This Site is a Tribute to

The United States Marines, Navy Corpsmen
and Popular Forces in Combined Action Platoons 1-3-9 & 1-3-2

BATTLE

CAP 1-3-9, had 119 confirmed NVA and VC KIAs on the night of September 13, 1969 when the 6th Battalion of the 21st NVA Regiment reinforced with Viet Cong attacked the CAP to annihilate the Marines.

PHOTOS | NVA DOCUMENT | PERIODICALS | 1ST CAG COMMAND CHRONOLOGIES | REGGIE'S BOOK

 

The Battle of An Phong;

A Resounding Victory for CAP 1-3-9

Sunset on the night of September 12, 1969 came about 1930 and Combined Action Platoon (CAP) 1-3-9 set out in routine fashion with the command post (CP) and ambush teams going to different hamlets in the village of An Phong, Binh Son District, Quang Ngai Province in the Republic of South Vietnam.

An Phong, a strategic hamlet (village) consisting of three hamlets of refugee peasant farmers sympathetic to the Republic of South Vietnam, was at the north base of 9 George.  The west hamlet was called the first hamlet, the middle was the middle, and the east was the third hamlet.

The village was not where it’s noted on the map because it and all other villages and hamlets in 9’s area of operations were relocated to An Phong if they supported South Vietnam or the Thach An Dongs and Ngoc Tris if they supported the Communists.  This occurred sometime after Operation Texas in March 1966 and the startup of CAP 1-3-9 in December 1968.  The maps 9 used in 1969 and 70 were from prior to the relocation.  The CAP was at BS473867.  (The Leatherneck details Operation Texas in its February 2005 and March 2019 editions.)

The CP, Sgt. Michael Murphy, PFCs Reginald Childs and James Samuel Parker, and HM2 Dewy Ray Burns (9’s corpsman), moved to the southernmost part of the middle hamlet.

Other members of CAP 1-3-9 included LCpls Richard Wayne Sherrill and Mel Avant, PFCs Bill Hines, Steve Hicks, Jerry Meyers, David Lummis, and James McKnight, and HM2 Dewey Ray Burns, Jr.  Meyers, Lummis, McKnight, and Burns were new in country and had not yet engaged in combat during their two to three weeks in the field.  Sherrill, Hicks, and Burns are noted in the village drawing by their nicknames, Ridge Runner, Farmer, and Doc respectively.

The CP and both ambush teams were inside the ville.

It was a moonless night and was pitch black as only nights in remote Vietnam could be, black, pitch black, with visibility limited to a couple of feet.

Before the CP began their watches, Doc asked Murphy, Childs, and Parker if they knew how to apply a battle dressing.  Childs and Parker were a bit baffled by the question and stuck Burns with the third watch just for asking.

One of the ambush teams was in the third hamlet.

A couple of explosions occurred about 0100.  All four members of the CP were now wide awake.  One Marine yelled, “Look at George, it’s on fire!”

George was short for OP George and was generally called George or 9 George (9G).  It was Hill 141, and was necessary, as it was the radio relay from the CAP to and from all other friendlies.  Without 9 George, 9 couldn’t communicate with any friendlies.  George was the lifeline for the CAP.  (During Operation Texas, 9G was known as An Hoa Outpost.)

Two Marines and about 17 Popular Forces (PFs) manned 9G at night with a smaller number manning it during the day.

Avant and Hines and the PFs were under attack and greatly outnumbered by a company of Viet Cong (VC) sappers estimated to be about 50 strong.  The VC attacked the hill from the west.

Holmes, a member of one of the ambush teams, went to the CP, and told them, “There’s gooks all over the ville.”  Murphy directed Holmes, Nguyen But (pronounced Boog), a PF who was the CAP’s interpreter, and a couple other PFs to go to the school house and see what was happening.

Some hooches had been set on fire, allowing the team to see silhouettes of soldiers wearing packs inside the two-room Vietnamese school house.  They appeared to be somewhat unconcerned as they were milling around and smoking.  But called out to what he thought were PFs only to find out they weren’t when they immediately fired at But, Holmes, and the two other PFs.  But was shot in the thigh.

Little did the CAP know that they were now engaged in combat with two companies of the 6th Battalion of the 21st NVA Regiment reinforced with VC, totaling 250 in number.  The 1st CAG September Command Chronology notes how well armed the enemy was in stating, “The NVA used satchel charges, grenades, SA, AW, RPG, and mortar fire during the assault.”

The NVA entered An Phong through the bamboo fences on the west and north of the first and middle hamlets while the VC entered through the third hamlet.

Holmes and a few PFs got But back to the CP where Burns treated But’s wound.  But, bandaged up, started to leave to “fight VC.”  Parker told him to stay where he was, but But insisted on fighting the VC.  But fought.

Avant radioed the CP that, “They’re running all over up here.”  He followed it up with, “I don’t know how long we can hold.”  Radio communications from 9 George to 9, Combined Action Company 1-3 (CACO 1-3), as well as with all others, ended at this point because the Marines and PFs on 9 George were in a fight for their lives with a company of Viet Cong (VC) sappers estimated to be 50 strong. All communications to and from the CAP ceased.

First Lieutenant James J. Mulhearn, Jr., CACO 1-3’s Commanding Officer, Sergeant Robert Wray, the CACO Supply Sergeant, and a few other Marines were outside 1-3’s communication bunker in Binh Son and were able to see the orange glow from the fire at An Phong, 14 kilometers (about nine miles) to the west.  No one knew, but everyone wondered, what was going on at 9.  It was obvious that 9 was under attack, but the extent of the attack wasn’t known.

CACO 1-3 requested illumination from Fire Support Base (FSB) Stinson.  They also requested gunships.

Mulhearn and Wray organized a reactionary force consisting of Marines from CACO 1-3 and Mobile Training Team (MTT) 1-2.  MTT 1-2, like CACO 1-3, was in Binh Son.  Including Mulhearn and Wray, the reactionary force was about 10 Marines.  While not much, that was all the Marines that could be mustered from CACO 1-3 and MTT 1-2.  A “minor” problem existed in that no pilots would fly into An Phong that night given the overwhelming size and intensity of the battle.  CACO 1-3’s reactionary force was delayed.  Likewise, no PF, Regional Forces (RFs), Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), or Army units responded.

Murphy told the CP that gunships were about five minutes out.  The artillery illumination had not arrived.

Burns said, “They’re burning the ville!”  He was referring to the first hamlet.  The Vietnamese school house was there.

The fires were set by the NVA as they searched for the Marines in the first and middle hamlets.  The NVA asked the villagers, “Where are the Marines?”  Those who didn’t know or didn’t tell had their hooches’ palm frond roofs set on fire.  The end result was approximately 260 hooches burned.

Burns was fully engaged in the fight and was treating wounded civilians and PFs as he fought.  He moved some wounded to cover while being fully exposed to enemy fire.

Fighting continued to be intense when Parker and Childs heard something to their rear.  They saw Burns and a PF.  An explosion rocked the area. An illumination round went off overhead and they noticed an AK47 about five meters away.  More explosions occurred, and there was firing behind them.  Doc was hit and fell to the ground.  What was thought to be a PF with Burns was actually an enemy soldier.

A battle dressing and tourniquet were applied, but they weren’t sufficient.  A medevac was requested.

Parker and Childs heard Murphy’s M60 and worked their way there to link up with Murphy, Holmes, and But.

Murphy ordered Childs and Parker to find an LZ and get Burns to it.  Burns was unconscious.  The immediate area around Burns, Parker, and Childs was hot with small arms, automatic weapons fire, and explosions.  The site of the LZ was the rice paddy between the middle and third hamlets.

Murphy and But, limping from being shot in the thigh, moved to another location.

About this time, 9G got back on the radio.  This was about an hour after the battle began.  They were still fighting, but they were able to communicate.  This was a huge relief to 9 and CACO 1-3, but especially to 9 because they were still fully engaged in combat with a vastly larger enemy force.

Intense fighting continued and more hooches were burning.  Two enemy were seen crawling on the ground in an effort to not be burned alive.  Childs and Parker quickly ended their concerns of being burned to death.

More enemy were encountered.  Murphy said, “If we gonna die, we make our stand here!”  There was nowhere else to go.  This was it.

Childs checked on Burns only to find that he had succumbed to his wounds.  Childs was shaken because Burns was married and had been in the CAP less than a week.  Murphy told him, “You’ve got to get a hold of yourself, I need you – and I won’t have you running around like a damned fool!”

Murphy put the CP group in a 360 so that they would be better able to protect themselves.

Spooky, a twin-engine, propeller driven, cargo plane modified with side and rear mounted minigun pods, capable of firing several thousand rounds per minute and with the ability to drop flares, arrived. It circled the village, and its tracers made a steady red stream extending downward from the plane.  Spooky departed around 0300 causing some in 9 to feel hopeless.

The CAP was tired from fighting steadily for about three hours and were eager for the sun to rise.  The CP group thought the battle would be over at dawn because the casualties the CAP and air support had inflicted on the enemy was significant. The enemy couldn’t afford to be in the ville, trying to escape, or just outside the ville when daylight came.

About that time the flareships said that they had to leave and couldn’t provide any more illumination.

The sun finally came up.  Someone muttered, “Thank God.”

While the CP group thought and hoped the battle may be over, it wasn’t.  The CAP continued fighting throughout the middle and first hamlets.

Holmes noted that a large group of NVA was on the east hill near the waterfall and just outside the third hamlet. Two Marine F-4s decimated them.

As helicopter gunships worked in the ville, the CP group saw four rockets hit the bunker that was the last known position of the other Marines.  This was close to the time the F-4s did their thing.  The CP felt a sinking feeling.  Their sinking feeling changed to relief when the missing team of Hicks, Meyers, Lummis, McKnight, and Sherrill appeared on a trail.  They had survived the night.

Hicks, in typical Marine fashion understated, the severity of the attack and said, “Wow, where’d all the gooks come from?”  Other Marines answered, “I don’t know.”  Parker followed with, “We’re sure glad to see y’all.”  That was immediately followed by several saying, “Amen.”

A medevac helicopter was inbound at about 0700 and some of the Marines made a makeshift LZ between the middle and east hamlets.  About 100 villagers, many with their belongings, immediately surrounded the medevac.  The Marines secured the area immediately around the medevac and only allowed Doc and the wounded onboard.

First Lieutenant James L. Mulhearn, Jr., CACO 1-3’s commanding officer, and Sgt. Robert Wray, 1-3’s supply sergeant, arrived right after the medevac by Huey from CACO 1-3.  Mulhearn and Wray were the reaction force because the only helicopter that would fly into the battle was a Huey and the critically needed ammunition, LAAWs, and other supplies, negated space for additional Marines.

Mulhearn said, “Well Murph, seems like you had a couple of gooks out here!”  Wray added, “Wow, you guys have really got Chu Lai shook up, it’s all over the place.”  Chu Lai was 1st Combined Action Group’s (CAG) headquarters.

Wray took charge of getting the ammunition and supplies to Marines and PFs at multiple locations in the ville and Murphy and Mulhearn planned how 9 would attack.

Murphy and Mulhearn planned an attack consisting of three teams; one led by Sherrill, a second led by Wray, and a third led by Murphy and Mulhearn.  The objective was to manage the battle by controlling the middle and first hamlets.  Sherill would lead a team consisting of Hicks, McKnight, Lummis, and Meyers to recon the NVA CP in the Vietnamese schoolhouse and Wray would lead a second near the NVA CP in the first hamlet.

Shadow 27, the call sign for a Spooky gunship, arrived on site shortly before any of the three teams set out and noticed a large group moving up the hill near the waterfall outside the third hamlet.  Shadow 27 wasn’t sure if they were enemy or friendly.  Communicating directly with Avant on 9G, Shadow 27 expressed its concern.  Murphy was on the same frequency and ordered Shadow 27 to fire on the group.  Shadow 27 did and decimated the group of NVA.

The NVA and VC were trying to avoid being trapped inside the ville, as their chances for survival were greater outside where they could disappear into the surrounding areas. But they had a problem, they were in fact trapped inside the village, and their objective to have killed all the Marines and run the villagers from the village by daylight had failed.

Sherrill’s team of Hicks, McKnight, Lummis, and Meyers set out first and got within 25 meters of the NVA CP at the Vietnamese schoolhouse.  A large number of NVA were there and one was shot and killed as he took aim at Sherrill’s team.  Sherrill and a PF broke off from the team and maneuvered immediately outside the east wall of the NVA CP in an effort to assess the situation.  The rest of the team continued to fight and later returned to where Murphy and Mulhearn’s team was located.

Childs asked, “Where’s Ridge (Sherrill)?”  He was told that Sherrill and a PF split from the team to recon the schoolhouse and that they hadn’t seen him since.

The two teams, Wray’s and Murphy and Mulhearn’s, planned to envelop the NVA CP from two sides and flush them out.  Their objectives were to keep the NVA from regrouping in their efforts to annihilate the Marines and to find Sherrill.

Wray’s team (“second element” on the map) of Parker, Meyers, McKnight, Lummis, and about 10 PFs set out.

Murphy and Mulhearn’s team of Hicks, Childs, and about 10 PFs left shortly after Wray’s team and also worked their way through the middle hamlet to the NVA CP at the schoolhouse in the first hamlet.

The Murphy and Mulhearn team moved to an area in front of the village barber’s hooch.

The two teams approached the NVA CP from different sides, and found the enemy were well armed with small arms, automatic weapons, and RPGs.

Childs notes in “…Telling It Like It Was…”  that the village was completely devastated, with hooches being mere skeletons of what they were just hours before. No animals were seen.  There was one-person, a Vietnamese woman, whose head was wrapped because she had been wounded during the battle.  The PF interpreter told he she needed to leave, but she ignored him and sat there moaning and rocking back and forth.  The NVA had burned over 260 hooches as they sought to annihilate the Marines.

Murphy fired his M60 into the schoolhouse as they approached.  No enemy fire was returned.  The team moved to the school yard adjacent to the south of the school building.  Grenades were thrown inside.  Again, no sign of enemy.

Childs approached an entrance to the school and was about to go in when Murphy ordered him to stop because the place could be booby trapped.  Childs looked inside but didn’t go in.  It had been completely wrecked, and clothes, rations, and ammunition were strewn all over the place.

A Chicom (enemy grenade) exploded very near the team.  Murphy wasn’t sure if he had been hit by shrapnel from the grenade.  Fortunately, he hadn’t been wounded.

A single shot followed the grenade.  The shot was from a sniper in a nearby hooch.  A second shot from the sniper was a near miss.  Murphy fired his M60 into the area the sniper was.  The sniper shot a third time, this time wounding Hicks in the arm.

Hicks was fully exposed but Childs was able to get him to the relative safety of the concrete Vietnamese schoolhouse.  As soon as he did, a PF yelled, “B40!” (RPG).  The RPG bounced off the ground, got hung up in some barbed wire, and never exploded.

The team and sniper continued to exchange fire with the team of Murphy, Mulhearn, and Childs, which was at the USMC school house and the sniper was in a hooch directly north of them.

Some PFs were outside the school near the east wall.  They called for Childs to come.  Childs went and found Sherrill and the PF who had gone with him.  Both had been shot and had succumbed to their wounds.

A reactionary force consisting of a company of South Vietnamese Regional Forces (RFs) landed outside the third hamlet at about 0930.

About the same time that the RFs landed, Murphy and Mulhearn’s team laid down heavy fire and moved through the first and middle hamlets from the school house past the barber’s because a gunship was getting ready to workover the school and surrounding area.

Mulhearn carried Hicks across about 60 meters of fire-swept terrain as the team moved to a position of relative safety back at their original CP at the southernmost part of the middle hamlet.  The team heard rockets from the gunship exploding in and around the NVA CP, the area they had just left.

Wray’s team carried Sherrill and worked their way back to the original CP, regrouped with the Murphy and Mulhearn team, after having killed 11 NVA.  Six are noted on the map of the village.

The well-coordinated attack on the NVA CP by the Murphy and Mulhearn and Wray teams was successful in forcing the enemy to retreat and in retrieving Sherrill.

The RFs helped, but the battle was essentially over when they arrived.  Sporadic firing existed at the time.  They took one prisoner, an NVA soldier, and they had the dubious honor of stacking the NVA and VC bodies - all 116 of them.

The prisoner was later interrogated in Chu Lai, and as stated in the 1st CAG September Command Chronology states, “The attack, as told by a POW taken from the action, was primarily for political reasons.  First of all, it was to show the people of An Phong that the GVN is unable to protect them.  The attack was timed to disrupt the elections which were slated for the following day.  The idea was to hold the village for two days and then retire back into the mountains.”  He was a soldier, thought to be a PFC, in the 10th Company, 6th Battalion of the 21st NVA Regiment.

A medevac helicopter landed and Childs and Parker helped Hicks get in.

The 1st CAG Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Hennegan, and the S-3, Major R. L. Padgett, arrived later in the morning. Hennegan was WIA minor that day.

The Marines were exhausted from fighting throughout the night and morning against the 6th Battalion of the 21st NVA Regiment, an enemy that outnumber the Marines and PFs by about six to one.

Childs wrote in his account of the battle, “Reggie Childs Telling It Like It Was…”, that the Marines looked, “like they’d (sic) were in a gang fight and they were the only one in their gang to show up!”  He also wrote, “So ended the longest day and night of my life – or anybody’s for that matter.  All I can say is that only by the grace of God am I here – and I’m glad he was watching.”

Alpha Company, 1st Battalion, 52nd Regiment of the Army’s Americal Division arrived on site at approximately 1130.

CAP 1-3-9 distinguished itself with great valor in combat by inflicting the second most KIA’s of a single CAP in a one-day period, and was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal for its actions on September 13, 1969.

As noted in the 1st CAG September Command Chronology, the ground and air attacks coordinated by CAP 1-3-9 resulted in 116 NVA and VC KIA, a substantial but unknown number of WIA, and 70 enemy weapons captured while incurring one Marine, one Navy, and eight Popular Forces KIA.  Two other Marines and an unknown number of PFs were WIA.  In total, four Purple Hearts were awarded to Americans in CAP 1-3-9.  Several innocent civilians were killed and others wounded as a result of the communist attack.  The final number KIA was increased to 119 when the first patrol outside the village, led by Parker on September 16 or 17, found three dead NVA on the northwest side of 9 George.  The weapons captured consisted of 68 IW (Individual Weapons) and two CSW (Crew Served Weapons).

Personal awards received were the Navy Cross (Hospital Corpsman, Third Class, Dewey Ray Burns, Jr.), Silver Star (Sergeant Michael Murphy, Lance Corporal Robert Sherrill, First Lieutenant James J. Mulhearn, Jr., and Sergeant Robert B. Wray), Bronze Star with Combat Distinguishing Device (Lance Corporal Mel Avant, Privates First Class Reginald Childs, James Samuel Parker, William Hines, Steve Hicks, and Nguyen But [Popular Forces Interpreter]), Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device (Privates First Class Gary Holmes, James McKnight, David Lummis, and Jerry Meyer), and the Purple Heart (HM3 Dewey Ray Burns, Lance Corporal Robert Sherrill, Private First Class Steve Hicks, and Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Hennegan).  Additionally, HM2 Dewey Ray Burns, Jr. was meritoriously promoted to HM3, Petty Officer Third Class, for his heroism.

Combined Action Platoon 1-3-9, “Home of the Forgotten”, forgotten no more.

Written By:  Richard S. LeBlanc, a U. S. Marine, served in CAP 1-3-9 from September 15, 1969 (two days after the battle) through June 1970 and rotated home in late July. 

 

Photos

THESE ARE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE PHOTOS THAT WERE TAKEN ON OR ABOUT SEPTEMBER 15, 1969.

This is a photo of the west hamlet looking north.  Between the tree line that runs from left to right and the mountains was the Son Tra Bong River, the northern boundary of our area of operations (A/O).  The holes in the center left of the photo were inside the hooches and served as protection for the villagers during attacks.

This is the west hamlet looking northwest. The villagers were resolute in rebuilding their hooches

This was taken in the west hamlet in the area immediately behind the day command post (CP).  The photo faces southwest.  9 George and an adjacent hill are in the background.

This is in the middle hamlet looking north.  The mountains in the distance are about 3 clicks (kilometers) or 2 miles away.  They were often, as they were here, below the clouds.

A mamason and a co (girl) were searching for their belongings, probably in the middle hamlet.  The mountains are to the north

Another photo taken in the middle hamlet.  Most of the hooches that were burned by the NVA were in the western and middle hamlets.

The fire set by the NVA was destructive to the point that very few things survived.  People, livestock, and clay pots among them.  This photo was taken facing northwest.

This was probably facing north in the middle hamlet because not all of their hooches burned to the ground.

This is an aerial photo of An Phong that was taken such that south is at the top, west is to the right, north at the bottom and east is to the left.

Legend

  1. Base of 9 George
  2. School
  3. Landing Zone (LZ)
  4. Day Command Post (CP)
  5. West gate
  6. Bamboo fences
  7. West hamlet
  8. Rice paddies Middle hamlet
  9. Rice paddies

NVA document

This document belongs to Gary Holmes and is a museum quality artifact. He was a PFC when the battle occurred and he took it off an NVA who was KIA during the battle.

Two translations of this document exist, and they differ significantly.

The first was done in 2001 by Dong Tran, a Vietnamese Marine lieutenant during the war. His translation was made without knowing anything about the village of An Phong, the battle, or the document. His translation immediately follows this paragraph.

The second translation was done in 2009 by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Kligge. Fred is an Army vet who served in the war and his wife, Mia, is Vietnamese. Both are fluent in English and Vietnamese. Their translation is to the right of the NVA document.

Dong Tran's translation follows.

Lt. Dong said the star on the cover page indicated, "This is a big man. You know, lieutenant, captain, major, . . . general."

Pages 2 and 3 of the document are very difficult to read, largely due to the blood stains on the document. No translation was offered.

Pages 4 and 5 make references to the fact that the people of An Phong do not listen to the VC so the village will be burned, causing the people to move away for a period of time. These pages also indicate that the U. S. forces help the people of An Phong. If you look closely at the bottom left of the third image you can see the number 10. Eleven is also present, but is very difficult to see. Twelve is at the top right of the third image. These numbers are significant because they are the days immediately before the day the 6th Battalion of the 21st NVA Regiment attacked.

Dong Tran's conclusion was that the document was a battle plan for an attack on An Phong. His translation proved to be accurate because 1) the people of An Phong were refugees and as such were for South Vietnam, which of course meant they were against the VC, 2) the NVA and VC burned most of the village, 3) information gathered after the attack indicated that the attack was conducted to kill all the Marines and drive the villagers from An Phong for a few days so that the upcoming election would go the way the communist wanted it to go, and 4) The U. S. forces noted in this translation refer to CAP 1-3-9 and 9's objective was to help the people of An Phong live free from the threat of communism.

The Peoples’ Army of Viet Nam

(Cover Page to the left)

(pages 4 and 5 on the left)

12 RULES WHEN IN CONTACT WITH CIVILIANS, FOR THE PEOPLES’ ARMY OF VIET NAM

We the soldiers of the peoples’ army of Viet Nam, swear under the flag of our ancestors’ land:

  1. I swear: To sacrifice everything for our country Viet Nam, under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, striving to make peace in Vietnam, independence and socialism, thus contributing positively to the struggle of the world’s people for peace and national independence, democracy and socialism.
  2. I swear: To absolutely obey the orders of my superiors and when given any mission to be dedicated and committed to it and implement it quickly and correctly.
  3. I swear: To love my country, continuously improve Socialist patriotism and proletariat internationalism, to train and fight with resolve to not be boastful of winning nor discouraged at loosing, no matter the hardship I will not be discouraged, even in life and death situations, I will not be discouraged. “Every task will be completed, every difficulty will be overcome, and every enemy will be defeated.”
  4. I swear: To try my best to learn the level of political, military, cultural, scientific and technical professionalism, thorough observance of the orders, rules, organizational training, discipline and regular working style, build increasingly powerful forces, always ready to fight.
  5. I swear: To uphold the spirit of collective socialism, to fulfill the task of defending the country, building socialism to fulfill international missions, to practice exemplary compliance, to mobilize people in every way, the advocates of the Party's policies and laws of the State.
  6. I swear: To absolutely always be alert and keep the secrets of army missions and the county. If I am captured by the enemy and must bear the pain of torture, I must be faithful as a liberator and never be a traitor or give up information.
  7. I swear:  To be tightly united like blood brothers, love each other as older and younger siblings; with all our hearts help each other in times of battle and times of calm.  The unit has one ideal.
  8. I swear: To use my strength to protect my weapon from damage or from falling into the hands of the enemy and to always keep my sprits raised to protect public property and not be greedy and wasteful.
  9. I swear: That when in contact with the people, I must do these three things:
  • Respect the people
  • Help the people
  • Protect the people

And practice these three things:

  • Don’t steal from the people
  • Don’t threaten the people
  • Don’t harass the people

Gain the love and trust of the people, thus creating in the soldier and the people, one mind.

10.  I swear: To maintain a good quality and tradition of winning the war of the peoples’ army, to always self-criticize myself, to do nothing harmful to the honor of the national army and to the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

(pages 4 and 5 on the left)

12 RULES WHEN IN CONTACT WITH CIVILIANS, FOR THE PEOPLES’ ARMY OF VIET NAM

  1. Do not take [steal] even a needle or thread of the people.
  2. Buying and selling must be fair.
  3. Whatever you borrow from the people, you must ask and when finished, return it.  If you damage or loose it, you must compensate for it.
  4. If you are stationed at a civilian’s house, you must not harass the people and you must keep the house clean.
  5. You must strictly abide by the policy of ethnic and religious freedom and beliefs and customs of the people.
  6. You must unite closely with the people, respect the aged, love the young and treat women with decency.
  7. Don’t threaten and strike the people.
  8. You must protect life and the collective property of the state.
  9. There must be unity, respect and support of agencies, the Party and local armed forces.
  10. You must abide by the policy of the Party and the laws of the State in an exemplary manner.
  11. You must advocate positive propaganda, help mobilize the people to perform all the policies of the state and the law.
  12. You must keep secrets and mobilize people to keep government and military secrets.

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