Charles Varner Essay

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HIST-415 Week 4 Assignment
Charles J. Varner II
DeVry University

The chain of command links everyone in the uniformed service from the junior to senior ranks up to the President of the United States of America. There are several levels, but for this assignment were are only looking at six levels. While looking all the way up the chain of command from the Marine infantry man in Vietnam to the President of the United States. We are going to correlate the understanding of Rules Of Engagement (ROE) with the limited was ideology and it assumptions as seen through the perspective and experiences of the following six levels. These levels include individual soldiers in the field; battalion commanders; division commanders; General William Westmoreland; Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara; and President Lyndon Johnson.

HIST-415 Week 4 Assignment In the 1960’s during the Vietnam War was a war that was a new type of war that was fought by the United States of America. During this war the enemy was not easily identified. The enemy could be anyone as the VC had no uniforms, the farmer you passed in the village during the day on patrols could be setting up an ambush to spring as you returned from patrol that night. Vietnam soldiers also faced a war zone that had no clearly defined areas where the enemy operated, no territorial conquest to determine indication of progress. The main mind set of the soldier was “The enemy could be anyone, everyone...anywhere, do you survive”. This is where the ROE and watching your fellow Marines six comes into effect. What are the Rules of Engagement?
The Rules Of Engagement (ROE) are military directives that describe the circumstances under which ground, naval and air forces will enter into and continue combat with opposing forces. These engagement rules refer to the orders issued by a competent military authority that delineate when, where, how, and against whom military force may be used, and the implications for what actions soldiers may take on their own authority and what directives may be issued by a commanding officer. Historically, the notion that war should be regulated has been backed by international treaties, agreements, and the Geneva Conventions, that regulate the treatment of prisoners of war and civilians. Now that we know the definition of ROE, how was the Rules Of Engagement (ROE) with a limited ideology and assumptions through perspective and experiences seen by the chain of command from the infantry solider in Vietnam to the President of the United States?
As an individual soldier in the field during the Vietnam War, we are going to follow our chain of command and identify what our overall role in the Vietnam War is and how the ROE applies to our duties and responsibilities.
The main responsibility of the Marine infantry man during the Vietnam War was to establish perimeters, search for the enemy that was affectionately known as Charlie. Charlie was elusive, cunning and tireless. He thought of himself as a patriot and often opened fire, single handedly, on advancing Marine companies or even battalions. The main two ROE’s that were to be followed by the Marine infantry man during the Vietnam War was as follows: Killing, attacking, or using unnecessary force against civilians in situations where they posed no danger to U.S. military personnel was illegal and always in violation of extant rules of engagement. The other main Rule of Engagement that was the ground war that civilian leaders imposed on U.S. troops fighting in Vietnam were that the U.S. forces were never allowed to pursue their enemies into Cambodia or attack any Cambodian-populated areas. (Moss 176)
The average Marine infantry man was not concerned with the perspective of the limited war ideology. They were more concerned with undertaking the orders given to them by their battalion commanders and ensuring that they survived to live another day and ultimately…