government. Harkins was directly subordinate to the Commander in Chief, Pacific, Admiral Harry D. Felt, whose headquarters was in Hawaii.
The number of U.S. Marines assigned to MACV's staff indicated that they would play an important role in its operations. In all, 21 staff billets in the new command were allocated to the Marine Corps. The most important of these was the chief of staff billet. This assignment went to Major General Richard G. Weede, a veteran who had commanded an artillery battalion during the campaigns for Saipan and Okinawa during World War II. Later, in Korea, he had distinguished himself as the commander of the 5th Marines. Weede arrived in Saigon from Hawaii where he had commanded the 1st Marine Brigade since 1959. Other Marines joined General Harkins' command as Deputy Chief of Staff, J-2 and as branch chiefs for theJ-3 through J-6 divisions. Two other positions assigned to Marine officers were the project officer for a Joint Operations Evaluation Group and a research and development project officer for a Department of Defense agency. Both of these were operationally controlled by the newly organized Military Assistance Command.
Major General Richard G. Weede, USMC, Chief of Staff, U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. (USMC Photo A150562).
Under the new U.S. command arrangement, the old Military Assistance Advisory Group became subordinate to General Harkins' command. Headed by Major General Charles J. Timmes, U.S. Army, the MAAG was now responsible primarily for the advisory aspect of the assistance program. To accommodate the impending increases in the number of advisors, the MAAG's staff was restructured. Under its new table of organization, Marine officers were to serve as deputy chief of staff and head of the plans branch of thcJ-3 division. Later, in 1963, the MAAG's table of distribution would be modified with the effect that the chief of staff billet would be held by a Marine colonel. The first Marine to serve as General Timmes' chief of staff would be Colonel Earl E. Anderson, a much-decorated aviator who eventually would become the Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps.
The reorganization of the MAAG brought about a dramatic change in the size and scope of the U.S. Marine advisory effort. The new table of organization included a provision for an 18-man Marine Advisory Division within the MAAG's Naval Section. The organizational charts for this division included advisor billets for a lieutenant colonel, a major, six captains, a gunnery sergeant, and four staff sergeants. Administrative positions were to make up the balance of the new organization.
As had been the case previous to this expansion, the lieutenant colonel was to serve as the Senior Marine Advisor to the Vietnamese Marine Corps. The inclusion of the major's billet was expected to enhance the overall effectiveness of the advisory division as he was to double as Assistant Senior. Advisor and as senior artillery advisor. The gunnery sergeant was to assist in the artillery advisory duties. Of the six captains, four were to be assigned as advisors to VNMC infantry battalions while the two others were slated to advise on engineer and supply matters. The four logistics-trained staff sergeants were to be assigned as assistant infantry battalion advisors and were expected to free the officer advisors from direct involvement in time-consuming supply matters.
Marines required to man this enlarged advisory unit began arriving in Vietnam as early as February. All of the new officer advisors were graduates of either Junior School at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico or the U.S. Army Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Following