The Untold Duration: Revealing the Length of a Marine Tour of Duty in Vietnam

A typical Marine tour of duty in Vietnam lasted for approximately 13 months.

Detailed response to the query

A typical Marine tour of duty in Vietnam lasted for approximately 13 months. During this time, Marines were deployed to various combat zones and performed a range of duties including combat operations, security missions, and support roles. This period of service was often arduous and challenging, as the Marines faced harsh conditions, intense combat, and the constant threat of enemy attacks.

One well-known resource, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, highlights the experiences of the Marines during their tour of duty in Vietnam. According to their records, the average length of service for Marines in Vietnam was 13 months.

Here are some interesting facts related to Marines’ tour of duty in Vietnam:

  1. Rotation Policy: The Marine Corps implemented a rotation policy known as the “13-month tour” to ensure a steady flow of personnel in and out of Vietnam. This policy aimed to minimize the effects of prolonged combat service and enhance the Marines’ effectiveness on the battlefield.

  2. In-Country Training: Before being deployed to combat zones, Marines underwent specialized training in-country. They were trained in counterinsurgency tactics, jungle warfare, and various other skills required for the demanding operating environment in Vietnam.

  3. Combined Action Program: The Marine Corps initiated the Combined Action Program (CAP) in Vietnam, which aimed to build rapport and establish security in rural areas by embedding Marine teams with local hamlets. This program enhanced the Marines’ ability to gather intelligence, conduct patrols, and provide security to local communities.

  4. Challenging Terrain: Marines in Vietnam faced significant challenges due to the harsh and unfamiliar terrain. Thick jungles, swamps, rice paddies, and dense vegetation often made movement difficult, and places such as the Mekong Delta presented additional obstacles with its intricate network of waterways.

  5. Prolonged Exposure to Combat: The lengthy tour of duty placed Marines in Vietnam at a higher risk of prolonged exposure to combat situations. This continuous exposure to combat and its associated stressors could have significant psychological and physical impacts on the Marines.

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To provide a visual representation of the Marine tour of duty in Vietnam, here’s a table showcasing the key aspects:

Aspect Details
Tour Duration Approximately 13 months
Training In-country specialized training
Combat Operations Engaged in various combat operations
Role and Missions Conducted security missions and support roles
Rotation Policy Implemented to ensure regular personnel turnover
Combined Action Program Embedded with local hamlets for security and rapport
Threats Faced intense combat and constant enemy threat
Challenging Terrain Navigated through thick jungles and waterways
Psychological Impact Possible effects of prolonged exposure to combat

In the words of the prominent American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, “I won’t tell you they Marines lack fear. Marines don’t know what the word means. But fear is what keeps them going. Marines hate to let down other marines.” These words capture the courage and resilience demonstrated by Marines during their tour of duty in Vietnam.

Response via video

In this full interview with a Vietnam veteran, he reflects on his childhood, his desire to be a soldier, and his unexpected journey into the Army instead of the Marines. He describes his experiences in boot camp, jump school, and his disappointment at being reassigned to a different division than he had hoped for. The veteran then discusses his deployment to Vietnam, including the intense heat upon landing and witnessing the aftermath of a battle. He recounts specific battles and moments of intense fighting, as well as the bravery and resilience of his comrades. Despite being wounded himself, he made the courageous decision to return to Vietnam rather than leave the Army.

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Other responses to your inquiry

Army tours of duty in Vietnam were 12 months for enlisted men and 6 months for officers. Special Forces personnel served 6-month Temporary Duty assignments. Marines and Navy Corpsmen were assigned 13-month tours of duty (mostly to show up the Army).

All US military personnel serving in Vietnam during the Vietnam War were eligible for one R&R during their tour of duty (13 months for marines, 12 months for soldiers, sailors, airmen).

During the Vietnam War, all United States military troops stationed in Vietnam were entitled for one R&R. (13 months for marines, 12 months for soldiers, sailors, airmen). How long is a tour of duty? Both conscientious objectors and conscripted personnel are compelled to complete a specific time of active duty, known as the tour of duty.

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