Vietnam Studies

U.S. Army Special Forces

1961-1971

Cover Image: U.S. Army Special Forces 1961-1971

CMH Publication 90-23

Department of the Army

Washington, D.C. 1989 (First Printed, 1973)


FOREWORD

PREFACE

PART I The Early Years: 1961-1965

I. INTRODUCTION

The Origin of the Special Forces
The Unconventional Requirements.

II. BEGINNINGS OF THE CIVILIAN IRREGULAR DEFENSE GROUP PROGRAM

The Montagnard Culture
The Buon Enao Experiment
Command and Control During the Buon Enao Period
Early Paramilitary Programs
Operation Switchback, November 1962-July 1963
The Turnover of Buon Enao

III. THE CIDG PROGRAM UNDER THE U.S. MILITARY ASSISTANCE COMMAND, VIETNAM: JULY 1963 MAY 1965

Combat Operations
Logistics
Civic Action and Psychological Operations
The Montagnard Uprising
The 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)

PART II The Middle Years: 1965-1968

IV. THE CIDG PROGRAM BEGINS TO MATURE

 page vii

V. THE COMBINED SPECIAL FORCES CIDG ON THE OFFENSIVE

Intelligence Operations Overhauled
The Tet Offensive: The CIDG Grows Up

VI. UNCONVENTIONAL OPERATIONS

PART III The Latter Years: 1968-1971

VII. THE VIETNAMESE ARMY ABSORBS THE CIDG PROGRAM

Summary by Corps of Combat Activity During 1970
The Stand-Down

VIII. THE BALANCE SHEET

Credits
Debits
The Future of the Special Forces

APPENDICES

A. Chronology of U.S. Army Special Forces, 15 April 1970- 1 March 1971
B. U.S. Army Special Forces Honors
C. List of Special Forces Camps, 1961-1971
D. U.S. Army Special Forces Engineer Activities
E. After Action Report MIKE Force: ATTLEBORO, 1-7 November 1966
F. After Action Report: Operation BLACKJACK 33
G. Chronology of Logistic Events

GLOSSARY

INDEX

page ix

Tables

1. Disposition of U.S. Special Forces Detachments, December 1962
2. Ethnic Background of Strike Forces at U.S. Special Forces CIDG Camps, October 1964
3. Organization of U.S. Special Forces Detachments
4. Status Report, U.S. Special Forces CIDG Camps, October 1964
5. U.S. Special Forces CIDG Camps Established in Vietnam, July 1961 -October 1964
6. Expansion of 5th Special Forces Group and Span of Advisory Operations, October 1964-July 1967
7. Comparative Data on Combat Operations, 1966-1967
8. Conversion of U.S. Special Forces CIDG Camps to Vietnam Army Ranger Camps, 27 August 1970-15 January 1971

Charts

1. Special Forces Group (Airborne) (7.78 KB)
2. Headquarters and Headquarters Company, Special Forces Group (Airborne) (16.1 KB)
3. Special Forces Company, Special Forces Group (Airborne) (7.67 KB)
4. Signal Company, Special Forces Group (Airborne) (14.7 KB)
5. Organization of Civilian Irregular Defense Group Company in 1964 (13.7)
6. Organization of Mobile Strike Force Company (11.8)
7. Command Structure of 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) (19.3 KB)
8. Mobile Strike Force Organization (21.8 KB)
9. Organization of Project Delta (21.1 KB)
10. Organization of Projects Sigma and Omega (15 KB)

Maps

1. Distribution of Major Ethnic Groups, 1964 (24.5 KB)
2. Buon Enao Expansion (24 KB)
3. U.S. Special Forces Deployment, 15 October 1962 (14.7 KB)
4. U.S. Special Forces Deployment, I June 1963 (15.9 KB)
5. U.S. Special Forces Deployment, 20 October 1964 (16.3)
6. Location of 5th Special Forces Detachments, 31 August 1967 (31.8)


page updated 31 May 2001


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