7 May-French garrison at Dien Bien Phu surrenders to Viet Minh.
16 Jun-Ngo Dinh Diem named premier of Vietnam by French-sponsored emperor, Bao Dai.
20 Jul-French and Viet Minh representatives sign Geneva cease-fire. Vietnam is divided into northern and southern zones pending reunification elections to be held in 1956.
2 Aug-LtCol Victor J. Croizat, USMC, arrives in South Vietnam for duty with USMAAG.
8 Sep-Manila Pact signed by U.S. and seven other nations. Within weeks (Sep 1954) the Manila Pact is transformed into (he Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).
13 Oct.-Premier Diem decrees the establishment of a 1,137-man Marine Corps (VNMC).
Feb-LtCol Croizat becomes first advisor to VNMC. Apr-Sect rebellion threatens to topple the Diem government.
Marine Landing Battalion deploys to the Mekong Delta. 31 May-Diem names Major Le Quang Trong as Senior Marine Officer of VNMC. Scp-Two USMC advisors, a captain and a technical sergeant, are assigned to the USMAAG, Vietnam, for duty with the VNMC.
23 Oct-Premier Diem receives 98 percent of South Vietnamese vote during a national referendum in which he was opposed by Bao Dai.
26 Oct-Ngo Dinh Diem proclaims the Republic of Vietnam and becomes the republic's first president.
18 Jan-Diem appoints Major Phan Van Lieu as Senior Officer of VNMC.
Feb-Marine Landing Battalion returns to garrison at Nha Trang. VNMC reorganized into two landing battalions, a 4.2-inch mortar company, and a small headquarters.
Jun-LtCol William N. Wilkes, Jr., replaces LtCol Croizat as Senior Marine Advisor to VNMC.
Jul-Election deadline for reunification of northern and southernzones passes without serious incident.
Aug-Diem appoints Captain Bui Pho Chi as Senior Officer of VNMC.
Oct-Diem appoints Major Le Nhu Hung as Senior Officer of VNMC.
Nov-LtGcn Samuel T. Williams, USA, relieves LtGen John O'Daniel as Chief USMAAG, Vietnam.
Jun-LtCol Frank R. Wilkinson, Jr., relieves LtCol Wilkes as Senior Marine Advisor to VNMC.
May-1st VNMC Landing Battalion conducts operations against Viet Cong in An Xuyen Province while 2d Landing Battalion conducts similar operation against Communist guerrillas in Vinh Binh Province.
I Jun-The VNMC is expanded to a Marine Corps Group of 2,276 officers and men. A 3d Landing Battalion is formed and the battalions are reorganized into four infantry companies.
Jun-LtCol Clifford J. Robichaud, Jr., relieves LtCol Wilkinson as Senior Marine Advisor to VNMC. Sep-LtGen Lionel C. McGarr, USA, relieves LtGen Williams as Chief USMAAG, Vietnam. II Nov-An abortive attempt by ARVN paratroops and two Marine companies to overthrow the Diem Government.
20 Dec-The Communist 'National Front for Liberation of South Vietnam' was formed.
May-On The Job Training (OJT) program for USMC junior officers and staff noncommissioned officers is initiated. Thereafter, 20 Marines per month enter Vietnam to observe operations.
16 May-A 14 nation conference on the deteriorating Laotian situation convenes at Geneva.
Jul-VNMC again reorganized and expanded. The addition of a fourth infantry battalion and a 75mm pack howitzer battery raises the strength of the VNMC to 3,321.
Aug-LtCol Robert E. Brown relieves LtCol Robichaud as Senior Marine Advisor to VNMC.
Aug-VNMC battalion conducts operations in the inundated U Minh Forest region of the Ca Mau Peninsula.
Nov-General Maxwell D. Taylor, USA (ret.). President Kennedy's special military advisor, visits South Vietnam on fact-finding mission.
11 Dec-The first direct support contingent of U.S. military forces arrives in Vietnam-400 Army Troops and two helicopter companies.
Dec-USMAAG approves plan for new 18-man Marine Advisory Division.
1 Jan-VNMC expanded to 6,109 officers and men, and redesignated the Vietnamese Marine Brigade. A new amphibious support battalion is formed.
3 Jan-First element of USAF transport aircraft arrive in South Vietnam to support government forces.
Jan-Detachment A, 1st Radio Company, FMF arrives in Vietnam for duty with Army communications unit.
20 Jan-CinCPac authorizes all MAAG advisors to accompany their Vietnamese units into combat.