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Arriving in Vietnam in early 1968, Second Lieutenant James Lockhart languished briefly in a nonessential infantry job. Then, unexpectedly he was chosen for two successive, highly sought-after command positions. Under his leadership these combat units enjoyed operational success with astonishingly low casualty rates. His combat leadership philosophy will surprise many readers. Here's how he describes it as a new commander:
"Some simple changes were needed and they revolved around a basic combat principle: don't make the enemy's job easy. Another way to put it is: neither side had an inborn advantage in the jungle and rice paddies. Although the veterans among the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese had extensive experience hiding in the local area, their recently aquired replacements were no more jungle dwellers than we were. Therefore, the side which made the most mistakes gave the advantage to his adversary."
Between Vietnam tours, Lockhart attended airborne and Special Forces training as a captain. Returning to the war zone in 1970, he was assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group and selected to work in a new, secret project: training Cambodian Army Infantry battalions. He was instrumental in the crucial modification of the instructional program and the reorganizations of the Speical Forces trainers and Cambodian trainees. In this book, he presents the previously unpublished actions behind those changes and the unique, unconventional aspects surrounding the mission.
The reader is left to decide whether luck or skill influenced the fortuitous outcomes so vividly described in this book.
A Memoir by: James A. Lockhart.