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  #11  
Old 06-06-2018, 02:03 PM
nf1e nf1e is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
nf1e just curious on the policy for boot blousing
A member on another forum suspects that the individual in the photo was a civilian contractor watching the hutch in the background.
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2018, 02:38 PM
gmerkt gmerkt is offline
 
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In the army, we were required to blouse boots on field uniforms. Some of us were jealous that the air force didn't require airmen to blouse theirs. The jungle fatigue uniform had little strings built into the cuffs for this purpose; often these were removed. Some soldiers would tuck the cuffs into the boots; others would use the PX-type blousing bands because it was easier than tying the strings. Obviously, many soldiers in the field didn't blouse at all but the idea of blousing was to inhibit nasty things and creatures from getting up your trouser legs - things often encountered in the field. For cannon-cockers or guys mostly riding along in a track (for example), this isn't as much of a hazard as walking a trail.

The soldiers in the pictures are definitely army. As I said in my original post, the negatives came from equipment that was turned in by the 25th Inf. Div. What battalion, I've no clue. At that time, they were in the Cu Chi/Cambodian border area. Think, "Cu Chi Tunnel Complex" and Cambodian incursion.

It's true, morale and discipline in the US Army was at low ebb during this time. President Nixon had taken over, was winding down the war, everyone knew it was over. The spirit to win was absent, only personal survival was important. The political undermining of the war on the home front contributed to the erosion of morale in the military.
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  #13  
Old 06-06-2018, 03:00 PM
gmerkt gmerkt is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nf1e View Post
A member on another forum suspects that the individual in the photo was a civilian contractor watching the hutch in the background.
This comment pertains to the picture of the Harlem Hooch/Soul Survivors hut being guarded.

The individual holding the M14 has some kind of small, black insignia on his collar lapels. Or so it appears to me. He's not wearing jungle fatigues but the OG-107 cotton sateen work uniform ("utilities"?); it has cut-off sleeves, unbloused boots. Not very USMC-looking but I'm not fully knowledgeable about that service. In the area I was in, we had many contractors but they were all of a technical nature. Mostly with larger corporations like Vinnell, Ratheon, RMK-BRJ, etc. I wasn't aware that rent-a-grunts or guards were hired on a mercenary basis in the Vietnam war.

Use of contractors to do technical work isn't new, as many uninformed citizens may think today. Napoleon used contractors to carry out technical work that was beyond the expertise of his soldiery. The German Army had an entire second logistical force within a force to see to non-combatant technical needs. They were called administrators, wore the uniform with slightly different insignia, had correspondent ranks.
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  #14  
Old 06-07-2018, 07:00 PM
condor condor is offline
 
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Being a contractor is where it's at then. I'm not much of a conformist for conformity's sake -- in my time in the 'new' Corps (hehe) I wanted like heck to leave my boots unbloused and not to roll my sleeves in the summer. I drew my inspiration from WWII rather than the post-1950s "reformed" and tighter Corps.

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  #15  
Old 06-07-2018, 10:17 PM
stripper clip stripper clip is offline
 
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Interesting photos and a good post. Here is a photo I have from June, 1971. The guy in the foreground with the blond hair is my next door neighbor and I got the photo from him. He was the M60 gunner. According to him, the situation on the ground for the infantry was as dangerous and deadly at that time as it ever had been.

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  #16  
Old 06-14-2018, 04:40 AM
mrrm mrrm is offline
 
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Find some photographs of US Army GI's and Marines fighting in the Pacific Theater during WWII. Plenty of beards, tattered uniforms and such. When fighting for your life US Army combat soldiers and Marines don't always have the time to worry about the "chicken s&*" stuff.
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  #17  
Old 06-15-2018, 02:17 AM
GGaskill GGaskill is offline
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Plus supply was less concerned about getting new uniforms and more concerned with food, fuel, ammo and other such survival necessities.


Regarding the comments in post #16, subdued rank insignia were worn on the collar in that position. Even magnified, the image is not sharp enough to determine the rank. At low magnification, it kind of looks like a SSG insignia but it is oriented incorrectly. The uniform is definitely not tropical fatigues but short sleeves are non-standard. The lack of a US ARMY tag and a name tag catch my attention as contractors would not have the US ARMY tag and some did not want to be ID'd.
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Last edited by GGaskill; 06-16-2018 at 07:32 PM.
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  #18  
Old 06-19-2018, 08:17 AM
milprileb milprileb is offline
 
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In the era of 67 to late 70's the culture changed on grooming and its not unusual to see GI's wanting longer hair and mustaches. That said, having been a rifle platoon leader in Viet Nam, the 101st Airborne was darn good about getting us replacement jungle fatigues on a resupply as we endlessly were in the bush (I Corps) and our fatigues tore up fast in that dense vegetation.

The PITA was once every 6 weeks they'd pull your platoon back to a fire base under the excuse of hot chow, showers and re equip. Truth was from the second we landed at the pad, I had senior officers and NCO's descending on us for haircuts and shaving immediately and how the hell was a Grunt to do that with no resources at hand ?

In those 2 days we got zero good deals, on day we secured the perimeter and got all the fire base S*** burning details , re wire concertina,and at night we'd depart to put out 3 ambushes. There was little rest, lots of harassment on "grooming standards", perhaps one hot meal, at best we got a 5 gallon can of water to have one Australian shower . We did get replacement gear, re issue of new ammo and were darn glad to get off that fire base and back in the bush. Why ? Well in the bush, you can fire back at anyone screwing with you but on that fire base, we just got screw'd over .

When they gave us a GI barber kit on fire base, we got hair cuts and if we got shaving gear and water to do so...we shaved. Troops wanted to get clean but it sure is not possible to do much "grooming" to standards when you are short on water, in the bush weeks on end and doing the best you can to stay alive. If anyone thinks out in the bush we had a barber kit...they need a urinalysis test !

You can tell in the photos in this thread who are mechanized troops and rear echelon troops that are ungroomed....they are all well fed. The Infantry Grunt...ARMY or USMC?...go look at those guys, they are all looking thin and worn. Mech Infantry & Rear Echelon troops looking ragged are in units with poor leadership and poor morale. Well fed and lax, if they look shabby, its a unit you sure don't want to soldier in combat with.

My first Platoon Sergeant in Viet Nam told me this: "Taking care of troops is making them do the hard right in Viet Nam". Do the right things, more will come out of it alive and go home.

Like in WWII and Korea, the Infantry Grunt in Viet Nam in torn up uniform and needing shave / haircut has been just a bit too bloody busy staying alive to worry about garrison standards of dress / grooming standards. Short of water and everything , he makes best with what he has and anything he has is on his back and ammo & staying alive is his priority, not looking good Hollywood.

I had 2 platoons during my tours in Viet Nam: everything I said above applies be it 101st in I Corps or 1st Cav in III Corps. Of the two divisions, 1st Cav was less "Chicken S***". I lived it and stand by that.

Last edited by milprileb; 06-19-2018 at 08:40 AM.
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  #19  
Old 06-19-2018, 09:01 AM
nf1e nf1e is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
nf1e just curious on the policy for boot blousing
I guess it was optional.
Gent on the left with high jungle boots are bloused.
Fellow on right with steel toed short boots is un-bloused.

VMFA-115 Avionics late 1967. 115deg plus on the flightline. 10 minute work time was the norm with a 15 minute cool down and plenty of kool aid.
Love Summer camp in SE Asia.



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  #20  
Old 07-25-2018, 12:40 PM
jwenum jwenum is offline
 
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Looking over a couple pics again, I kinda wonder if it was Ďad hocí familiarization shooting range away from the main camp? The guy with scope also had an M-60 on the ground beside him. Great pics though. Jeff
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