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Jun 18 10 10:52 AM

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Guys...found this info about the roles within a team...

The Point man or Senior Scout led the team.His main job was to maintain direction,while being on lookout for the enemy.His area of observation was directly to his front from ground level to eye level.

The Slack was next in line.His main role was to pace or keep track of the distance travelled by the team.The slack position also backed up the point when he made contact.The point would empty his weapon into the contact area,then withdrew to the rear past the slack man.When the point passed him,the slack emptied his weapon into the contact area,then he would withdraw past the next man.The entire team would fire and withdraw until the contact was broken and the team could then E & E.
The slacks area of observation was to the right and left flanks and to the front from eye level up.He would normally walked three to five metres behind the point.

The Team Leader walked third in line.His job was to monitor the progress and movement of the team,making sure that spacings were kept,and that the team moved in the right direction.
His position in the centre gave him control of the entire team in case of contact was made to the front or rear.The team leader did,nt really have an area of specific observation while on patrol.He had to be free to monitor the entire teams performance.

The senior RTO walked behind the team leader.His job was to handle all routine radio traffic,freeing up the team leader to run the patrol.He had to be able to call for medevac and direct them,call for fire missions and adjust the artillery,diect gun ships and air strikes,and be able to send comms info clearly to relay teams or to the rear.He also had to keep a cool head when in contact.His area of observation was to the left flank

The junior RTO walked in the fifth position.He carried the spare radio or the arty-net radio.he was more or less the pack horse of the team,unless in contact and had to get a fire mission in very quickly,he also had to handle all the duties fo the senior RTO.His area of observation was to the right flank.

The junior scout or the rear security brought up the rear of the patrol.his role was to observe the rear making sure that the enemy did,nt move up onto the rear of the team.He also did his best to make sure that no sign of the patrol,s movements remained to the enemy.

I,m sure that we could incorperate this info into our patrol with very good effect.What do you think gents.
This info was drawn from a book written by G.A.Linderer.

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#2 [url]

Jun 18 10 6:03 PM

Ross I don’t know what unit Mr. Linderer referred to or what time period. Things changed over time and varied considerably from unit to unit and at times even from team to team and mission to mission, there were a lot of changes especially after the unit became Ranger companies (after my time).

The “standard” 6 man team in the 1st Cav while I was there in the LRRP detachment and in Co E 52nd inf. LRP (same unit different name) was: Front Scout (preferably and most times a monagnyard tribesman) as you said he was supposed to be guiding the team from place to place through areas that offered the best cover and concealment. He was supposed to be concentrating on 180 degrees to the front of the team for security.

He was followed by the Team Leader (TL) who stayed in close contact with the scout to set the pace which varied of course with terrain and cover. He let the scout know where he wanted the team to end up, and made sure to designate frequent rally points where the team members were supposed to head to after contact was broken.  The TL carried his rifle either to the left or right and was responsible for 180 degree surveillance to that side.

He was followed by the RTO who stayed close enough to hand the radio handset to the team leader if need be, but he also had to be prepared to call in for the team independently if need be when the TL was busy or unable to. He carried his rifle pointed opposite to the TL and was responsible for 180 degrees in that direction.

He was followed by the medic on our teams the medic was just another team member who carried the aid bag we didn’t have specially trained medics, we all received the same medical training in a very condensed course from actual medics. I know that later on actual medics were assigned to the teams. He carried his rifle in the opposite direction of the RTO and was responsible for 180 degrees in that direction.

He was followed by the Assistant team leader (ATL) The ATL carried a spare prc10 radio and monitored the movement of the team ahead of him and stayed in contact with the rear scout and assisted him in covering our track, he carried his rifle pointed in the opposite direction of the medic and was responsible for 180 degree surveillance in that direction.

The rear scout (preferably a montagnyard tribesman) followed walking backwards most of the time watching 180 degrees to the team’s rear, obliterating tracks straightening vegetation etc to obscure our track.

Each man was constantly checking the man behind to make sure we were able to communicate and were maintaining pace. Pace was slow and meticulous much like still hunting deer take a couple of steps stop listen and watch. When the TL would signal a short halt all would stop in place and sit or lay down maintaining assigned surveillance. If he signaled a long halt we would drop packs. Spacing varied by affordable cover, crossing fairly open areas we would cross one at a time forming up on the other side. We avoided walking on trails of any kind and avoided when possible even stepping on them when crossing.

The m-79 was carried by one of the team members usually either the medic or the ATL but they carried a rifle as primary weapon.

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#3 [url]

Jun 19 10 2:28 AM

Hi Dave...many thanks for the info,really very interesting....the said person who wrote the book is called Gary A.Linderer,he serverd in the 101st,Fcompany 58th Inf LRP in Vietnam,1968.

Dave,I would assume that the above was taught at Recondo School,then the basics of the patrol,ie the formate above,would then be changed as the mission dictated,i can only assume as well,as the war progressed so did the tatics of the patrol through expriance.
If you can remember any other info about the different patrols ect..that would be a great help to us..ive managed to get hold of a field manual FM 21-75 from 1967 called "combat training of the individual soldier and patrolling a very good manual,very in depth heck of a read...i hope i,m not asking too much of you dave..i would also like to ask you about the training at the Recondo School at a later date.
Any more info recived from you dave will be greatley recived.

Best Regards
Ross

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#4 [url]

Jun 19 10 9:29 AM

Not every soldier got to go to Recondo School dude and normally if they did go it wasn't normally at the start of their tour. In most of the books I've read it appears many guys attended Recondo School roughly half way through their tour, so I would imagine at the start of their tour as a LRRP it would basically be on the job training from your team leader and other experienced team members. Basic patrolling methods etc would of been picked up during AIT so you wouldn't be totally green and as Dave said many soldiers that became LRRP's often had hunting backgrounds,etc so the bush skills picked up back home could be used in the Jungles of Vietnam.

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#5 [url]

Jun 19 10 10:39 PM

Ross, Russ has it right. I never went to RECONDO school and the majority of LRRPs did not, the guys who did were and are very proud of it. As I recall the idea at the time was to send guys who had three months combat experience and at least 6 months remaining on their Vietnam tour, but I know that was not a hard and fast rule and a lot of guys were sent sooner than that.


As I recall early in my time at LZ English (before we had 3 monthes in country but after we had pulled several missions), several of us were offered the chance to go to RECONDO, I remember discussing it with my friend Bob Whitten. We both decided against it with the understanding that we would go later (we were young thought we knew everything and didn’t need any “school”). About the time I reached the actual 3 month point we were dealing with Khe Shan, followed rapidly by the 68 Tet offensive and no one was thinking about “school”. In mid April of 68 at Khe Shan our company commander promoted me to Sgt and team leader, telling me that I would be going to school at the next opening. One day later I got shot and was medivaced out of country ending up in a hospital on Okinawa . While I was gone Bob was promoted to Sgt. became a team leader and was killed with out ever going to school. When I returned to the unit in June of 68 I finished out my tour as a team leader (and in my own humble opinion a good one) for my remaining four months, and RECONDO was never mentioned again until I was getting ready to DEROS. I was approached by the 1st Sgt and told that if I volunteered for another tour I would go to RECONDO and be promoted to Ssgt. I remember telling him that there was “no future in this” I remember the surprise on his face, he thought that I meant that there was no future in the Army, his chosen profession. I explained to him that what I meant was that if you kept doing this (LRRP missions) long enough you would certainly get yourself killed. He couldn’t argue with that and I went back to the States in October of 68. About that time we were starting to get replacements who were graduates of the Army’s new NCO academy, guys who had been promoted to Sgt. or in some cases Ssgt. out of training and had less than a year in service. As I recall there was considerable focus on getting these guys who would soon become team leaders to the school.


Our training consisted of basic training, AIT, and about three weeks training in the LRRP unit, before we began to pull missions.


I always thought it odd that the RECONDO award was only authorized by unit, the guys who graduated and won the award were only permitted to wear it while they were with the 1st Cav when reassigned to other units they were no longer permitted to wear the award although as I said to this day they remain very proud of it.


Another oddity that bothers a lot of us, since we became LRRPs as a result of a call for volunteers, a substantial number of us had MOSs that were not normally considered “combat” or infantry MOSs, these guys were not permitted to receive the CIB even though they did exactly the same job as the rest of us as team members and even team leaders, in one case at least for multiple tours. This kind of devalues the otherwise proud award for the rest of us.


If I seem to be rambling, please forgive me, I raised my children right, and they have rewarded me with father’s day gifts of Gentleman Jack and the old man is feeling pretty damn good at the moment!


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#7 [url]

Jun 20 10 3:56 AM

Outstanding post Dave! You can read all the books you want but to hear it from somebody that lived it cannot beat!

Interesting to hear about the 'Shake n Bake' NCO's as well from the majority of the stories I've read it wasn't a popular move by the Army especially when these guys are leading teams and responsible for the lives of 5 or 6 men.

Enjoy your Jack mate!

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#9 [url]

Jun 20 10 11:24 AM

Gentleman Jack is a mellow drink - makes me super chilled, Single barrel however removes most of your face when you breath the vapour but i still love it.

I read that some LRRPS were recruited right off the planes at Bien Hoa AFB and then taken on to a LRRP  Ranger course that last 6 weeks or so and then the rest was picked up in country "Acceptable Loss" is where i read that i believe

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#10 [url]

Jun 20 10 5:42 PM

well with the 101 lrrp rangers they would recruite ppl at diffrent bases  basicly it was the people who didnt fit in to a normal line company who became lrrps, theres a famouse story of a guy built like sweade who was watchin his first movie in country that happened to be a clint eastwood movie and some grunts saids something for him to kick off, well he tore the place apart but his name was down to be a lrrp and lt dan mcisake ( it thats how u spell it ) got him outa trouble with the mp's and said i want him in my lrrps "thats they type of guy i want"

but from my understanding some lrrps got on the job training and was shit canned if they didnt make the grade others left as it got to much for them and started seeing things that wasnt there, or others fell out with team mates, basicly if ur on the team for  days on end and either didnt trust the judgement of ur tl or atl you didnt last.
again this is something i learned from the 101 vets so would love to hear daves veiws on this if it was the same with the cav lrrps

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#11 [url]

Jun 20 10 5:51 PM

haha dave been on a few jacks myself 2day on fathersday awsome drink i must say ross if u read the early books by lindeer, chambers and ken miller they do say more about recondo school, allso john burfords book is a good read to, from my understanding alot of things changed from the early years to the late years, but that recondo patch is worn like a badge of honor if you earned it.

sorry if i have rambled on had a bit to much to drink tonight

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#12 [url]

Jun 21 10 12:36 AM

I have some very nice Recondo patches in my collection, proper originals 25th ID is my favourite, just for peoples Info, if you didn't already know - the Recondo patch was like the Jungle Expert patch, stitched to your pocket not sleeve- usually the right hand side breast pocket. 

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#13 [url]

Jun 21 10 2:31 AM

Recondo was originally set up exclusively for the 101 LRRP's so its not surprising that a bigger percentage of them attended it but I guess many soldiers stories will never be told so it would of been different for each company at various stages of the war...

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#18 [url]

Jun 21 10 10:36 AM

Recondo was originally set up exclusively for the 101 LRRP's so its not surprising that a bigger percentage of them attended it but I guess many soldiers stories will never be told so it would of been different for each company at various stages of the war...

-hollywood

Never heard that before, i know it was set up by MACV after the success of the 5th SFG project delta which was three intensive weeks of LRRP training - below is the criteria for Recondo prospective students

  • 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
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    #20 [url]

    Jun 21 10 11:37 AM

    I dont think that is correct (this is certainly well out of my area of "expertise") but the Macv recondo school was run for lrrp recon typs from all over vietnam all of the divisions and the marine corp. I know that at some point (after my time) both the Air Cav and the 101 created "mini" recondo schools of their own in order to get more guys trained than Macv could handle.
    There was a good bit of cross training going on a number of guys from the 101 went out with Cav teams and Cav Lrrps were assigned temporarily to 101 teams to observe and exchange information and tactics. We also had a small number of marine recon troops go out with out teams for the same reason I don't recall 1st Cav LRRPS being assigned to Marine Recon units but that may have happened as well. (We refered to marine teams as Marine LRRPS but I dont think they were ever actualy designated as such)
    The Recondo school was actualy an abreviated or condensed Army Ranger School.
    The LRRP company training we got was an even more condensed version of the topics covered in Recondo school.
    Prior to Vietnam Army Ranger units had been disbanded, but the school was maintained with the idea that graduated Rangers would be assigned to regular infantry units and would teach Ranger skills to men in the Infantry units as required. This did not work out too well so Recondo type schools were developed.
    In 69 all LRRP units were re designated as Ranger units although the majority of the men in them were still not Ranger school graduates. After Vietnam ranger units were again disbanded, but were subsequently revived and remain active today. The 2nd Ranger Battalion now considers the 1st Cav LRRPS, Co E 52nd Inf. LRP, and H Co. 75th Ranger, to be a part of their lineage history and heritage.
    I find it interesting that current day Rangers study their LRRP predissesors, and after compleating AIRBORNE and RANGER training and some are sent to another school to become  "LRP qualified". All we had to do to become LRRPS was volunteer.

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