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"The Vietnam War: Our Stolen History, from the files of Andy P. O'Meara Jr."
By Andrew P. O’Meara, Jr.
August 6. 2011
It is ancient history now, but the scars of the spirit are as fresh as if it happened yesterday. I suppose the failure was inevitable.
I knew I was not qualified to be the Intelligence Officer of a Cavalry Regiment. I had served as the assistant operation officer of the V Corps Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol Company (Airborne) in Germany (click on title to read remainder of article)
By Andrew P. O’Meara, Jr.
Col. Andrew O’Meara, will be giving a speech at The American Legion Chapter of Monks Corner, South Carolina. He was asked to provide remarks honoring our fallen heroes at their ceremony on Memorial Day.
Ladies and Gentlemen, my fellow Veterans: It is an honor to address you on this day of remembrance. The men and women we honor today share bonds that link them with one another, but also with the men and women of earlier generations, who served in defense of liberty.
Ours is a nation born in defense of liberty and equality – concepts once viewed as revolutionary. The American commitment to liberty has characterized our people from the earliest settlements on our shores.
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Part Two: Selected Works
Leadership takes many forms, both good and
bad. Good leaders in the profession of arms are those who accomplish the
mission, while providing for the needs of their troops. Bad leaders display
character defects, which can generally be summed up as going into business for themselves. Such leaders sacrifice those under their command to gain promotions and the favor of their superiors – often referred to as climbing over the bodies of their subordinates to gain promotions. Leaders at lower levels of command have less influence and consequently their decisions – both good and bad – have less potential for achieving success or conversely harming the Armed Forces. Those at the highest levels of command have the authority, if used improperly, to inflict grave harm upon the military services. Students of military eadership study techniques of good leadership and the campaigns of superb eaders to instill a fundamental grounding in the art of leadership best suited to achieve the mission of the unit and provide for the needs of their subordinates.
Good leaders may not always succeed in
building harmonious relationships with their superiors. Some great leaders are known for pursuing objectives contrary to views held by higher commanders, jeopardizing their personal standing when necessary to gain victory. Others leaders in positions of great responsibility gained notoriety for poor judgment, incompetence and refusal to accept advice from subordinates closer to the action and in a better position to appreciate the battlefield situation. The following works seek to demonstrate the art of leaderships and the incompetence or unethical behavior of bad leaders.
By Andy O’Meara
The Commander of the Air Cavalry Troop made several false insertions around an enemy village. He was accompanied by lift ships of the Aero Rifle Platoon to simulate an air assault.
After alerting the enemy of an imminent ground assault he landed his Command and Control (C&C) chopper in the center of the road leading into a large enemy village we knew as Chan Luu.
The name appeared on our maps. The French had given the name to a long abandoned train station on the rail line that paralleled Highway 13.
Colonel G. S. Patton, III, son the legendary commander of Third Army in World War II, stepped out of the chopper and headed down the center of the main road in the village. He was armed with only his .357 magnum revolver, which was holstered.
I carried an M16 and 45 caliber side arm. We looked straight ahead. There were no signs of life in the village.
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By Andrew P. O’Meara, Jr.
Colonel, United States Army, Retired
Sept 1, 2011
The following events occurred in South Vietnam during the summer of 1968.
The combat action had a history of bad blood. Following the assumption of command of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment by Col. George S. Patton, III, the Regiment earned a reputation for hard fighting based upon a series of victories over the North Vietnamese Army.
The success of the Regiment caused resentment by Patton’s peers, principally the 1st Brigade Command of the 1st Infantry Division.
Regimental intelligence reports identified contacts with the Dong Ngai Regiment, formerly a Viet Cong unit that suffered massive casualties during the Tet Offensive.
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by Garnett “Bill” Bell
“No event in American history is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now. Rarely have so many people been so wrong about so much. Never have the consequences of their misunderstanding been so tragic.” (Nixon)
“Psychologists or sociologists may explain some day what it is about that distant monochromatic land, of green mountains and fields merging with an azure sea, that for millennia has acted as a magnet for foreigners who sought glory there and found frustration, who believed that in its rice fields and jungles some principle was to be established and entered them only to recede in disillusion.” (Henry Kissinger, White House Years, 1979. Reminiscing about Vietnam)
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by Andrew P. O’Meara, Jr., United States Army, Retired
The following observations on inspirational leadership are excerpted from remarks delivered at a graduation ceremony at the Armor School in November 1982.
In the 18th Century Lord St. Vincent observed that responsibility is the test of a man’s courage. One of the finest examples of courage and capacity to accept responsibility was provided by Robert E. Lee in July 1863 at Gettysburg. The Confederate attack on the Union Center on 3 July 1963 – known as Pickett’s charge – was composed of three divisions of nine brigades. The divisions were commanded by Pickett, Pettigrew and Trimble.Their combined forces numbered 11,000 men. They were joined by Wilcox’s and Lane’s brigades, bringing the total number of men in the attack to 12,500 men.
The attack was intended to penetrate the center of the Union position. Sixty percent of the attacking force was lost in the attack. Thirty of the thirty-eight regimental flags that came within musket range of the stone wall that marked the Union position were captured. Prior to the attack, the Confederate campaign was recognized as a major threat to Washington. The Confederate States of America were at high tide. The Union cause and its Army under Meade’s command were in grave danger.
As the tide broke and the survivors returned in disorder across the wide valley separating the two armies, Lee’s Army, the Army of Northern Virginia, was now in serious danger. The roles of the two forces were reversed. The attacker now ran a serious risk of being destroyed on Northern soil. More than an attack had failed. The cause of the Confederacy had taken a turn for the worse from which it would never recover. Lee’s hopes had been high as he invaded Maryland and Pennsylvania. He anticipated victory as the soldiers of Pickett’s, Pettigrew’s and Trimble’s Division assaulted Cemetery Hill. He observed the attack and saw it break against the union center. He moved among the survivors as they streamed back across the valley. He understood the meaning of their failure to break through the Union center. His words help us to understand the meaning of the word responsibility