off to school on the Bill Bennett radio show. What a class act! Can I get a witness, brothers and sisters?