Chain Of Command Essay

Length: 3 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Military Type: Essay Paper: #44899807 Related Topics: Vietnam, Vietnam War, Marine Corps, Johnson And Johnson
Excerpt from Essay :

Vietnam War has gone down in history as one of the worst war efforts made by the United States for its sheer cost in human capital and the collective sanity of the nation. While many social and psychological issues can be cited as bearing the blame for the atrocity that was this war, one major challenge was the basic lack of communication and consistency among the levels of command. Individual soldiers, for example, were given commands and rules of engagement without really being informed of the rationale behind these (Close Air Support, 2014). Furthermore, there was no debate among the various levels of command regarding the best way forward in terms of rules of engagement. Those in the midst of battle were not free to proceed according to the demands of the situation; they were basically bound by the theories and ideals of those in command, including those in the White House.

Individual Soldiers

The most challenging level of ROE is probably at the individual...

...

In the case of Vietnam, the lack of consistent policy created significant difficulty for soldiers in the field, who were required to respond to specific situations at a moment's notice. At the receiving end of the chain of command, soldiers in the field knew little about the political agenda behind the ROE and were only given commands on an as-needed basis. This created great confusion and difficulty in the field, which also resulted in a lack of morale (Close Air Support, 2014). The main difficulty in this lack of consistency was that each individual soldier in the field experienced a large amount of disconnection in terms of understanding and interpreting the ROE being handed down from superiors.

Battalion Commanders

From the perspective of battalion commanders, the ROE was a little more complicated than simply being confused during field operations. They needed to interpret rules of engagement with an enemy that was far beyond what had been experienced thus far. It was, in fact, a new way of warfare. Hence, any learned military procedure was reduced to next to nothing as a result of the environment and types of warfare encountered (Close Air Support, 2014).

General William C. Westmoreland

The challenge faced by General William C. Westmoreland was that he was subject to binding rules of engagement from the president. The Marines were authorized to only protect the airbase. A further challenge he emerged from the Commander of the First Corps Tactical Zone, General Nguyen Chanh Thi, who distrusted the marines (Close Air Support, 2014).

On the other hand, Westmoreland was also significantly concerned with the Vietnamese and their sentiments. In other words, Westmoreland emphasized cooperation, which necessarily included a lack of operational control when it…

Sources Used in Documents:

References

Close Air Support (2014). Rules of Engagement. Retrieved from: http://www.cc.gatech.edu/~tpilsch/AirOps/cas-roe.html


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