Note: This is part of a series. You can read The late 70s and 80s was a time of expansion and experimentation as U.S. SOF units digested the lessons of Vietnam View More ›
During the Vietnam War it became very clear that the U.S. military needed to revise their hand-to-hand training.
World War II saw the advent of modern special operations, and thus the need for special hand-to-hand fighting skills for special operators.
From the outset, the only hand-to-hand training given to most soldiers on both sides of the trenches involved the bayonet and the trench knife.
Robert E. Lee deserves to be remembered with respect, even by those who loathe the causes he fought for in the Civil War and in the Mexican-American War.
Swords and rifles get dropped and lost. Then, the warrior has only his wits and hand-to-hand fighting skills to rely on.
The NVA continued to fire at the old war bird. Finally, the pilot got the lift he needed to climb out of the mountains and out of the A Shau Valley.
After completing the rigorous training required by the unit, the men of the First Special Service Force were ready and able to complete any task.
Fortunately for ST Louisiana, a flight of 101st Airborne Division gunships was diverted from a target in South Vietnam toward the A Shau Valley.
The camaraderie between a few modern-day A Teams and SOG soldiers is unique and reflective of generational respect that is learned and earned over time.