George Sisler was an Intelligence Officer, Green Beret, and a member of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam, Studies and Observations Group (MACVSOG). On February 7, 1967, Sisler saved his unit from being annihilated by a vastly larger enemy force but was killed in the process. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor.

Sisler was born in Dexter, Missouri in September 1937. He joined the military as an enlisted man first with the Army National Guard and then the U.S. Army Reserves from 1956 until 1958. Following that, he served for four years in the U.S. Air Force from 1958-1962. He went to Arkansas State University in Jonesboro where he graduated in 1964 with a BS in Education. In 1963, while a student at ASU, Sisler won the 1963 National Collegiate Skydiving Championship while his leg was in a cast. He enlisted in the Army on August 20, 1964. 

Sisler went to Vietnam and was assigned officially as a first lieutenant and intelligence officer with the Headquarters Company of the Fifth Special Forces Group (Airborne), First Special Forces. However, this was a cover assignment. As mentioned in John Plaster’s excellent book SOG – The Secret War of America’s Commandos in Vietnam, Sisler was actually serving with a classified organization known as the Studies and Observation Group (SOG).


MACVSOG George Sisler
Lt. George Sisler. (ARSOF)

SOG’s charter authorized operations from South Vietnam and Thailand into Laos, Cambodia, and North Vietnam, with contingency planning for Burma and China’s Kwangsi, Kwangtung, and Yunnan Provinces, as well as Hainan Island.

These covert operations were drawn up by the CIA and SOG and were known as Operations Plan (OPLAN)-34A. They aimed to bring the war to North Vietnam. 

SOG Teams could be reconnaissance teams (code-named Spike) or exploitation teams (code-named Hatchet). On February 7, 1967, Sisler was acting as the platoon leader and adviser of a platoon of combined U.S. and South Vietnamese exploitation team. His unit was deep inside the enemy-controlled territory when it was attacked from three sides by a company-sized North Vietnamese Army (NVA) element. Sisler quickly rallied his men and established a defensive perimeter, calling in airstrikes on the enemy.

Sisler, realizing that two of his men were wounded outside of the perimeter, didn’t hesitate. He charged from the perimeter, through intense enemy fire, to assist them. As he was carrying one of the men on his back into the perimeter, the enemy opened up with intense fire.