Rules of engagement for individual soldiers in vietnam

The ROEs that were in place for the Rolling Thunder air campaign were overly restrictive and made the conduct of the air campaign inefficient and hampered its effectiveness. The air war over North Vietnam has been at the center of many heated debates on the proper application of air power and how it should be used and controlled. Rolling Thunder provides an excellent example of how difficult the task of planning and executing a successful air campaign is.

Rules of engagement for individual soldiers in vietnam

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From on, the Vietcong and North Vietnamese Army, with notable exceptions, were mostly content to simply wait us out. One good example of the frustration experienced by American soldiers is described in the novel CW2, by Layne Heath.

The Rules of Engagement got increasingly restrictive as the war went on, and politicians and military leaders began to try and "Vietnamize" the war by putting American troops in less offensive operations.

Heath, who spent three tours in country flying Huey helicopters and Kiowa scouts, details how towards the end of the war they were not allowed to shoot unless fired upon.

He would deliberately make his aircraft vulnerable to ground fire so they could report being shot at and counterattack.

To him it seemed an unnecessary risk for troops who were clearly at war. He also discusses that in some cases they were forced to call in for approval to fire on suspected Vietcong, then watch as they escaped while waiting for approval from base.

As the post above says, it was very much like fighting with one hand behind your back, and had to be the ultimate in frustration for a soldier.Rules of engagement (ROE) are the internal rules or directives among military forces (including individuals) that define the circumstances, conditions, degree, and manner in which the use of force, or actions which might be .

white American soldiers, according to black vernacular rack bed or cot rallier defector from the Viet Cong Rules of Engagement Most enlisted men who had completed their individual training and had been on duty for a few months were Spec-4s.

Probably the most common rank in the Vietnam-era Army. The Army operates with applicable rules of engagement (ROE), conducting warfare in compliance with international laws and within the condition specified by the higher commanders. Army forces apply the combat power necessary to ensure victory through appropriate and disciplined use of force.

A great majority of the individual soldiers that saw combat in Vietnam were drafted and had no legal recourse to avoiding this duty.


Rules to such a fight seen at this level were seen as temporary rule changes to normal life. All Soldiers receive baseline rules of engagement/escalation of force training during their initial entry training.

Rules of engagement for individual soldiers in vietnam

At their units of assignment, Soldiers receive Law of War and rules of engagement, training annually and prior to deployment. []. The Military Law Review has been published quarterly at The Judge Advocate General’s School, Rules of Engagement for Land Forces: A Matter of Training, lem of imparting rules engagement (ROE) to individual soldiers .

Chapter 8 Rules of Engagement