Page 598

Page 598 (1968: The Defining Year)

Department of Defense (USMC) A 191442

Navy Lt Runas Powers, Jr.. battalion surgeon of BLT 2/4 (with the stethoscope), bandages a hahy's head with the assistance of an 11 n identified Naiy corpsman, as the mother holds the child. Medical assistance was an important factor in Marine civic action.

III MAF also made extensive use of psychological warfare. By 1967, the Marine command had rwo specialized Army units attached to it, the 29rh Civil Affairs Company and the 7th Psychological Warfare Battalion. With elements of these units. Marine line companies and battalions would employ both air and ground loudspeakers as well as leaflets to influence both the civilian population and the enemy. Specialized South Vietnamese units, such as Armed Propaganda Teams and drama teams, would present and act out themes in the countryside illustrating that the American forces were present to assist the government in making a better life for the individual Vietnamese villager.1

At the same time, both the Vietnamese and Marines addressed their message to the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese to surrender under a special "Chieu Hoi" (Open Arms) amnesty program, which had been in effect since the early 1960s. The enemy troops that turned themselves in were called Hoi Chanhs (ralliers). III MAF in early 1966 had started a pilot program using the Hoi Chanhs. Taking selected and carefully screened former VC, and providing both language and tactical training, the Marines then assigned them to Marine infantry battalions. The Marines employed these former enemy, nicknamed "Kit Carson Scouts," much as the cavalry units in the old American West used Indian scours. They were to warn the American units against likely ambushes and to locate hidden enemy stores and marshaling areas. By the end of 1967, III MAF had 132 Kit Carson Scouts attached to Marine units. The 3d Marine Division had hopes of assigning at least one scout to every Marine infantry company in 1968.

By the summer of 1966, both Lieutenant General Lewis W. Walt, then the III MAF commander, and Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak, the FMFPac commander, became concerned about the cultural

Photo is from the Abel Collection

During a County Fair operation, a Vietnamese elder watches enthralled at a magic presentation. County Fain were cordon and search operations with psychological overtones.

Page 598 (1968: The Defining Year)