From:  Forrest Brandt

   Dated:  October 18, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

I had the situation explained to me by an excellent ROTC instructor: "Remember that the salute is a mutual sign of respect. Yes, rank determines who salutes first, but that salute requires a salute in return. You show respect to each other."
While stationed at Ft. Lewis, one of my roommates, John McGloughlin, was of the 'something-wrong-with-your-arm,-troop?' variety.  He once slammed his car in reverse and backed up a half block, in a pouring rain, to chase down a group of four sopping-wet troops who had failed to acknowledge his butter bar. I slid down low in the seat and tried to hide behind the door panel, while he jumped out and rattled their cage.
Later that year I found out that a fraternity brother, an Airman First Class, was stationed at McChord. I invited Eddie over to our rented house for crabs and beer.  Halfway through the dinner John pulled me aside and asked me if Eddie realized I was an officer, "He hasn't called you 'sir' once all night."
I did have one situation where I took advantage of someone. Another fraternity brother, Phil Cobb, had been among the mob that attempted to disrupt the May Day review of all ROTC troops on the Ohio State campus in 1966.  He focused on me early, calling me a tin soldier, harassing others in my company, giving the Nazi salute, etc.  I ran into him at Ft. Eustis during my officer basic course. He was now halfway through OCS. He spotted me in the hall of a classroom building we shared with OCS and ran up with his hand out, "Hey, Forrest, how you doing?"  Before I could even say anything, a TAC officer lit into him, yelled and screamed at him, made him salute me, then drop and knock out thirty, then salute again and depart my area.
I enjoyed that.  After that incident I found a couple of opportunities to walk past Phil, as if on my way to some sort of business, just to enjoy forcing him to salute me.  Of course that meant I had to return his salute, but I knew he didn't see it that way.
Forrest

    From:  Dick Ellis

   Dated:  October 16, 2013

Subject:  History

Sometimes if the weather was pretty we would walk back to the Capital Hotel for lunch....afterwards we would take the bus back to the station.   Our work hours were from 8 to 8 six-days-a-week!  One day we were walking through the main square down by the legislative building and two young Lt's..obviously...from the field, spending a stolen day in Saigon, stopped us.  "You did not salute young troop," one of them said.  "No sir," I replied, "We have been instructed not to salute in down-town Saigon because there are so many snipers on top of the buildings."  "Well, I am sick and tired of seeing you rear-EMF's walking around not showing respect to those of us from the field!"  Yes sir!  All 4-of us took a step back, came to attention and snapped our best basic training salute....   About that time a passing cycle-lo backfired and they hit the sidewalk.  I responded.."Have a nice day sir!"  Then we all laughed and walked away!!!  

Dickie

    From:  Paul Kasper

   Dated:  October 16, 2013

Subject:  History

Brother, I to still have my beret and one of my tiger fatigue shirts--can't fit in the shirt but not getting rid of it!  I lost my flame emblem formy beret but have other river rat emblem
Always with you brother for life--

Paul


    From:  Jordon St. John

   Dated:  October 18, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

I think I missed the beginning of the conversation.  My only input is you know the Marine Corps is a department of the Navy...the men's department.

Jordan

Saluting and Uniform Changes

October 2013

    From:  Bob Nelson

   Dated:  October 13, 2013

Subject:  Major Story about AFVN News Controversy

The student volunteer when Bill Altman and I arrived was a young lady named Kathy.  The news director was Roy Heitman.  Never heard anything more about him.
Bob

    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  October 16, 2013

Subject:  History

John:
One thing I have learned about those who go to a combat theater is that it is not uncommon for them to see their own place in time as the whole of the event.  The discussion about civilian clothes versus jungle greens versus khakis, for instance.  All were uniform of the day at AFVN at some point in time, yet seeing pictures of those alternative modes of dress sparked questions.
When I was in the Delta my daily attire included jungle greens, a beret, a nasty knife, a WWI Trenchmaster 12 gauge, and a few Mark 1 grenades - the old and trusty pineapple.  When I showed up at AFVN carrying my Delta duds I was immediately relieved of my shotgun and told not to wander the streets with my grenades.  For some reason I was given a plastic-sided briefcase in which to store my AFVN papers.  It was suggested that I carry my knife in the case.  Since I had arrived before the May 5th bombing, I was walking enemy territory without a weapon, and that made me terribly uneasy.  I rigged my briefcase latches with two pineapples, so anyone stealing it would have some light with which to view the afterlife.  One of my Vinh Long friends “found” an M-14 and sent it up to me, which made me a great deal more comfortable while simultaneously making some members of the AFVN staff uneasy.
Then came the bombing.  Suddenly the CO decided everyone should be carrying an M-2.  That leads us to a new chapter at AFVN, but suffice to say that I kept my M-14 and was made greatly more at ease with all those armed people hanging with me.
I was once told I was out of uniform wearing “that damned black beret” and told to get squared away with a “Navy” fatigue cover.  Well, there was no such thing as a Navy fatigue cover.  The Marines had them.  That’s the cover Navy support units on the ground in country could wear.  I was able to obtain documentation proving I had earned that damned black beret and, until permanently assigned to a command outside of the theater, I was permitted to wear that damned black beret as part of my uniform.
I may have looked like a vagabond when I arrived, but I was a squared away vagabond prior to the bombing.  After that event everyone else also looked like squared away vagabonds like me--except for that damned black beret, of course.  ;-}
Ken

    From:  Ann Kelsey

   Dated:  October 8, 2013

Subject:  Major Story about AFVN News Controversy

In 1963 Vietnam was an accompanied tour.  There were many American families living in Saigon.  The American Community School was located in what would one day become the 3rd Field Hospital.
Ann


    From:  Steve Pennington

   Dated:  October 17, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

The movie starrted Broderick Drawford and Robert  Wagner. 


    From:  John Thomas

   Dated:  October 17, 2013

Subject:  History

I had forgotten about Dress.  I was another one of the people that had orders to AFVN but when I got there I got sent to the Delta.
I had my greens altered, short sleeves.  However, later when they finally sent me to AFVN I had the privilege of flying up-country to work on some equipment.  I sure wished that I had sleeves when I was riding in the door gunner position.  But I did see some beautiful scenery and wouldn't you know it--my camera was not handy.

    From:  Frank Rogers

   Dated:  October 17, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

I saw something like this in a movie of WW2 in the Pacific.  An arrogant, high ranking officer wore his rank and commanded his men to salute him.  Sitting in his jeep, he was shot by a sniper who was in a tree.
FR

    From:  Jim White

   Dated:  October 7, 2013

Subject:  Major Story about AFVN News Controversy

Steve,
With the exception of Bobbie's "uniform," things did change greatly between 1963 and 1969/70--the period of the censorship controversy.  The uniforms in the photos are perfectly consistent with when I was there from August 1970 to June 1971.  In 1963 we thought we were involved in a military assistance program and were living in a nearly civilian atmosphere as far as Saigon was concerned.   By 1969/70, we knew we were "in a war" with no front lines.   
Jim White

    From:  Steve Pennington

   Dated:  October 17, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

The film was titled Between Heaven and Hell (1956).


    From:  Bill Altman

   Dated:  October 16, 2013

Subject:  History

Good Stuff Ken,

The differences between duty in the bush and rear jobs such as AFVN, were profound.  I really enjoyed reading about your experience.  It's amazing how REMF's could get so uptight about minutae (chicken shit).  When my second Vietnam tour ended, I was an infantry grunt with the 1st ARVN Division Recon company.  My uniform included como fatigues and a black beret.  I went back to Long Binh to catch the freedom bird accompanied by a ranger Captain buddy who also wore black beret and camo fatigues.  Some young clerk SP4 at the processing center told us we were out of uniform and had to change to more appropriate attire (which we did not prossess).  My friend told the Young clerk we had no other uniforms and would gladly get on the plane naked but we were going to get on the plane right after he stuffed his beret up that guy's rectal opening.  After a long pause the SP4 became much more reasonable.
During my second tour a saw several confrontations between those in the field and those in the rear--two very different worlds. Ken, when we share a beer in San Diego remind me to tell you about my shotgun problem with a LTC.


    From:  Frank Rogers

   Dated:  October 8, 2013

Subject:  Major Story about AFVN News Controversy

In 1970, khakis were required when going to MACV HQ.

Frank R

[NB: I was with AFVN from August 1970 and made regular trips to MACV HQ in relation to my duties as Admin NCO, etc. 

Never once wore khakis just to go to MACV HQ.  Wore them only when going on leave or R&R outside Vietnam.  Jim W]


    From:  Ann Kelsey

   Dated:  October 16, 2013

Subject:  History

I remember seeing guys in from the field not being allowed in the PX at Cam Ranh Army because their boots weren't polished. That made me so angry, I could hardly stand it.  Anybody was welcome in the library, regardless of their attire, as long as they were clothed.  I'm sure that was true of the rec centers, service clubs, and craft shops too.
Ann


    From:  Bob Morecook

   Dated:  October 7, 2013

Subject:  Major Story about AFVN News Controversy

Steve,
We were in Khakis from May 1972 to the end of the war.

Bob M.

    From:  Jim White

   Dated:  August 10, 2016   [Never sent as a message.]

Subject:  Some random thoughts while working on this conversation....

Of course, the Chiefs run the Navy just like the SGM, MSG and 1SGs run the Army.   Any new Army lieutenant who becomes a company commander, if he is ever going to be effective, quickly learns that "I may be the commander, but the company belongs to the First Sergeant."  Am sure that this is also true in the Air Force and it is most certainly true in the Marine Corps.

Now, a story from my days at Fort Belvoir.   I was a MSG and NCOIC of the US Army Engineer Center Brigade S-1.   During the summer, we hired a very pretty young lady, Pidge, who had just finished high school as a telephone "answerer" and clerk-typist.   After she had been with us for a while, some completely unknown to me 1LT or 2LT started coming into our office and while  sittiing on the corner of her desk would try to chat her up.   It was obvious the feeling wasn't mutual and after "chatting" for 45 minutes or more every day, he was really beginning to interfere with her work.  Finally, after 3 or 4 days of this, I walked up to him and in the loudest whisper I could manage told him "Sir, gentelmen do not sit on ladies' desks."  He jumped up, came down in a brace, saluted me and said "Sorry, Sir" and smartly walked out the door.  I don't think he even said goodbye to Pidge and I never remember him coming back either.  After the dust had settled, the Adjutant, a WAC Captain, who had seen the whole thing because Pidge's desk was right outside the door to her office, called me in and with a wicked grin said.  "Sgt, White, You're mean."  I smiled back and replied "Yes, Ma'am, I know that." 

Jim W


    From:  J.S.  [Otherwise unidentified]

   Dated:  October 18, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

Well, Chiefs ARE different.  They DO run the Navy.  Ask any Chief


    From:  Ann Kelsey

   Dated:  October 8, 2013

Subject:  Major Story about AFVN News Controversy

Yes, I saw it when I was reading your article.  I have a subscription.


AFVN Group Conversations

    From:  J.S.  [Otherwise unidentified]

   Dated:  October 18, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

Back in the day (the 60's) I walked out of a building under a protective roof against sun and monsoon, that was considered "Indoors" but while crossing the narrow street, "outdoors". I knew the OCS type Lt, conducting some outdoor platoon business, whom I, recently assigned to HQ, had just got out from under, would be waiting for me.  I turned and held the snappiest salute while walking, "GOOD MORNING LIEUTENANT" until he was forced to return it.  I heard later that he was waiting for me to not salute, to put me on report.
Why do lieutenants (even the dumb ones) think that all EM are stupider than they are?  Is that how we train them?  Hopefully, no longer.  Don't they understand it does not instill respect, it only breeds disrespect?  Maybe its different now without all those pesky draftees running around in "their" army.  Its hard to respect someone you are laughing at.  All it says is you can force me to salute you, (and I'm not dumb enough not to) but not to respect you.
The Marine POG?  Is that where pogie comes from?


    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  October 18, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

It isn’t that newly cast O-1 and O-2 officers think the enlisted men are stupider than they are, it’s just an infection called “the Napoleon Complex.”  I outrank you, so I can push you around.
Admiral Halsey used to greet every new member of his command (any rank) as soon as they reported aboard.  He would offer up the usual mission-related stuff and dismiss the new arrival.  Then, as the officer opened the door to Halsey’s cabin, Halsey would add one final order: “Oh.  One more thing.  Don’t f**k with my Chiefs.”

Ken


    From:  John Thomas

   Dated:  October 16, 2013

Subject:  History

I have been reading the messages and enjoying the information and snapshots of history that members of this Group have seen.
I was around during that time [1971] but was not really aware of what was going on around me, I was operating in my own little world.
Thanks for sharing your insight of what was going on.

    From:  Ann Kelsey

   Dated:  October 16, 2013

Subject:  History

I remember seeing guys in from the field not being allowed in the PX at Cam Ranh Army because their boots weren't polished. That made me so angry, I could hardly stand it.  Anybody was welcome in the library, regardless of their attire, as long as they were clothed.  I'm sure that was true of the rec centers, service clubs, and craft shops too.
Ann


    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  October 18, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

Yes, we do run the Navy.

JOC Ken


    From:  Steve Sevits

   Dated:  October 7, 2013

Subject:  Major Story about AFVN News Controversy

The picture in the attached article (Click here) doesn't look like period uniform and rank insignia, or did they change things by time the photo was taken.  Things sure were different in 1963.
Steve

    From:  Ken Kalish

   Dated:  October 18, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

Yes, we do run the Navy.

JOC Ken


    From:  Randy Kafka

   Dated:  October 17, 2013

Subject:  Salute Me

Franklin, Good on you for figuring it out. 

Dickie,  Have never seen it written that way, always REMF......if you were a USMC type.....you were a POG.

    From:  Jim White

   Dated:  October 9, 2013

Subject:  Major Story about AFVN News Controversy

I get the electronic edition of Vietnam Magazine and also found the 3rd Field story interesting.  All the more reason to subscribe?  [Note, this was an unpaid public service announcement.]
Jim W


    From:  Frank Rogers

   Dated:  October 16, 2013

Subject:  History

Remember the AFKN [AFVN?] guys at the mountain site that was under siege for weeks who wore Aussie style hats, one side of the brim snapped up?  You could always tell those guys also because their uniforms were tinted red from the dirt that couldn't be completely washed out.  Khe Sanh the name of the site?
Frank

[NB: I don't think that AFVN ever had a detachment at Khe Sanh but the Hue and Quang Tri Detachments were not all

that far away.  I have heard of one of the dets wearing the Aussie hats but don't recall which one it was.  Webmaster]