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U.S. Marines in Vietnam an Expanding War 1966

U.S. Marines in Vietnam an Expanding War 1966

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Published by Bob Andrepont
United States Marine Corps history of Marines in Vietnam in 1966
United States Marine Corps history of Marines in Vietnam in 1966

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Published by: Bob Andrepont on Feb 05, 2011
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The Marines never presumed that they had the

sole solution for "winning the hearts and minds"of
the people. They were among the first to recognize

that they needed assistance fromthe other U.S.

agencies in Vietnam, civilian as well as military, and
fromthe Vietnamese themselves. The U.S. Army
29th Civil Affairs Company had arrived in June 1966
to furnish expert assistance to the Marines in their
relations with the South Vietnamese civilians. Long
before that, General Walt had recognized the need
for coordination. In August 1965, he had contacted
Marcus Gordon, the chief of the U.S. Operations
Mission for I Corps at that time, and suggested the
formation of an interagency clearing committee. The
result of his efforts was the creation of the I Corps

Joint Coordinating Council °CC). Eventually,
representatives fromAmerican civilian agencies,
Marines, and the South Vietnamese I Corps com-

mand met weekly to try to give unified direction to
the allied civic action effort.

Although the spring political crisis temporarily

halted the functions of the council, it began to meet
on a regular basis once again in July 1966. By this

time the JCC had sponsored several subordinate
committees designed to meet specific problems:
public health, psychological warfare, roads, com-
modities distribution, port affairs, and education,

and by the end of the month, the council was

prepared to expand its activities even further.

The I Corps Joint Coordinating Committee which was established to provide liaison and
direction to the various U.S. and South Vietnamese military and civilian agencies'
assistance programs, poses for a group picture in August 1966. LtCol Donald L. Evans,
the recorder of the committee, is third from the left in the back row, and MajGen Lewis
B. Robertshaw, Commanding General, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, the chairman of the
committee, is fourth from right in the front row.

Marine Corps Photo A801957 (LtCol R J. O'Leary)

250

AN EXPANDING WAR

On 3 August, Mr. Gordon suggested that the JCC
should concern itself with all of I Corps. He observed
that, until now, the cities of Da Nang and Hue, and
the Marines TAORs had received most of the coun-
cil's attention. He stated that the JCC, as the oversee-
ing body, could function more significantly if it con-

sidered all projects in the context of all of I Corps.
Major General Robertshaw, Commanding General
of the 1st MAW and permanent chairman of the

JCC, agreed with Gordon's 'remarks and suggested
that the group should hold one meeting a month in
a different provincial capital to give the South Viet-
namese provincial officials and their American ad-
visors the opportunity to discuss their particular pro-
blems with the JCC.S° The JCC concurred with
General Robertshaw's suggestion. For the rest of the

year, it held its monthly meeting in a different pro-
vincial capital, on a rotating basis.
In addition, the JCC encouraged the provinces to

establish their own committees to coordinate

Revolutionary Development efforts at the provincial
level. By the end of December, three provincial com-

mittees had been formed. Although the provincial

committees mirrored the organization, mission, and
functions of the I Corps JCC, they were not subor-

dinate to the larger council, but operated in-

dependently. The important aspect of both theI
Corps JCC and the provincial committees was that
they provided a vehicle for the coordination of the
military and civilian aspects of pacification, and at
the time the only such organizations at the corps and
province levels in South Vietnam.

CHAPTER 15

Pacification, the Larger Perspective

Pacification Receives Priority —Reorganization and Support ofRevolutionary Development—Measurements
of Progress

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