Skip to comments.Women in Combat: Study Recommends Ending Military's Last Male Bastion
Posted on 01/19/2011 11:11:11 PM PST by neverdem
Heather Pfleuger -- an exuberant, all-American, girl-next-door -- was transformed when she arrived in Afghanistan. She'd shrug into her body armor, strap on her helmet, yank on gloves, goggles and scarf, and slide down behind her turret-mounted Mark-19, a 40mm grenade launcher. From there, she could kill an armored vehicle and everybody in it a mile away.
When she whooped with glee and led a convoy outside the wire, local Afghan fighters, hard men who'd faced down the Russians and the Taliban, fell respectfully silent.
"Specialist Pfleuger can hit anything," her squad leader. Sgt. Kevin Collins, told me proudly. "I feel sorry for anyone who gets in her sights."
That was nine years ago, when Pfleuger was deployed to eastern Afghanistan with the 511th Military Police Company. At the time, I wrote a story boldly asserting that with women like Pfleuger easily accepted in the ranks, doing well at war and liking it, the argument over women in combat "is over."
It wasn't over. In fact, it's about to heat up again. A study commission chartered by Congress is poised to send up to Capitol Hill a recommendation that the last remaining barriers to women those that formally exclude them from infantry, armor and special forces -- be removed.
Those "close combat" troops -- roughly 14 percent of the military -- are the ones that most jealously guard the all-male cohesion and camaraderie they insist makes them effective in the chaos and stress of long-term exposure to combat.
Never mind that some 200,000 women like Pfleuger have served in wartime Iraq or Afghanistan, that 134 have been killed and 721 wounded in action. With women attacking insurgents with strike fighters and helicopter gunships, machine guns and mortars, riding shotgun on convoys through IED territory and walking combat patrols with the infantry, the Defense Department and the military services have labored mightily to define just what it is that women cannot volunteer to do.
That hasn't been easy, given that in today's wars there are no front lines and no safe rear areas, as the saga of Army Pvt. Jessica Lynch aptly demonstrated (a 19-year-old supply clerk, she was captured and hospitalized by Iraqis after her military convoy got lost in 2003 and her truck crashed during an ambush).
The Army has tried to block women from joining units that "engage an enemy . . . while being exposed to direct enemy fire, a high probability of direct physical contact with the enemy's personnel, and a substantial risk of capture."
That seems to precisely define the situation of Army Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester, an MP, who won the coveted Silver Star for her actions in a firefight in Iraq in 2005. When the convoy she was escorting was caught in an ambush, she leapt out and attacked an enemy trench. Then, with her squad leader, she cleared two trenches, killing three insurgents with her rifle. At the time, she was 23 years old.
Getting the award for heroism "really doesn't have anything to do with being a female," she told reporters. "It's about the duties I performed that day as a soldier."
A group of female Army cooks apparently felt the same way. They were deployed to Iraq where they discovered all the cooking was done by civilian contractors. Instead, they were pressed into service as infantry and came home proudly wearing the highly prized Combat Infantryman Badge, earned only by participating in a firefight with the enemy while a member of or assigned with infantry or special forces.
That's a piece of evidence cited by the Military Leadership Diversity Commission, the group of retired senior military personnel, academics and other civilians whose recommendations on lifting the barriers will be published this winter.
Despite the boots-on-the-ground reality that women serve well and honorably and bravely in combat, what looms ahead are months of contentious congressional hearings and hot-tempered talk show shout-fests and angry op-eds, just like the season of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" of 2010. And this time, the pivotal House Armed Services Committee is led by GOP conservative Buck McKeon of California, who opposed allowing gays to serve openly in the military.
As with the "Don't Ask" debate, the argument will come over whether the presence of women, in small units that must operate for extended periods under fire, would be disruptive.
Would women if any actually volunteered for and could qualify for an infantry unit -- actually break its tight cohesion and cripple its fighting spirit?
"There's a growing number of women out there who have served 'outside the wire' on combat missions," said a woman who served on active duty in Iraq as an Army intelligence officer. "We carried a full basic load of ammunition and fired the SAW [squad automatic weapon, a light machine gun], .50-cals [heavy machine guns] and M-4 [rifles]) to protect our fellow man and to defeat the enemy," said this young officer, who asked not to be identified by name because of her current job. "We have endured the same harsh living conditions as men, where hygiene isn't exactly a priority," she said.
To insist that gender goes unnoticed in such small units would be "inane," she said; there is a "familial" relationship among the soldiers. "Those who serve for the sake of serving and take pride in their jobs do not feel threatened by sexual orientation, race or gender," she said.
In basic officer training, this young woman was offered the chance to take the physical exam for acceptance into Ranger school, the Army's legendarily tough commando course. She and two other women aced the test even though they were barred from attending the male-only school or to join Ranger units.
"The truth is that very few women and few men can meet or exceed the desired standards of an Army Ranger," she said. "But some can, and they should be given the opportunity."
In its brief for lifting the barriers, the commission cited research that it said found no negative impact from allowing women to serve in close-combat units. It cited a RAND study which found that "gender differences alone did not appear to erode cohesion." The study was published in 1997, well before women began taking a larger role in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That and similar studies are "wrong!" said retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, a combat veteran, historian and former commandant of the U.S. Army War College. "They simply don't understand the nature and character of close combat . . . the 'Band of Brothers' effect," he said recently on Fox TV news.
Scales, an expert on small combat units, said in fact there is no research that settles the question, and that allowing women into such units, in wartime and without knowing how it would affect combat effectiveness, would be risky.
"I've studied this for three decades," Scales said. "The bottom line is nobody knows -- the elements that make up cohesion in a firefight simply aren't known. And to rush into this, in my opinion, could damage cohesion."
And so the battle is joined. Stay tuned.
This should be an automatic no. When we look at all the hand-wringing the DBM does over each serviceman killed in cobat (despite the fact that the DBM hates the military!), imagine how bad it will be if a female gets killed in combat!!
War is not someplace to send women. It’s bad enough that we have to send our young men. Unfortunately for those women who might think this is a good idea, not all of life’s activities are intended to be co-ed!!
Tampons are perfect for puncture wounds, specifically bullet wounds in combat. We always carried a few.
The Amazons of legend cut off one breast to prevent interference with archery. I wonder if these women would accept comparable sacrifices.
Here is the test. Put them in their own brigade with no men to do the heavy lifting. We'll see how long the notion of a new frontier remains.
Exactly, battling women in military is a last mean to consider as an only last term of national survival if only most of the men are wiped out already.
On ships a lot of stuff gets moved by hand. Subs take all their supplies on board by hand, and while it may seem mundane loading 4 months of food on board is a lot of physical work. In the squadron I was with the only time the Ordnancemen got out any power equipment to load a plane was when they were putting on 2000 lbs. bombs. Everything lighter than that was done by hand. If you have women doing those jobs you are going to need a lot more bodies.
Have one question..on a tank..where and how will the female crew member take a leak from the tank..when field conditions do not permit dismounting the vehicle.
The dreaded words “I have to go to the bathroom”. Well this is not a car..a truck, the base camp..or a convoy...
Put them in the infantry..airborne..but no tanks.
I respect these women that made their mark in combat, sounds like they kicked ass. Having said that, I don’t think they have a place in front line units. We don’t need to see raped and tortured pows. We don’t need to see any more mangled female soldiers than we have to. Hell I’d prefer gays getting shot up before women, and I’m no supporter of gays in combat.
I don’t recall where I had read it, but there was this report about some country in Asia having experimented with this, one time. After a war, they decided to disband the female combat units, based on the recommendations of a post-war inquiry report. What they found was that men in combat lose morale to a much greater extent when they witness female comrade casualties, and on top of that, overall casualties in those units were higher because the male troops would lose focus by attempting to provide cover to their female comrades.
Perhaps someone here can find the actual report and post it.
Arizona Rampage Could Have Been 'Catastrophe' if Gunman Had Been Able to Reload magazine spring failure?
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The problem is, they can’t carry a man on their back and they can’t do prolonged marches/work that involves their upper body.
There are exceptions though. The Deck Gals of the Navy’s AOE fleet could do it but they wouldn’t be able to run fast and they may not be distinguishable from men.
It is one thing to sit in a turret, aim and shoot. If that vehicle rolls though, are they going to be able to carry the male solder that is critically wounded.
There used to be a saying, “The army is only as strong as it’s weakest solder.” Well the Democrats are doing a good job of destroying it. Some of the Army General’s are complicit.
“”The truth is that very few women and few men can meet or exceed the desired standards of an Army Ranger,” she said. “But some can, and they should be given the opportunity.””
Well another thing, so we have to rearrange the entire military for a “few” women that can actually do it. \\\mine mine mine, me me me, I I I, sounds familiar
It is the Democrat Mating Call.............
Ther was a time when female military combat pilots were mocked.
“Angel of death
Her gunship cruised low and loud over northeastern Afghanistan, a mix of milkshake-brown flatlands, grassy valleys and boulder-strewn mountain slopes. On Capt. Allison Blacks monitor aboard an AC-130H Spectre, the region below was a flickering sea of night-vision green.
It was mid-November 2001. As an evaluator-navigator with the Air Forces 1st Special Operations Group, Black was plotting routes, communicating with ground forces and identifying targets in the darkness below. Just days before, the Afghan capital of Kabul had fallen to light-and-lean Special Forces teams relying on Air Force fighter jet and gunship strikes. They were aided with intelligence from the Northern Alliance Afghans with their own vendetta against the Taliban.
Now the target was a smallish province along the northern border. Bearded American soldiers, relying on the Northern Alliances knowledge of local terrain and Taliban habits, were moving covertly through the surrounding hills on horseback.
For weeks, the Army detachment had lived with Northern Alliance Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, a hulking and prickly haired war veteran thrilled to watch American air power cripple his Taliban foes.
Just 16 hours after Black landed at Karshi-Kanabad Air Base in neighboring Uzbekistan, she had been shuttled to her first-ever combat mission. It was off to a choppy start. Although the crew had successfully destroyed a bank of rocket launchers and several Taliban trucks, they were forced to evade anti-aircraft fire that pelted the Spectres steel belly.
All they needed was a high-caliber [anti-aircraft] system to present a problem, Black said. We were definitely on edge.
Dented but intact, the gunship flew on. Operational Detachment Alpha 595, from the Armys 5th Special Forces Group, lit up Blacks radio as her plane neared its encampment. With Dostums help, the troops had learned of a nearby safe house packed with more than 200 Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.
Black began to chart the course. When her voice crackled over the soldiers field radios, Dostum was delightedly incredulous. A woman? Sent to kill the Taliban? He couldnt believe it, Black said. He thought it was the funniest thing.
The Spectre neared and its cannons erupted. Unaccustomed to the Gatling guns mechanized snarl, the fighters confused the airstrike with a ground assault. Militants scattered into the fields, seeking cover in ditches and vehicles, although Black could see their heat-signature silhouettes from her console by the cockpit.
Dostum, hidden with the Army detachment several miles away, said the Taliban also believed a high-powered laser pointer used by Spectre operators to identify ground targets a sparkle, in Air Force spec ops speak was a death ray that turned everything it touched to flames.
As the hailstorm of munitions continued, Dostum grabbed his walkie-talkie, switched to the Talibans unsecured frequency and relayed to them the sound of Blacks chatter coming through Army radio.
He used the female pilots voice to taunt them as they bled.
He said, America is so determined, they bring their women to kill the Taliban. Youre so pathetic, Black said. Its the angel of death raining fire upon you. After circling the safe house environs many times striking militants after theyd regroup in threes and fours the Spectre had just enough fuel to return to Uzbekistan. The crew had expended all of its ammunition: 400 rounds of 40mm cannon shot and 100 rounds of 105mm Howitzer rounds. Black contacted an incoming gunship sent to finish off the remaining militants with a fresh load of ammo.
In those few hours, Black had become the first female AC-130H navigator to shoot in combat. Six years later, shes a combat-medal-wearing mother to two sons, ages 6 months and 2 years, and she expects to return to Afghanistan in early 2008. She estimates the total number of human targets eliminated on that first tour at more than 250 enemies.
Im so proud to represent women, and proud to represent the gunship community, but its very humbling, she said. Here I am, Captain Black, getting all this attention for something myself and 12 other folks did.
Although her gender was used to rile the Taliban, Black said its never proven a liability with her crew. I never have to worry about it, she said. Everybody I care about knows who I am. They know what Allison Black is about.
>> If this dumb idea gets approved...
Some who would rather not may lose that provision to avoid combat.
Chivalry in the West is dead. Perhaps that began with Roe vs Wade.
This sounds like a load of BS to me. I have a very hard time believing a CIB would be awarded to cooks, let alone female cooks. Can anyone verify this?
Let me know when she can carry an AC-130 load on her back and I’ll give her kudos.
Female combat pilots - it’s just not the same thing.
How long before the only people barred from Military Service will be White Straight Males?
I would fully expect all military personnel to fulfill the physical requirements for combat.
When females were first allowed to be Navy combat pilots, there were women killed while trying to hit the boat. They’ve come a long way since then.
The article seems centered on female soldiers deal with issues men don't even think about. The issues? You can't wear earrings. Makeup can't be excessive. There probably aren't many times you can feel like a girl. You had to wait in long lines no matter where you were: in the mess hall, bathroom, shower
>>Ranger Assessment Phase During induction to the school, candidates must pass a physical exam, typically held over five days. Candidates must be able to do at least 49 push-ups, 59 sit-ups, run 5 miles in no more than 40 minutes, six chin-ups, march 12 miles and pass day and night navigation tests.<<
Except for the night navigation, that’s SOP for Parris Island. BTW, does all this mean that boot camp is going to be coed? Horrors! BAMs and TURDs are a bad mix.
Some of the Army’s Basic Training is coed. My son went to Basic at Fort Benning Georgia and that is all infantry Basic, so there were no women in his Basic training. My son’s friend, though, went to Basic for the Army at Fort Jackson (North or South Carolina, I think) and his Basic had women in it.
The Marines, I believe are the only Armed forces unit that completely separates out the men from training with the women. Hopefully they can continue with that.
As a side note, my son was at the range a few weeks ago (earning his expert rifleman’s qualification) and there were women at the range. Some of them could not even get 10 shots out of 40 to hit a target! Some needed to shown how to use their optics. Overall, he was pretty blown away at how bad many of them were.
Now, that’s not all to be put onto the women. Somewhere the Army dropped the ball or they just really don’t think these women need to be able to use a rifle accurately.
There are many reasons for poor marksmanship, such as: poor weapon familiarity, improper instruction, lack of practice, etc.
If it is your first time at the range, with an unfamiliar weapon and not zeroed in, hitting a target can be difficult. I remember several Marines in my platoon at Parris Island had to exchange their M-1s because of defective sights.
Back then, rifle range was three weeks - week 1 for sighting in and instruction, week 2 for practice and week 3 for qualification. We spent hour after hour dry firing, cleaning and reassembying the M-1s.
It's one thing to ride to the fight; it's another to hump that ruck or fireman's carry a wounded soldier.
Oh, they cited research? Oh, well, hell, that does it! I'm all done -- anyone else have any questions? </sarc>
..... that it said found no negative impact from allowing women to serve in close-combat units. It cited a RAND study which found that "gender differences alone did not appear to erode cohesion."
How the hell do they know, if the Army doesn't have any experience with these blithe, ideologically-driven, typical-liberal-bullshit assertions of fact? They cited studies? I could study my navel, would that tell them anything?
The study was published in 1997 .....
Oh, there it is! -- Clinton-era BS from Slick and Beast. I smell a Hillary slugtrail. Her and her LUGS bunkin' buddies ..... <whine>wymyn are juuuust as gooood as mennnnnn!!!!</whine> And Huma you Abedin there, Hillary?
Yes, all of what you said is true.
The one slight difference is that the example I was giving from my son wasn’t at basic but at his current unit. It is reasonable to assume that they had as much time as my son to zero their weapon before they took their marksman test. My son has only been at his unit since November. It’s not like he’s been going to the range every week for the last year. His weapon was newly issued and he was able to shoot expert.
I have no doubt that the Marines probably do a better job on weapons and marksmanship overall, then the general Army does. I’m not there so I can’t really speak to what I have seen, only what my son relays to me.
Now if you want to talk about weak training, I’ll tell you about my Navy range experience. As part of the security force on the submarine, I had to go to the range once a year for what would best be called ‘weapons familiarization’. We would load our weapon, we would shoot maybe one magazine (or slug with the shotgun), and we would leave. We were shown the basics of the .45, the M-16, and a pump, 12 gauge shotgun. I guess they figured we didn’t need to be experts. We just needed to know how to load em, how to carry em safely, and how to send rounds down range. After all, if someone got on a submarine that needed to be removed with gun fire, accuracy over distance didn’t really come into play.
I think they're working on a psych screen .... the Congenital Hater Exclusion.
I should have also added in my description of my range experience was that my primary duty wasn’t security, I was part of the backup or augmentation force. The topside watches got much more time at the range and some of them had expert marksmanship badges.
I should’ve been more clear.
Bullshine. Prolefeed for the moonbats. This is pure PC prolefeed talking. She took it in, she spews it out.
Did we learn nothing from listening to people like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton? These people will say anything. They're ideologues.
IIRC, the Combat Infantryman Badge is awarded only to those holding the MOS of 11B or 11H.
Those cooks probably did earn the Combat Action Badge which is not MOS-specific.
Anyway, too many of our women are being killed in combat, it’s an outrage. The Israelis don’t even do this.
From the report of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces (report date November 15, 1992, published in book form by Brasseys in 1993): The average female Army recruit is 4.8 inches shorter, 31.7 pounds lighter, has 37.4 fewer pounds of muscle, and 5.7 more pounds of fat than the average male recruit. She has only 55 percent of the upper-body strength and 72 percent of the lower-body strength An Army study of 124 men and 186 women done in 1988 found that women are more than twice as likely to suffer leg injuries and nearly five times as likely to suffer [stress] fractures as men.
Further: The Commission heard an abundance of expert testimony about the physical differences between men and women that can be summarized as follows:
Womens aerobic capacity is significantly lower, meaning they cannot carry as much as far as fast as men, and they are more susceptible to fatigue.
In terms of physical capability, the upper five percent of women are at the level of the male median. The average 20-to-30 year-old woman has the same aerobic capacity as a 50 year-old man.
From the same report: Lt Col. William Gregor, United States Army, testified before the Commission regarding a survey he conducted at an Army ROTC Advanced Summer Camp on 623 women and 3540 men. Evidence Gregor presented to the Commission includes:
(a) Using the standard Army Physical Fitness Test, he found that the upper quintile of women at West point achieved scores on the test equivalent to the bottom quintile of men.
(c) Only 21 women out of the initial 623 (3.4%) achieved a score equal to the male mean score of 260.
(d) On the push-up test, only seven percent of women can meet a score of 60, while 78 percent of men exceed it.
(e) Adopting a male standard of fitness at West Point would mean 70 percent of the women he studied would be separated as failures at the end of their junior year, only three percent would be eligible for the Recondo badge, and not one would receive the Army Physical Fitness badge .
Also from the Commissions report: Non-deployability briefings before the Commission showed that women were three times more non-deployable than men, primarily due to pregnancy, during Operations Desert Shield and Storm. According to Navy Captain Martha Whiteheads testimony before the Commission, the primary reason for the women being unable to deploy was pregnancy, that representing 47 percent of the women who could not deploy.
Maybe we need armored strollers.
My friend Catherine Aspy graduated from Harvard in 1992 and (no, Im not on drugs) enlisted in the Army in 1995. Her account was published in Readers Digest, February, 1999, and is online in the Digests archives.
She told me the following about her experiences: I was stunned. The Army was a vast day-care center, full of unmarried teen-age mothers using it as a welfare home. I took training seriously and really tried to keep up with the men. I found I couldnt. It wasnt even close. I had no idea the difference in physical ability was so huge. There were always crowds of women sitting out exercises or on crutches from training injuries.
They [the Army] were so scared of sexual harassment that women werent allowed to go anywhere without another woman along. They called them Battle Buddies. It was crazy. I was twenty-six years old but I couldnt go to the bathroom by myself.
RE: the primary reason for the women being unable to deploy was pregnancy, that representing 47 percent of the women who could not deploy.
Me brudder was a Machine Repairman in Reagans Navy, USS Samuel Gompers, primarily . Saw his ship/shore rotation go from 3 years/3 years to 5/1 once his rating was opened to women, because so many of em hated the ship, and hated the watches, and hated the duty, and got as pregnant as possible as often as possible to obtain a shore billet.
The North Vietnamese fielded female combat units..they fall just like men from a 50 and 152mm main gun.
Google up what the Japanese did to American nurses they took prisoner in the Philippines during the early months of WWII. It was savage, subhuman.
The American public can be jollied along for a while, but one really egregious episode like that would have them asking a lot of starchy questions, and I wouldn't want to be the bureaucrat or pol who happytalked them into letting women go into harm's way. Those are our next generation's mothers-to-be we're pouring into BDU's. This Left-wing Marxist "there is no difference between a man and a woman" stuff is pernicious, and wittingly so, and we ought to snap to that right now.
One more thing. We haven't been in a major war with a major adversary since 1945. Speaking of which, a friend of my dad's who flew with Claire Chennault and his Flying Tigers during the Big Show (my dad was with the 8th AF in the ETO) told my dad some things about what he saw the Chinese do to Japanese prisoners during the war. His bottom line was, "the Japanese were cruel, incredibly cruel and brutal. But next to the Chinese, their cruelty was as the cruelty of little children. The Chinese give me the willies."
Something to think about as these Leftist trolls shout about putting women in harm's way.
I believe it was Israel where the effect on male soldiers of seeing female soldiers killed & wounded was thought to be too much; I may be mistaken, but they’ve had female soldiers for a long time (and have higher expectations of them than we seem to have in the US).
Really? When did they do that? I never read or heard anything about it.
Where and when did we engage them?
This would be a good place to discuss that. I once read -- 30 years ago or more -- some story about an Izzie infantry chick with combat experience during the Yom Kippur War (1973). And we've seen fetching photos of heart-shaped Izzie asses decorated with African-carried M-16's receding into the sunset. But what are the IDF's doctrines on this subject these days?
IDIOCY!! Just vecause a FEW women can do this, they should NOT be doing it!
Women should not be in combat roles and I will never believe otherwise. What really annoys me about all of this is it disregards women service in other areas of the military past and present. Our American history has always had women who served their country during times of war honorably. You don’t have to be front line to be “part of the team” and help. Tinkering with our Armed Forces is a social experiment at best... at worst, it is a way of weakening our military deliberately. IMHO
We had a battle with them 19 June 1969 near Tay Ninh, our CO was killed..C Troop 3/4 Cav, 25th Inf. Will post an army newspaper article. Was tank commander in the 2nd Plt on C-26. Give me a few minutes to drag from my files. We saw a lot of their bodies the next day.
The writer may have confused the Combat Infantry Badge with the Combat Action Badge. The last I knew the Combat Infantry Badge is only awarded to people holding an Infantry or special Forces MOS.
Sound thinking, not sexist, or deleterious to good order & discipline.
Just a thought.
....then comes the children.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY
Headquarters, United States Army Vietnam
APO San Francisco 96375
23 August 1969
AWARD OF THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE CROSS
1. TC 320. The following AWARD is announced posthumously.
CARLSON, GARY W. CAPTAIN ARMOR United States Army
Troop C, 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry, 25th Infantry Division
Awarded: Distinguished Service Cross
Date action: 19 June 1969
Theater: Republic of Vietnam
Reason: For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations involving conflict with an armed hostile force in the Republic of Vietnam: Captain Carlson distinguished himself by exceptionally valorous actions on 19 June 1969 as troop commander during a reconnaissance-in-force operation.
When the troop came under fire from a well-concealed enemy force, he immediately led his men in an assault on the hostile fortifications.
Realizing that the crossfire was impeding the movement of his troop, he single-handedly assaulted and destroyed the most strategic hostile position.
He then directed his fire against another enemy position, silencing it with hand grenades and rifle fire. Spotting a wounded comrade lying exposed to the enemy barrage, Captain Carlson braved the fusillade to move the man to safety.
He then returned to the center of conflict to evacuate another casualty. As he returned to his vehicle, he was knocked to the ground by a rocket-propelled grenade which rendered his command vehicle inoperative.
Braving a hail of fire to reach another vehicle, he resumed control of his troop. It was while he was directing this assault on the enemy that he was mortally wounded by enemy fire. Captain Carlson’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty, at the cost of his life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.
Joint Effort Smashes NVA
The NVA opened a drive for Tay Ninh City on June 18 and 19. In an apparant attempt to take the provincial capital and ancient commercial center, the communists initiated several intense military flare-ups.
An attack on Fire Support Base Washington was launched against the 3d Battalion, 22d Infantry and 1st Battalion, 27th Artillery, while a three-pronged attack to the south engaged elements of the 4th Battalion, 23d Infantry; 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry; and 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry.
Lightning forces surrounding Tay Ninh were ready. Washingtons defenders shrugged off all attacks, and the menace south of Tay Ninh turned into a rout of the befuddled NVA.
FSB HAMPTON - An attempted ambush of a 3d Squadron, 4th Cavalry convoy brought the Raiders into action against an element of the 271st NVA Regiment four miles south of Tay Ninh; 98 enemy were killed.
When the convoy was hit, Charlie Troop sent its 2d and 3d platoons to the assistance of the vehicles, leaving the 1st Platoon to guard the night defensive position.
OPENING THE affair by firing an RPG in the track of the lead armored personnel carrier, the enemy showered the Cav with automatic weapons fire and RPG rounds.
Attacking the U-shaped ambush, the Cav found the ambush closed behind and had to fight its way back out, literally backing over the NVA - the 11th Gold Star Regiment is about 30 per cent female - on the way.
After the 1st platoon was brought up, the damaged vehicles were sent back to Fire Support Base Hampton with the convoy, using the 3d platoon for an escort.
BACK TO THE assault went the 1st and 2d platoons. They backed off slightly, called in artillery, and charged in again. In this assault the command track was hit, killing the commander of Charlie Troop and wounding his second in command.
Specialist 4 Fred Ogas of El Paso, Tex., found himself in command, and he maneuvered the troop for the rest of the day.
Meanwhile Bravo Troop was moving to the sound of the guns to aid Charlie Troop. Eventually both troops fell back into a night defensive position.
One Sheridan of its 1st platoon was hit by seven RPGs but was still providing flank security.
CO Killed, SP4 Honchos Troop of 3/4 Horsemen
Specialist 4 Fred Ogas of El Paso, Texas, took command of Charlie Troop, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry in action Thursday afternoon, in a tradition as old as the cavalry itself.
In the midst of an attempted ambush by the D-1 Battalion, Gold Star Regiment against the Three-Quarter Cavalry Troop, the commanding officer of the troop was killed and the lieutenant next in command severely wounded.
Ogas, thrown clear of the command track by the explosion, quickly assessed the situation, scrambled to his feet and by hand signals reorganized the unit. Specialist Ogas had until that moment been operating as the command track controller, and as such possessed a clear understanding of the overall deployment of the troop.
He grabbed the radio and contacted the Squadron Commander, LTC Robert S. McGowan, who was flying overhead in his C-and-C ship.
He just reported that he had pulled the troop into formation and was ready for orders, said McGowan. I told him he was doing a fine job and to keep it up. That was the change of command ceremony.