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Page 41(The Advisory & Combat Assistance Era: 1954-1964)  


 

Vietnamese Marines advance from concealment during search operations on the Ca Mau Peninsula. (JPhoto courtesy of Lieutenant Colonel M-ichael ]. Gott, USM.C').

might be committed to combat somewhere on the Southeast Asian mainland. He therefore instructed his staff to begin studying possible counterinsur-gency training programs which would help '' turn the entire orientation of the division toward the type of intervention [which] we would be faced with in Southeast Asia.' 14

Major General Robert E. Cushman, holder of a Navy Cross and a future Commandant of the Marine Corps, assumed command of the 3d Marine Division in September 1961 before General Weller's objectives could be fully realized. The new commanding general immediately convened a Counter-guerrilla Warfare Study Group to consider the problem. This study group framed a set of recommendations for Cushman in late 1961. His approval of their proposals led to the creation of an Infantry Unit Training Course and a Command and Staff Training Course early the next year.

Conducted in Okinawa's rugged Northern Training Area, the infantry course prepared rifle companies from the various infantry battalions for participation in counterguerrilla warfare. The instructors, graduates of either the Jungle Warfare School in Johore, Malaya, or the new Army Special Warfare School at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, placed much emphasis on the origins and nature of guerrilla movements, small units tactics, and night operations. The training syllabus for this course included several live firing exercises designed for individual Marines and fire teams. Some of these exercises required the Marines to negotiate 'jungle lanes' equipped with pop-up targets. The week-long infantry course culminated

 

 



Page 41(The Advisory & Combat Assistance Era: 1954-1964)