SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)
A gold color metal and enamel insignia 1 3/16 inches in height consisting of a disc equally divided by three radiating partition lines, the upper line vertical, white, gray and black, the disc beneath a gold scroll inscribed POTESTAS PERSUASIONIS in black letters and above a gold wreath of ten laurel leaves, the top leaves surmounting the scroll; overall a gold equilateral triangle with concave sides and one point up bearing three red tongues of flame conjoined at the center and radiating toward each angle of the triangle.
POTESTAS PERSUASIONIS (Power of Persuasion)
The flame stands for light and wisdom; its three tongues point toward the three areas of propaganda with which the Battalion works. These areas are represented by the white, gray and black portions of the disc. The white color stands for acknowledged, true propaganda, the gray for propaganda emanating from a source not identified, and the black for propaganda from a source other than the truth. In addition, the flame, a symbol of unceasing activity and of good will, alludes to the continuous efforts of the organization to win hearts as well as minds by persuasion and truth. The triangle is a version of the Greek letter delta; it stands for the Mekong Delta where the 10th Psychological Operations Battalion was activated and served during the Vietnam conflict. The triangle is also a symbol of the psychological operations technique, i.e., the introduction of the first small point of an idea (represented by the apex), and its subsequent enlargement and widening (represented by the base). The colors gold and red are taken from the national flag of the Republic of Vietnam. They stand for excellence and courage and refer to Vietnam and to the Battalions activation and service in that country. The wreath of laurel leaves refers to victory achieved by persuasion. The leaves are ten in number in allusion to the Battalions numerical designation. Background: The distinctive unit insignia was authorized on 25 November 1968.
Shield: Vertical, above a wreath of ten laurel leaves, a roundel tierced in pairle reversed Argent, Gray and Sable fimbriated Or superimposed by a triangle with concave sides of the last charged with three tongues of flame conjoined Gules.
That for the regiments and separate battalions of the Army Reserve: From a wreath, the Lexington Minute Man Proper. The coat of arms was authorized on 16 April 1996.
The Actual Minute Man statue
10th Psychological Operations Battalion Flag
10th PSYOP Battalion Challenge Coin
The 10th PSYOP Battalion has a long and honored history starting with its formation in Vietnam.
19th PSYOP Company shoulder patch
The story of the Battalion starts with the 19th PSYOP Company that was activated at Ft. Bragg N.C. as part of the 3rd Special Forces Group on 10 August 1962. It deployed to the Dominican Republic during Operation Power Pack in 1965. On 19 November 1966 it was deployed to Can Tho Vietnam as part of the 6th PSYOP Battalion to provide advice and support to military units and agencies in the Mekong Delta in IV Corps Tactical Zone.
The three commanders of the short-lived 19th PSYOP Company were: Captain Blaine Revis (November 1964 to September 1965); Captain Howard F. Gregory (October 1965 to October 1966); and Major James T.L. Dandridge, II (March 1966 to September 1967).
In the first nine months in Vietnam, the 19th PSYOP Company participated in 26 operations, produced 12 million leaflets, and distributed 450 million national leaflets. Personnel took part in 1,500 aerial missions and conducted over 400 hours of aerial loudspeaker broadcasts.
The 6th PSYOP Battalion Operational Report for Quarterly Period Ending 31 October 1967 mentions the 19th PSYOP Company and says in part:
During the reporting period 217,522,500 leaflets were disseminated by air and other means. Of this total 12,865,000 were printed by this company. 210 hours of aerial loudspeaker messages were broadcast.
The 19th PSYOP Company continues to render psychological operations support to the 2nd Brigade, 9th Infantry Division (U.S.). Psychological operations support to the Riverine force of this Brigade, Initiated during the last quarter in the III Combat Tactical Zone, has proven extremely successful.
This unit has field teams supporting all three of the South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) Divisions in the IV Combat Tactical Zone. They are the 7th Infantry Division at My Tho, the 9th Infantry Division at Sa Dec and the 21st Infantry Division at Bac Lieu. In addition, the 19th has field teams attached to the 244th, 245th and 246th PSYOP Companies.
River operations have been initiated in the 7th ARVN Infantry Division Tactical Area utilizing two two-man speaker teams and a UHI-5 sneaker set from the 403rd ARVN PSYOP Company which is mounted on U.S. Navy PBR's of Task Force 186. Operating out of My Tho, the PBR's broadcast Information programs to Civilian River traffic by day and harass known Viet Cong units by night, varying movements and areas. Information gained from a Hoi Chanh who rallied because of the broadcasts Indicates that Viet Cong cadre are furious because of the effectiveness of night boat and aircraft broadcasts. These Hoi Chanh were used to record messages to their friends which were in turn played back by the PBR's.
Although command of the four tactical companies lay with the commander of the 6th PSYOP Battalion, operational control lay with the four major area commanders in the Corps zones. During this period, the Joint U.S. Public Affairs Office (JUSPAO) had numerous United States Information Agency (USIA) representatives operating throughout the country. These civilians maintained close contact with the four tactical companies within the 6th PSYOP Battalion.
0-2B Skymaster in Vietnam on its way to drop leaflets
In late 1966, the USAF selected a military variant of the Cessna Model 337 Super Skymaster to supplement the 0-1 Bird Dog forward air controller aircraft then operating in Southeast Asia. Designated as the 0-2, the aircraft was distinguished by twin tail booms and tandem-mounted engines. Having twin engines enabled the 0-2 to absorb more ground fire and still return safely, endearing it to its crews. The 02-A had hard points on the wings for weapons and rockets. The 02B had no weapons but was designed to carry loudspeakers and disseminate propaganda leaflets. The photograph was taken by photographer Richard N. Levine who took enemy fire on this mission.
The 0-2B depicted on the cover of the PSYOP Newsletter dropping leaflets
The Wall That Heals
Bob McGaughey near his building, attacked by Viet Cong Sappers
In August 2018, I was asked by the Todd Faulkner, host of the WPSD TV news-series The Wall that Heals if I could help with a story they were doing about the traveling replica of the Vietnam Wall coming to Paducah, Kentucky. Bob McGaughey, a former member of the 19th PSYOP Company in Vietnam was being interviewed and they needed images of the leaflets he would discuss. I gave permission for the TV station to use the images.
The Vietnam Safe Conduct Pass Bob Dropped
Bob explained that he served in Vietnam from October 1966 to October 1967; that he had taken part in about 60 PSYOP missions in Vietnam and almost been killed twice. About the operations Bob said about the operations:
Ill tell you what we did in Viet Nam: You had leaflet and loud speaker units, you had a printing unit. Teams of people printed small leaflets to drop by plane over enemy territory.
Mainly, we had something called Chieu Hoi. These were little leaflets that said Come in, surrender now and you should not be with the Viet Cong. And with them, we had whats called Safe Conduct Passes that were red, white and blue with some yellow on them. They were the Safe Conduct. So, they could show this and say Chieu Hoi and come in, they wouldnt be shot. They would be accepted on that.
As for close calls, Bobs pilot was hit in the leg in their small aircraft while on a leaflet dropping mission and a Viet Cong sapper used a satchel charge to try and blow up his building in Can Tho. They took out a wall but Bob was not there that night.
150,000 copies of this leaflet were produced at the request of the 3rd Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division. The theme is: We Come as Friends. The leaflets were designed to be airdropped and targeted the civilians in the 9th Infantry Division area of operation.
The text on the front is:
9th Infantry Division
The text on the back is:
Units of the 9th US Infantry Division have come to Dinh Tuong Province at the request of the Government of the Republic of Viet Nam for the purpose of helping the Vietnamese maintain their independence and protecting their freedom.
The presence of American forces will not interfere with the lives and property of the people. They will not obstruct farming or freedom of commerce of the people. American soldiers have come to help annihilate the Viet Cong; to prevent the VC from killing and taking peoples property.
You are urged to cooperate with the Americans to discover and block each cunning plot of the Viet Cong. You are urged to leave each time the Viet Cong come to your locality and report to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam or the Allies the positions and installations of the Viet Cong.
Stand still when you see American units on an operation; carry your identification card; and respect the curfew in your area.
This leaflet depicts American soldiers helping the Vietnamese people with supplies and medical care. 50,000 of these leaflets with the theme of Cooperation were prepared to be handed to civilians in the 9th Infantry Division area of operation.
The text on the front is:
Your true government wishes to help you, its people
You are its people! Support your Republic of Vietnam
The message on the back is:
SUPPORT YOUR TRUE GOVERNMENT
Your true Government is daily improving life for its people with more food, clothing, better roads, schools for your children and more and better medical facilities. With the aid of the US and 42 other free nations, your government is speedily bringing a fuller, richer life for all.
100,000 copies of this black and white leaflet were produced by the 19th PSYOP Company at the request of the 3rd Brigade of the 9th Infantry Division. It targeted Viet Cong in their area of operation. The front uses a death card motif and depicts an ace of spades on a skill with the text:
Viet Cong! This is a sign of death!
The back depicts a dead Viet Cong fighter and the text:
Continue your struggle against the National cause and YOU will surely die a mournful death like this!
This leaflet depicts three ships. It was printed by the 19th PSYOP Company; deployed to Can Tho, Vietnam, 19 November 1966 to provide advice and support in IV Corps. The top picture is a standard PBR. The same picture appears on poster 1763. The boat at lower left is probably a Command Control Boat (CCB). The boat at lower right is unidentified but may be a Landing Craft Personnel or Higgins Boat. As the war neared its end, the United States turned over most of its small boats to Vietnam. It shows the Republic of Vietnam flag and the hull number GC 407. Some of the text is:
TO THOSE FRIENDS WHO ARE STILL WITH THE VIET CONG
The patrolling water-craft on the Mekong delta are for:
Helping citizens to travel the waterways easier
Giving the Viet Cong cadres less chances to escape
This 30 May 1968 leaflet targeting the people of Vinh Binh tells of the Viet Cong drafting young children and forcing them to join the guerrillas. The message is powerful. 200,000 copies of the leaflet were printed and distributed by aircraft. The image depicts an armed Viet Cong fighter taking a male child from his family against their wishes. Some of the text on the back is:
To the people,
The stubborn Viet Cong have fallen into a state of dissolution after they were defeated very badly on every battlefield. To replace the casualties who were killed in operations by the Republic of Vietnam Army and the Allied Forces, they forced youths into the Viet Cong ranks and sent them to the front. Children from 15 to 16 years old were also forced to join. They increasingly stole grain and money from the people to support their own strength and they continue to create much mourning in our country…
This leaflet is in a cartoon style and depicts a farmer being drafted by the Viet Cong, lectured, then having second thoughts and informing on the Communists. In the final picture he is shown with his happy family holding presents in one hand and cash in the other. He was amply rewarded for informing on the guerrillas. Since there is no text on this leaflet and it is written in a cartoon style it would clearly seem to be for those Vietnamese who could not read. The message is still very clear.
Full Uncut Sheet of Camel Path Leaflets
Since U.S. operations in Cambodia were secret. the operation was called Camel Path. leaflets were all printed at the same time and not mixed with other leaflets for Vietnam proper. On this sheet I see CP-03A, CP-05A, CP-06A, CP-08A, CP-09, CP-55A, CP-1387A, and R-2. This is an interesting mix. The seven A leaflets all seem to be additional, or leaflets that bear some text or images in common with leaflets to Vietnam. So even though these were classified secret, apparently they stole much of the propaganda from standard leaflets for Vietnam. The R-2 is even more interesting. It is a scrap leaflet designed to fill in an empty place on the sheet so the printers get full value out of every sheet.
To give an example of the way the leaflets were prepared and dropped I note from a leaflet order sent to the 7th group for a mix of six Camel Path leaflets ordered in November 1967 for dissemination in January 1968. The leaflets are CP-02, 08A, 09, 10, 55A, and 1389A. All are black and white and sized 3 x 6-inches. 5 million of each was ordered. They would be placed in a mix and dropped together. The leaflets were forwarded to the respective PSYOP companies. 15,000,000 were for 245th PSYOP Company in Pleiku, 10,000,000 for the 246th PSYOP Company in Bien Hoa and 5,000,000 for 19th PSYOP Company in Can Tho.
On 1 December 1967, due to the increasing need for more PSYOP personnel, the 6th PSYOP Battalion was redesignated the 4th PSYOP Group; the 244th PSYOP Company was redesignated the 7th PSYOP Battalion; the 245th PSYOP Company was redesignated the 8th PSYOP Battalion; and the 19th PSYOP Company was redesignated the 10th PSYOP Battalion.
10th PSYOP Battalion - IV Corps Tactical Zone - Can Tho
Commanding General, Delta Military Assistance Command (DMAC), IV Corps Tactical Zone; Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support (CORDS); 9th Infantry Division; Naval Forces, Vietnam; 40th POLWAR Battalion (Vietnamese Army); Company D, 5th Special Forces Group; Military Assistance Command, Vietnam (MACV) Advisory teams.
Major Ed Rouse asked me to write this story in 2018, and I started from scratch looking over all my files. What I did not see was a brief introduction to this battalion that I wrote in 1980. It still looks accurate so I will add it now:
In IV Corps, the 10th PSYOP Battalion was formed from the 19th PSYOP Company at Can Tho, where it operated until it departed Vietnam on 16 April 1971. The 10th maintained 15 field units in IV Corps: Bac Lieu; Ben Tre; Ca Mau; Cao Lanh; Chau Doc; Dong Tam; Go Cong; Long Xuyen; Moc Hoa; My Tho; Rach Gia; Sa Dec; Soc Trang; Tra Vinh and Vinh Long. Headquarters had four printing presses that could produce three-color leaflets in runs of about 100,000. Larger orders were usually printed by the 7th PSYOP Group on Okinawa. The 10th flew five or more leaflet-drop missions a day, often using C-47 aircraft.
In 1967, the 4th PSYOP Group published a 13-page report titled 4th Psychological Operations Group Republic of Vietnam. The report explained the mission of the Battalions:
The battalion mission in each corps tactical zone is two-fold; first, to provide psychological support to all U.S. combat units. This support includes the use of field teams equipped with powerful ground loudspeakers and audio-visual equipment. Habitually operating with front-line fighting units, loudspeaker teams provide close support to tactical operations and are highly successful in this role. Secondly, the battalions are required to support non-military pacification or internal development programs. For example, they employ audio-visual Jeepsters in support of revolutionary development, civic action and medical aid projects and programs throughout Vietnam. The latter role appears to be an ever-increasing one for the 4th PSYOP Group. Field teams of the Group have been part of every major combat operation in Vietnam since February 1966, including Operations Cedar Falls, Byrd, Hastings and Manhattan. The battalions work closely with the Air Force 14th Special Operations Wing, elements of which are co-located with the PSYOP Battalions. The Special Operations Squadrons fly leaflet and loudspeaker missions which are requested and targeted by the battalions.
The 10th PSYOP Battalion’s own files give its version of their origin:
Constituted 7 November 1967 in the regular Army as the 10th PSYOP Battalion, the Battalion was activated 1 December 1967 for service in Vietnam. The 10th POB operated in the southern Mekong Delta region of the Republic of Vietnam’s in the IV Corps Tactical Zone headquartered at Can Tho. The 10th supported such diverse programs in South Vietnam as encouraging defection and surrender in the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army ranks, informing the citizenry about South Vietnam Government programs, and in building unity.
The 10th PSYOP Battalion was among the units supporting Operation Roundup during a three-month period in the fall of 1970. Operation Roundup, conducted in Kien Hoa province, and “Project Falling Leaves” in Kien Giang Province produced a tremendous increase in the surrender of enemy personnel. In both provinces enemy strength was high, morale was good and both areas had been held by the Viet Cong since 1954. The program saturated enemy controlled towns, villages, and hamlets with a stream of PSYOP material to encourage enemy troops to rally the South Vietnam Government forces, especially as military pressure was applied. They did, and in exceptionally large numbers.
10th PSYOP Battalion Officers Club - Can Tho - 1968
Photo by William Ruzin
Reveille at the 4th PSYOP Group Cruz Compound on Pham Ngu Lao Street in Saigon.
The Cruz Compound was located at 16 Pham Ngu Lao Street in the Saigon rail yards. Staff Sergeant Pedro A. Cruz was a member of the 19th PSYOP Company (later the 10th PSYOP Battalion) who was killed by enemy fire in May, 1967, while continually placing himself in danger to keep a loudspeaker transmitting in support of the 101st Airborne Division. He was awarded the Bronze Star with V device for valor. The 4th PSYOP Group Headquarters was named the Cruz Compound shortly afterwards.
1st Lieutenant James "Nick" Rowe
On October 29, 1963, Special Forces Officer 1st Lieutenant James "Nick" Rowe was one of several Special Forces advisors assisting the Vietnamese government in the training, equipping and employment of the Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG) forces. The team (Detachment A-23) left their camp at Tan Phu for the village of Le Coeur. Along the way they ran into an ambush and Rowe was captured. For 62 months, Rowe battled dysentery, beriberi, fungal diseases, and grueling psychological and physical torment. Each day he faced the undermining realization that he might be executed, or worse, kept alive, but never released. His home was a wooden cage, three feet by four feet by six feet in dimension. His bed was a sleeping mat. In spite of all this, Rowe was a survivor. From the start of his capture, he began looking for ways to resist his captors while he could make plans for his escape. Rowe made several unsuccessful escape attempts which only resulted in furthering angering his captors. Finally in December 1968, his captors had had enough with his refusal to accept the communist ideology and his continued escape attempts; Rowe was scheduled to be executed.
On 31 December 1968, while away from the camp in the U Minh forest, Rowe took advantage of a sudden flight of American helicopters. He struck down his guards, and ran into a clearing where the helicopters noticed him and rescued him, still clad in black prisoner pajamas.
Nick Rowe's Leaflet 10-070-69
Stanley Sandler says in Cease Resistance: It's Good for You: A History of U.S. Army Combat Psychological Operations, 1999:
The experience of one Special Forces Office, Lt. James 'Nick' Rowe, formed the basis for at least one US PSYOP leaflet. Rowe had been held in a Viet Cong bamboo cage for no less than five years, but just before his escape he had noticed that his captors were confused and bewildered because their old sanctuaries were being invaded by what had been dismissed by their cadres as 'weak' United States and Government of Vietnam forces. Many of them would have liked to give up the struggle but were afraid of being killed while trying to defect. A leaflet was quickly printed up with a message from Lt. Rowe reassuring his former captors that they would be welcomed and treated decently.
Eighteen hours after his escape, 100,000 copies of a leaflet in Rowe's own handwriting were dropped over the U Minh Combat Zone offering a reward of 600,000 $VN and fair treatment to anyone bringing more American prisoners to the Government Zone. The text of the leaflet read:
To Fighters and Cadre in This Area
I am First Lieutenant Rowe. On 31 December 1968 I was liberated by American and ARVN forces. I am now in a hospital feeling very good, and have met with my friends. I miss you and want you to also be treated well, instead of being shot down on the field. In these past few days I saw this clearly: the information I received in prison about the war, about the troop morale of RVN and American soldiers, about the victory of the Liberation troops, is completely untrue.
At the present time it is clear that RVN soldiers are ready to fight, American helicopters are powerful, and you cannot win. I appeal to you to surrender when you see RVN soldiers or American helicopters. Don't be afraid of being beaten or shot to death. I promise you that you will be treated well and you will be provided a mosquito net, clothes, food, etc. You allowed me to live and now I want you to live. If you bring more American prisoners to the Government Zone, you will be awarded 600,000 $VN and be treated very well.
Lieutenant Rowe documented his POW experience in a book titled Five Years to Freedom. He also went on to attain the rank of Colonel and became a legend in the world of Special Forces. For more information on Colonel James "Nick" Rowe click here.
Chieu Hoi Image Projected on to Low-hanging Clouds
The 10th PSYOP Battalion was involved in some very modernistic and experimental programs in Vietnam. There were experiments in Vietnam in 1968 where a C-47 aircraft was used to project messages on the underside of clouds. Bill Tyner, former S3 (Operations) Air Liaison officer of the 10th PSYOP Battalion in Vietnam told me:
Everyone remembers the old Batman TV show from around the mid-1960s. Someone in our Propaganda Development Center thought that the idea of a bat signal was a good one that could be used in psychological operations. He thought that we might be able to take a transparency and place it into a projector, turn on the intense illumination and manipulate the focusing lens, and then project an image out great distances. He envisioned using such symbols as Chieu Hoi (open Arms) or the flag of the Republic of Vietnam.
Once the projector and transparencies were prepared and ready I had to obtain a power source to run to run the high-wattage projector lamp. An Army 3.5 kilowatt generator set was obtained and placed in our loudspeaker (Gabby) C-47 aircraft. The commander of the 5th Special Operations Squadron was unhappy about that extra power source in his aircraft, but eventually he went along with the experiment.
The ideal clouds would be a low-hanging mattress blanket cloud cover, but in the Delta they were not all that common. On a less than ideal night Gabby took off and flew a mission provided by our S3 shop. We usually targeted large Viet Cong formations and I believe this was a suspected VC battalion. The illumination unit worked and the image was projected, but there was no way of determining how well it was seen without a prisoner to interview.
The next mission was over Vinh Long and our field team witnessed the projection and reported that it was blurry and not very effective. The problem was the transparency of the cloud cover. It was not dense enough, and on that particular mission the cloud cover was so low that it was extremely dangerous for the aircraft and the safety of the crew. Angels 3 was considered the nominal altitude for safe operation and the low cloud cover would bring Gabby within 1500 feet of the Viet Cong muzzles. That was simply not going to happen.
Still, even under those poor conditions there was an image. We had proven that the system should work under perfect conditions and had proven that messages could be projected onto low-floating clouds with the use of a projector and portable generator.
The operation itself proved a failure. After the second mission, some members of our staunch allies, the Army of Vietnam (ARVN's) were seen running off with our generator set from what had once been a locked storage shed at Binh Thuy Vietnamese Air Force Base. Without the power source all further missions were cancelled. Those spotlight missions were innovative and showed a great deal of originality and imagination, but unfortunately it would take a lot more to defeat the Viet Cong insurgency.
Curiously, this was not the first use of such an image projection. The British looked into such a program in March 1940, and 50 years later the U.S. Army considered a similar operation during Operation Desert Storm.
According to the Operations Report Lessons Learned Headquarters 10th Psychological Operations Battalion period ending 31 January 1968 dated 6 February 1968 the 10th PSYOP Battalion dealt with a group known as the KKK, a quasi-bandit guerrilla band of Cambodian extract operating along the Cambodian border in Chau Doc province. The KKK was organized in company and battalion levels and constituted a threat to the local government and administration by taxing the people and in some instances attacking villages and assassinating leaders. Between 24 December 1967 and 3 January 1968, 185 of these KKK bandits rallied to the GVN. An arrangement was worked out by province officials and they offered full Chieu Hoi type benefits to the KKK members although current GVN policy does not classify the KKK as being eligible. Seizing the possibility of influencing the KKK personnel of the 10th POB dispatched 2 field teams to the area to determine conditions and make leaflet and loudspeaker appeals.
A later Operational Report of Lessons Learned for the Quarterly Period ending 31 July 1968 of the 10th PSYOP Battalion mentions some of the Battalions achievements for that period:
During Operation Kon Tiki sealed plastic bags containing the rural magazine Hong Que, the newspaper Tu Do, propaganda leaflets, a Vietnamese flag, and small miscellaneous gifts were set adrift in Delta waterways leading into VC controlled areas. The objective of the operation was to overcome the measures employed by the VC to limit the effect of leaflet and loudspeaker propaganda. The operation was completed as planned. On 13 May 1968, from 0400 through 0615 hours, 153,000 plastic bags were disseminated. Area of dissemination included 43 points within 11 provinces. A total of 85 Navy PBRs participated in the operation. Following the distribution phase, aerial and ground observation teams were sent into the target area to determine if the bags were picked up. The observation teams reported no bags sighted.
Civil Operations for Revolutionary Development Support/Psychological Operations reported the operation may have contributed to the increased Chieu Hoi rate which followed the operation and continued for two weeks. A Hoi Chanh from Phong Dinh province, interrogated at the Phong Dinh Sector Chieu Hoi Canter, stated, I read a directive ordering me to inform the people in my area not to touch the bags because they were poisoned." He further stated he had not seen any of the bags in his area.
A propaganda “shopping Bag.”
The shopping bag coded 2274 has a Chieu Hoi symbol in the center and text below.
Please ask your relatives to return, so you can stop worrying about their lives.
A psychological operations campaign designated "Shopping Bag Campaign" has been developed. Small paper bags are to be over printed with propaganda messages and disseminated to market place venders. Goods purchased from the venders will be placed in the bags. The objective of the campaign is to infiltrate propaganda into VC infested areas. In support of the campaign the battalion has developed and printed Chieu Hoi and National Police messages:
Cooperate with the National Police
Chieu Hoi to a better way of life
A third theme is being developed to encourage participation in civil defense organizations. Initially, 60,000 bags (20,000 per theme) will be disseminated. Upon receipt of feedback indicating positive effectiveness, the battalion will continue to develop and print messages in support of the campaign.
C-47 Gooney Bird with Loudspeakers
The 10th flew 5 or more leaflet-drop missions per day, using two C47 aircraft and U-10 HelioCouriers. The USAF 5th SOS located at Binh Thuy Vietnamese Air Force Base had two C47 Gooney Birds plus six U-10 Super HelioCouriers. These were also used elsewhere in IV Corps. The unit was awarded the Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for Vietnam 1967-1968, and the Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for Vietnam 1967-1970.
A U.S. Float Containing a PSYOP Radio
Another interesting mission occurred in January 1968 when a study was completed and plans were formulated for a project to reach the population of tightly controlled Viet Cong areas by means of attractive waterproof jackets containing leaflets and brochures along with gifts (soap, thread and needles, tooth brushes, crayons, etc.) floated into the targeted areas by means of numerous canals and waterways of IV Corps. Arrangements were made with the Binh Thay Naval Base S5 (Civil Affairs) to supply the 10th POB with detailed intelligence of the targeted groups in the river target areas and a means of delivery. A search was made for a source of cellophane bags and a bag sealer.
A lieutenant who was involved told me that he had written to his wife at home asking for her to find the cellophane bags and a hot iron to seal them. He said that the project was not a success, sealing the bags produced only a marginal closure and some of them leaked.
The 10th PSYOP Battalion was involved with an experimental Chieu Hoi (Open Arms) sound tape. The 1969 document Employment of U.S. Army Psychological Operation Units in Vietnam says about Operation Tintinnabulation:
Operation Tintinnabulation was a new Propaganda technique being tested by the 10th PSYOP Battalion, in cooperation with the 5th Special Operations Squadron, was recently employed against two VC battalions. Tintinnabulation (which literally means the ringing of bells) involves two C-47 aircraft, one "Spooky" (minigun-equipped) and the other a "Gabby" (loudspeaker-equipped). During the initial phase, the Gabby employs a frequency pulsating noisemaker designed to harass and confuse the enemy forces during night hours, while the Spooky provides air cover. During the second phase, the harassing noisemaker continues, however, emphasis is given to use of Chieu Hoi tapes. The first phase is designed to eliminate the feeling that the night provides security to the target audience, while the second phase is designed to reinforce the enemys desire to rally. Targets for both phases are recommended based on the results of daytime ground operations.
During a recent operation in Vinh Long Province, a total of 24 missions were flown with over-the-target time of approximately 2 hours per aircraft. The number of Hoi Chanhs in the province more than tripled (122 in September to 379 in December), and ralliers stated that the effects of the night missions caused them to rally. The initial success of Operation Tintinnabulation suggested this concept should be considered for use in other areas.
A November 1968 report states that phase I of Operation Tintinnabulation ended on 14 November. A night operation, this phase utilized the C-47 aircraft and speaker system with the frequency pulsating generator (Noisemaker) and various tapes of eerie music designed to eliminate the feeling that the night provides security to the target audience. Phase II was initiated on 15 November and incorporates the use of loudspeaker and C-47 aircraft equipped with mini-guns to suppress ground fire. Specially designed tapes based on Hoi Chanh feedback are used in this phase. On 19 November, 16 Hoi Chanh rallied and 14 of them stated that the night loudspeaker gunship operations were a major factor in their decision to rally.
Armed Propaganda Teams
This official military photograph dated 8 October 1969 depicts a member of an Armed Propaganda Team placing JUSPAO propaganda poster 2680, Where is the Truth, to a hut in a small hamlet near Phan Thiet in southern II Corps. The faces on the poster are all former high-ranking VC officers who returned to the government under Chieu Hoi.
The 10th PSYOP Battalion worked with many Armed Propaganda Teams (APTs). U.S. policy proclaimed that the propaganda teams must be regularly committed to PSYOP missions and used in a size force required for the mission. The APT are best employed by platoon, or at the very least by squad. Company sided operations should not be overlooked. Every operation must accomplish specific tasks; a walk in the sun does not contribute to the pacification effort.
We also find mention of the best way to utilize the teams in Employment of US Army Psychological Operations Units in Vietnam, dated 7 June 1969. The booklet says that proper use of the Armed Propaganda Teams can be the most effective PSYOP medium directed against the enemy. Starting in December 1968, the 10th Psychological Operations Battalion employed PSYOP advisors with Armed Propaganda Teams in IV Corps Tactical Zone to assist in training. The unit reported that the VC contested or controlled areas provided the ideal environment for Armed Propaganda Team operations.
The security and ambush site may be maintained overnight to intercept Viet Cong members traveling to or from their hamlets. The 10th PSYOP Battalion reported that the Armed Propaganda Teams was the most effective PSYOP weapon in penetrating Viet Cong havens and striking at the enemy from within its own perimeter. Among the suggestions are: Armed Propaganda Teams should be used in the Viet Cong contested or controlled areas and should operate as a platoon size, highly mobile unit. The platoon should be divided into three squads with one squad designated to disseminate the PSYOP and two used for security purposes. The two security squads should be heavily armed to provide the protection essential for the conduct of face-to-face communications by the PSYOP squad.
The PSYOP squad should consist of ex-Viet Cong members who have rallied from that operational area. The PSYOP squad need not be heavily armed as its primary mission is to conduct face-to-face communications and to root out the Viet Cong infrastructure. The security squads and the American advisor should not enter the hamlets but establish security cordons and ambush sites near likely avenues of approach into the hamlet. Heavily armed personnel moving into a hamlet are considered detrimental to the work of the PSYOP squad. After security is established the PSYOP squad should visit door-to-door in the hamlet to talk with families and distribute propaganda material through face-to-face communication urging the family and friends of Viet Cong to encourage the insurgents to rally to the Government.
The Operational Report - Lessons Learned, Headquarters, 10th Psychological Operations Battalion, Period Ending 31 January 1970 tells of the onset of Vietnamization. The United States is preparing to pull out of Vietnam and every effort is being made to see that the Vietnamese military is trained and ready to take over the fight.
On 15 November 1969, redeployment of all field teams assigned to the 10th PSYOP Battalion was completed. Since that time, all tactical psychological operations in IV CTZ have been conducted by Vietnamese agencies with support being provided by this Battalion. Concurrent with the redeployment of the field teams the mission of the 10th PSYOP Battalion was changed. The mission now is:
“To support psychological operations of Vietnamese military and pacification programs. To process, evaluate, produce, and deliver communications material in support of these activities in IV Combat Tactical Zone.”
The Combined Psychological Operations Center (CPOC) has become the coordination center for PSYOP support in IV Combat Tactical Zone. In addition, this Center has the capability to coordinate quick-reaction missions. Two Quick Reaction Exploitation Teams, each consisting of an American and Vietnamese interrogator, have been formed and can be rapidly deployed to any location in IV Combat Tactical Zone. They are equipped with tape recorders and cameras to exploit any situation. When a team has been deployed, one 1250W press is readied to produce any propaganda which may be developed. Several of these missions have been received, processed, printed, or recorded, and disseminated within twenty-four hours.
The CPOC is staffed by Vietnamese PSYOP personnel from the 4Oth POLWAR Bloc, IV Combat Tactical Zone, 40th POLWAR Battalion, and members of the 10th PSYOP Battalion. Currently seventy-seven personnel, thirty-four Vietnamese and forty-three Americans, man the center which includes the printing plant. They work in the areas of Research and Analysis, Media Analysis, Media Production, Media Control, and Media Dissemination.
The CPOC is headed by a Vietnamese officer with an American officer as his deputy. The environment of the Center, in which Vietnamese and Americans work together, has provided opportunity for the ideas of both groups to interact. In this manner the Vietnamese are receiving training in all aspects of propaganda development. As their experience increases, the Vietnamese are assuming more responsibilities in each of the sections.
The CPOC, working with the PHOENIX (Phung Hoang) program, has developed a 1eaflett layout for depicting wanted members of the Viet Cong Infrastructure. These leaflets, which may be used as posters or two-sided handouts, are produced by the CPOC from information and photographs provided by province Phoenix personnel. The posters have been extremely successful. For example, shortly after the publication of a poster portraying ten wanted men, two of the individuals were arrested and three rallied.
Every province in IV Combat Tactical Zone now receives at least one leaflet and one loudspeaker mission each week. Assurance of this support is made possible by the joint scheduling of assets. The Vietnamese, under the guidance of US advisors, now fly 6O56 of the forty-six missions which the Center receives weekly. Prior to the forming of the Center, in October 1969, Vietnamese aircraft accounted for only 2856 of the missions flown.
Vietnamese soldiers from the 40th POLWAR Battalion have been trained in the procedures involved in the operation of the printing facility. Members of that unit have received training in fields including press operation, platemaking, varityping, and photography. The goal of this training is to prepare the Vietnamese to operate a printing plant comparable to that of the 10th PSYOP Battalion.
The Paper Bag Helicopter Leaflet Dissemination Process
The 10th Battalion has coordinated with the l64th Combat Aviation Group to carry Chieu Hoi leaflets on all helicopter gunships. The concept is to put a limited number of leaflets on an enemy position immediately following an attack by gunships. A new system of dissemination, utilizing paper bags, was developed. Experiments have proved that a 16-pound paper bag containing 1,500 leaflets is an ideal means of leaflet dissemination from a helicopter.
We Mention Operations “Round Up” and “Falling Leaves” above. Some more on those two operations in 1970:
ROUND UP. As enemy forces began to rally, some Viet Cong agreed to make special surrender leaflets directed at their comrades. The defector’s close-up picture was taken with a Polaroid camera and the rallier wrote and signed a simple message on a blank leaflet form. A photo plate was made of this layout, flown to Can Thi, and rush-printed by the PSYOP Operations Center. In a matter of hours, the leaflets were dropped on an enemy position pointed out by the rallier. This system was self-multiplying. As more rallied, more leaflets were made, and more Viet Cong rallied. Loudspeaker teams of former Viet Cong soldiers who had defected were sent back to their former unit area where they spoke to their comrades in the “bush.” Radio broadcasts were made over the Can Tho radio – the enemy liked that station – urging them by name and unit to rally. Ex-Viet Cong, now members of Armed Propaganda Teams returned to the enemy areas to move secretly among their former comrades and urge them, face-to-face to rally to the South Vietnam Government. More than 1400 enemy soldiers and political cadre came over to the government side.
FALLING LEAVES. In December 1970, the Army of Vietnam’s 21st Division began to clear the U Minh Forest. This region was under Viet Cong control since 1954. No friendly forces had entered the area since 1964. In January and February 1971, the area was leafleted, and loudspeakers were used, and the result was 554 Viet Cong rallied. In March, another 596 Viet Cong rallied. The 1,150 ralliers said in intensive interviews that it was PSYOP that induced them to surrender.
As I read through the operation records I see consistent mention of the unit closing down sections as part of Vietnamization. In a 25 May 1970 report I find:
The Media Production Section of the 10th PSYOP Battalion accomplished further Vietnamization. One entire shift of printers is now composed of Vietnamese Army personnel with Americans serving as their advisors. One half of the members of another shift are Vietnamese who have had less experience in the printing plant and require closer instruction and supervision by U.S. personnel.
General Westmoreland Inspects Leaflets being loaded into an M129E1 Leaflet Bomb
The Same M129E1 Leaflet Bomb loaded and ready to be airdropped
As I often say, the general policy of American PSYOP was not to show dead enemy bodies because it was considered unproductive. Still, it seems the PSYOP units could not help it. They believed that pictures such as the above terrified the enemy. In fact, most studies indicate that it just made them angry. The leaflet depicts a dead enemy body on the battlefield. The text on the back says in part:
To Viet Cong fighters in the remains of the 303rd U Minh and Tay Do Battalions:
On 8 December 1967 you were defeated by the powerful forces of the Republic of Vietnam armed forces. The battle took place near Vi Thanh and these are the consequences you had to suffer:
456 Communist soldiers were killed in the battle.
7 Communists were captured.
24 crew-served weapons and 106 individual weapons and much military material equipment and material were captured.
This leaflet depicts an American medic treating Vietnamese adults and children. It was produced by the 10th PSYOP Battalion and depicts an American medic bandaging the head of a Vietnamese child held by its mother. The text beneath the picture is:
The Government is looking after the peoples health in Song-Ong-Doc District.
The back is a long all-text message. Some of the comments are:
The American Vietnamese medical section looks after the peoples health in Song Ong Doc District. The treatment and medicine is free
They cure and provide medicine at the peoples home, give instructions and encourage people to practice personal hygiene in order to keep their good health and avoid dangerous diseases
These people are always ready to help you. If you get sick, dont hesitate, come and allow them to cure you.
It is interesting to note that this was one of the leaflets discussed in the Pacific Technical Analysis 1969 booklet Pretesting PSYOPS Leaflets in Vietnam. Some of the comments about this leaflet are:
A new leaflet, on the theme the Government of Vietnam image, intended for us on persons in Viet Cong-infiltrated and Viet Cong-controlled areas in III Corps, was pretested on 20 South Vietnamese Hoi Chanh (defectors from the Viet Cong). They rated leaflet 10-91-68 as just fair.
This leaflet depicts the aftermath of a Viet Cong attack. It asks:
Are destroyed homes the purpose of your struggle?
The back of the leaflet has three paragraphs of text. It says in part:
Brothers of our beloved Vietnam; why are you allowing yourselves to be used by those from the North? This terrible campaign which you have waged is destroying our country Do not permit the North Government to lay waste to our land. Do not help them in this unjust cause. Return to your government and help us return to the job of building our nation.
The very sad leaflet depicts what appears to be the son of a wounded Vietnamese seeing his father severely injured from a Viet Cong attack. The text is rather long so we will translate just a small part of the total message. The text on the front is:
The Viet Cong offers the peoples dead bodies as Tet donations to the Communist Party.
The back says in part:
Nobody is unaware of the Viet Congs killing innocent people and creating tragedy in Vietnam for the last 20 years. But nothing is as painful as the attack on hamlet 7, An-Truong Village, where the blood-thirsty VC killed many innocent civilians including 11 children, 16 men and women and wounded 35 others in their beds .The tragedy made the people perceive clearly the false intention of the Viet Cong of the so-called National Liberation Front. They rob and kill innocent people and their clique was proud of its great success.
In 1969 the Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense studied the effectiveness of U.S PSYOP leaflets in Vietnam. A sample of 1,757 Vietnamese was used to represent the target audience. They included the inhabitants of Viet Cong controlled areas, Hoi Chanh who had defected, and prisoners of war. The questions asked of the panels was the effectiveness of symbols, appeals both locally and national, and the vulnerability of certain groups. Leaflets were judged on a scale of very good, good, fair, bad, and very bad. One problem was to reduce the number of leaflets to a workable size. In this test, 798 leaflets were judged and the leaflets were reduced to 77. Unfortunately, the report did not explain why certain leaflets were good or bad. Leaflet 10-153-68 was rated VERY GOOD by the panel.
Leaflet SP-10-157-68 is a letter written from a mother to her beloved sons who are members of the Viet Cong. She expresses her sorrow and worries for the lives and future of her sons. Therefore, she tells them to come home. The text on the front is:
Dear children, while you are alone deep in the mountains, I sit in the afternoon and cry for your miserable fate. Your father and I feel a terrible pain and cry for your pitiful lives. I cry for our village, destroyed by the Viet Cong who burned and destroyed it in the last attack.
The text on the back is:
Children, every night your father and I pray to Buddha for you to be safe so you can soon return to us. If you die, who will we grow old with? Since the day you listened to the evil Viet Cong and left home, left us, your father and I have looked for news of you, but saw no news. Your grandmother, whenever she hears gunshots, sheds tears. Why have you been gone for so long and not come home?
Children, we were happy and sad when we heard the news that our friends have chased you away without mercy when you had nothing to eat in the past few days. We know that our friends do not hate children who are innocent, but they cannot tolerate and shelter you. We believe that you are young children who should enjoy the warm spring with your family. You should be given books to go to school like your neighbors rather than wandering around and not having enough food, and not having enough clothes to wear, or be resented and chased away wherever you go.
Children, who taught you to kill your aunts and uncles? Who taught you how to burn houses with torches, and to burn down the doors of your friends? Did you understand that the sly Viet Cong used their sweet talk to trick you into joining them as human shields to calm their fears of death?
So, right now, when you receive this letter, please throw away your guns and try to find a way to return to the National Government to see your family again, so we can be happy together in our old age.
We miss you,
Your father and I
A Fake Copy of the leaflet
What I found interesting about this leaflet is that it is one of the few Vietnam leaflets to be counterfeited. They really have no value, so I assume they were just made to sell to American tourists. The counterfeit is on a yellow paper and blank on the back. It also has an obvious watermark right behind the head of the standing Viet Cong at the left. The watermark on the forgery is Hammermill Bond.
This leaflet was produced by the 10th PSYOP Battalion in June 1968 in support of Vietnamese National Police operations. 200,000 leaflets were disseminated to the civilians in the Phong Dinh Province on the subject of informing the police about enemy movement and weapons. The front depicts police standing by a cache of enemy weapons. The text is:
The National Police are Determined to Protect People
Here, the weapons, explosives and hand grenades which the Viet Cong planned bringing into Can Tho City to kill people are shown.
People should closely cooperate with the National Police to destroy any plot of the so-called National Liberation Front.
The back is a very long all text propaganda message. I will translate a few lines:
By the peoples intelligence report of 9 May 1968, the Phong Dinh National Police cooperated with friendly forces and launched a mopping-up operation and overran the Viet Congs base. In the operation, the Phong Dinh National Police forces captured: 225 cakes of TNT explosives and detonators, 263 hand grenades, one B-41, one AK-47, and large quantities of ammunition and documents.
If it wasnt for the peoples cooperation, those weapons and ammunition would have been used by the Viet Cong and the people would have greatly suffered .
100,000 copies of this 5 x 8-inch all-text leaflet were prepared in June 1968 with the theme of exploiting the robbery of the Tinh Bien Monks by Viet Cong troops. The text in Cambodian is:
Let it be known that the Viet Cong are murderers. They killed defenseless innocent people and children.
At 2:00 a.m. on 8 May 1968, the Viet Cong came to Phu Huu hamlet, Kuan To village, Tinh Bien district and beat open the door of the Kirivong Temple and forced two monks to hand over 80,000 piasters before withdrawing in the direction of Mui Nhan.
On 25 May 1968, The Viet Cong placed a grenade in the middle of a rice field near Chan Ko hamlet, An Cu village, Tri Ton district. Two shepherd children stepped on the Viet Cong grenade, exploding it. It killed one child and seriously wounded the other. The wounded child was given first aid and brought to the Chau Doc hospital by U.S. Special Forces.
The despoilment of the temple property at Tinh Bien and the terrorism at Tri Ton by the Viet Cong roused the hatred and indignation of the people.
If you, the people, want to live happily with your religion and temples respected, you must unite and make the Viet Cong stop killing innocent people. The Viet Cong can threaten one or two people but will surrender before all the people in a hamlet.
When the Viet Cong is annihilated all the people will lead a calm life.
The Patch of the Vietnamese 14th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Division
Nation - Honor - Duty
It is well known that the U. S. PSYOP units supported both American and Vietnamese units. Here is a recruitment leaflet for the Vietnamese 14th Infantry Regiment, printed by the 10th PSYOP Battalion. We are used to fancy recruitment posters in the United States, such as Uncle Sam pointing at the reader with the words I Want You! 200,000 copies of this 30 September 1968 recruitment offer were printed at the request of Captain Le Lam of the 14th Regiment in Vinh Binh. It is far more subdued with no images or color. The front talks about the need for recruits and what they will do for their nation. The back tells the potential recruit about training, medical care, the Post Exchange, retirement after 15 years and pension. The text on the front is:
YOUNG MEN OF VIETNAM
Help to build a safe and secure country for you and your family. Join the 14th Infantry Regiment and you can serve with pride.
Dear young men: Today our country is plagues by Communist aggressors who halt our progress and peaceful lives. By serving with the 14th Infantry Regiment you can help to stop them and at the same time remain near your families and receive many benefits. Compare the wages of the 14th Infantry Regiment (Regular Forces) with those of the Regional Forces.
Enlisted Allowance 3,000 2,000 Wages for Single Man 3,400 3,100 Wife's allowance 882 700 Per child's allowance 782 630
There was a lot of discussion about this leaflet, and of course since the North took over the country no South Vietnamese soldier ever got his promised pension. One Vietnamese told me:
In theory, a draftee was in the military for 3 years, while a volunteer served for 15 years. The war went without any end in sight so no one was allowed to be discharged. It was common to see a father serving with his sons during that time.
I seldom add all-text leaflets because I believe that the reader prefers those with images. This 29 November 1968 leaflet is titled The Communists are your enemy. It targets civilians in Dinh Tuong Province and asks them to inform on Communists hiding in their villages. The Ninth Infantry Division asked that 50,000 copies of this leaflet be printed and dropped over the province. The text on the front is:
If the Communists are friends of the people, why do they use your hamlets to install their combat units to fight against Government forces and Allied troops? When they install mortars to fire from your hamlets, you cant avoid disaster when they are fired upon in return. The Communists are not your friends, but your enemies. You should inform on all their activities.
In July 1969 the 10th Battalion published a new weekly magazine with the title (in English) HAPPY LIFE. 10,000 copies were printed mostly targeting the RF. This leaflet advertises the new magazine and says:
HAPPY LIFE to publish every week.
The activities of the Army, people, and cadres in Kien Giang province.
This is a Chieu Hoi leaflet with the theme of “return to your families,” but I like it because of the strong images of the attack helicopter destroying the “Viet Cong.” 100,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text on the back is:
Viet Cong members,
In recent days, your comrades have been killed on the battlefield by the Republic of Vietnam armed forces helicopters. These helicopters will not spare you if you continue to hide yourselves to sabotage the people. You have a way to escape death. Rally and return to your families, where you will be taken care of by your loved ones.
10,000 copies of Poster 10-034-69 were printed in July 1968 to teach the Vietnamese farmers about rat control. The right side of the poster was illustrated, the left side all text. The message is:
To all Friendly Farmers of South Vietnam
Did you know?
That thousands of tons of metric rice are eaten by rats every year. That thousands of metric tons of secondary crops have been given to rats every year. That thousands of human lives have been snuffed out by the fleas brought in on rats backs.
Join the rat control campaign beginning right now in your province, district, village and hamlet.
Everyone join the rat control campaign. Use you rat-killing skills; fill your rice fields with rice.
Kill the rats to protect your crops and increase your production. Visit your Provincial Agricultural Cadre for information and material on the killing of rats.
The leaflet above teaches the Vietnamese about rat control. This leaflet is in regard to their health and teaches them about malaria. 20,000 copies of this leaflet titled Kill Mosquitoes and destroy their breeding places was ordered by CORDS for Phong Dinh province in July of 1968. The text on the front is:
This is another disease we get from a mosquito. The signs and symptoms are: a shaking chill and fever, headache, nausea (feels like vomiting), and a lazy feeling. This disease may be of long or short duration. If not treated, it will go away, and after three or four weeks one will have chills and fever, headache, nausea, and a lazy feeling again. If malaria is not treated by a doctor, it may cause death as it affects various parts of the body.
How to prevent malaria:
1. Drain and fill in places where water stands.
2. Destroy cans and everything that holds water.
3. Cooperate with malaria workers and have your house sprayed.
4. Use bed nets and screen windows and doors when possible.
5. Get anti-malaria tablets and take them.
6. See a doctor or go to a hospital clinic for treatment.
This satirical leaflet depicts a Viet Cong political cadre lying to his troops about Tet. He tells them of the great victory they had in 1967 while he hides the truth of their defeat. They attacked again in 1968, an attack that led to their death and destruction. Now they want to continue their useless attacks. One million copies of this leaflet were printed and dropped by air. The text on the front is:
Tet 1967 – Viet Cong offensive fails – thousands of Viet Cong killed.
The Communist leaders tell you that you are winning but the truth is you are being defeated.
The text on the back says in part:
While preparing for the general attack at Tet, your leaders told you that the people in the cities and the ARVN troops would rally to your side, but the truth has proven to be the opposite. The people resisted you and the ARVN troops defeated you. Your leaders are now renewing their destructive attacks. Once again, your leaders are using their former arguments, as at Tet. Certainly, these arguments will only bring you heavy losses as at Tet. The truth is now clear. Why do you wait? Leave the Viet Cong ranks and immediately return home.
Tet is one of the major holidays in Vietnam. The U.S. prepared many leaflets using this holiday as a theme. This leaflet was prepared by the 10th PSYOP Battalion on 1 February 1969 and targets the population of Long Toan District. 5000 copies of the District Chiefs letter were prepared in both Cambodian and Vietnamese. Some of the text is:
My Dear Friends,
Spring is coming and all civilians and soldiers are endeavoring to pacify and build up the villages and hamlets. They hope peace is restored soon so the people can enjoy a happy New Year, which is the custom of our people. Where will you be during the coming Tet, in the ranks of the Viet Cong? Dont you think that your family is waiting for you to return for Tet?
Cambodian Calendar 10-107-69
The 10th PSYOP Battalion produced a number of novelty items. The large Cambodian calendar was printed in February 1969. 500,000 were printed and handed out to Cambodians. Some of the text is:
This calendar is offered by IV Corps Headquarters and Tactical Zone Headquarters.
Dont give rice to the Communists or join the Communist ranks.
Dont accept the coalition attempts and false peace moves of the Communists.
Election Banner 10-122-69
The battalion printed more than just leaflets and posters. This 16 x 5.5-inch election banner was produced by the 10th PSYOP Battalion in February 1969 for village and hamlet elections. 10,000 banners were printed and handed out to explain why the people were voting. The text is:
The purpose of the elections in the villages and hamlets is to help eliminate the Communists.
This leaflet was printed by the 10th PSYOP Battalion in 1969. The leaflet depicts an Armored Troop Carrier. An ATC could carry a full infantry platoon. It was armed with three 20mm cannon or an Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher and two 20mm cannon, up to two .50 caliber machine guns and four 7.62mm machine guns, two Mark 18 40mm grenade launchers, plus various small arms, the ATCs not only landed troops, but also re-supplied them and provided close-in fire support during operations.
It was protected by stand-off or bar armor, a series of 1-inch concrete reinforcing steel rods set about 12 to 18 inches from the boats hull and superstructure. The bar armor was designed to detonate an RPG (rocket propelled grenade) or recoilless rifle rounds before they hit the armor plate. Stand-off armor proved to be very effective against both hand held and crew served weapons used by the VC, and significantly reduced casualties and damage when a riverine craft was hit by enemy fire. Some ATCs were modified with a helicopter flight deck counted over the troop wells. The text on the back is:
To Our Compatriots Living Along the Rivers
The Government of the Republic of Vietnam sends patrol boats to protect you, to block communist infiltration, and to prevent the Communists from forcing you to pay taxes to them. You should help the patrol boats by telling them where Communist tax collection points are located, if you have precise information on those locations, or by telling them the locations of Viet Cong weapons caches. You will receive a reward.
Another series of leaflets that are almost all from 1970 are the “CC” series. These leaflets were designed and requested by the Vietnamese 4th Corps in the Delta. Since the 10th PSYOP Battalion was supporting the Vietnamese units in the 4th Combat Zone, they printed the leaflets for the Vietnamese.
Number 822 is found in four versions with the letter “A” to “D.” I think “D” is the most interesting because it shows a Viet Cong guerrilla finding a Chieu Hoi leaflet. I believe that code is misleading because I think the first number denotes the theme of the leaflet. Therefore, the “8” defines the theme and the “22” shows that it was the 22nd leaflet printed that year. Notice his weapon. It is the Karabiner 98 kurz often abbreviated K98k. It was a WWII bolt-action rifle chambered for the 7.92×57 mm Mauser cartridge that was adopted on 21 June 1935 as the standard service rifle by the German Wehrmacht. The text on the front of the leaflet is:
The Government of Vietnam always keeps the promises it makes
Since 1968, 68,500 Communist cadre have rallied and enjoyed all the benefits shown on the back
The benefits on the back are:
All Hoi Chanhs will be warmly received.
They get an allowance of $50 VN per day for all family members including his wife and children.
The get clothing valued at $1000 VN.
They get pocket money in the amount of $300 VN a month.
They get free medical care for him and his family.
They get vocational training at the Chieu Hoi center.
They get a resettlement allowance of $1200 VN.
They get a reward for weapons.
On 17 April 1971 the 10th PSYOP Battalion was inactivated in Vietnam. It was redesignated Headquarters and headquarters Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion 30 October 1975 and allotted to the Army Reserve. It was later reorganized as a full PSYOP Battalion and assigned to the Fifth United States Army at the Brigadier General Oscar P. Hampton United States Army Reserve Center in St. Louis, Missouri, and later to the unit’s current building at 26 Sherman Road on Jefferson Barracks. Assigned to the Army Reserve in 1975, the Battalion was subordinate to the 2nd PSYOP Group. On 1 October 1987, the battalion was assigned to the 321st Civil Affairs Group in San Antonio, Texas. The Battalion had wartime and peacetime control over the 318th and 307th PSYOP Companies headquartered in St. Louis, the 308th PSYOP Company in Belton, Missouri, and the 362nd PSYOP Company in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
On 27 December 1990, the 10th PSYOP Battalion mobilized two 15-man detachments for Operation Desert Storm. They were from the 318th and 362nd PSYOP Company. Both detachments were assigned to the 6th PSYOP Battalion. During Desert Storm the detachments were responsible for the surrender of 7,000 opposing forces.
Detachments from the 10th Battalion were involved in the humanitarian assistance and restructuring mission in Haiti. Soldiers from the 10th Battalion deployed to Bosnia for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rotations. The 10th PSYOP Battalion led the 5th 1998 rotation.
To conclude, although the 10th PSYOP Battalion was never sent to a war as a full battalion after Vietnam, there are numerous occasions when selected individuals and teams from its Reserve Companies did deploy. Some of those deployments are Operation Desert Storm, Haiti, Kosovo, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.
War Criminals Poster
Americans got used to seeing these wanted criminals on posters during Operation Iraqi Freedom when Saddam Hussein and his cronies were depicted on posters, leaflets and even playing cards. Fewer people have seen this type of poster, where those former Yugoslavians who took part in ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo were indicted as war criminals.
U.S. Army Reserve Major Thomas Bergman is a member of the 18th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, 7th PSYOP Group. He was activated in December of 1995 for a tour in Bosnia. He had three Tactical PSYOP Teams, two in support of the two Military Police battalions supporting Tuzla and Lukavac and one attached to the NORDPOL Brigade (the Nordic countries, the Baltics, Poland and the United States) in Doboj. His unit provided the first U.S. Army Reserve PSYOP soldiers in Bosnia reporting to the 4th POG. Regarding the propaganda radio stations he says:
I realized that the canned IFOR taped music and messages were inadequate from the start. By the time the tapes reached the remote transmitters from Sarajevo, the news was outdated. I requested funding to buy airtime on local radio stations but was denied. I approached several Tuzla radio stations and pitched the idea of a weekly hourly call-in talk show where we could give out current news and answer questions from the populace. Radio Tuzla agreed and in early spring 1996 I began conducting a weekly show with the aid of my interpreter.
Regarding how PSYOP performed in 1995 he says:
All in all, as far as product design, dissemination, and propaganda support of our supported units, PSYOP failed miserably. We were ill-prepared for a mission which involved more than kicking radios and surrender leaflets out of airplanes especially when we were competing with superior forms of existing local media.
On the positive side he adds:
One of my teams was temporarily attached to the Russian Brigade in the Republika of Serpska to provide loudspeaker support during some tense attempted border crossings by displaced civilians wishing to return to visit their homes, cemeteries, etc. My team was housed and fed by the Russians for almost a week and that may have been the first time that a U.S. PSYOP element directly supported a Russian unit.
A Traffic Control Booklet Prepared for the Spanish Contingent
The 10th PSYOP Battalion was expected to prepared leaflets, posters, and booklets for every contingent in the Implementation Force in Bosnia. This 4-page booklet (a carboard leaflet folded to make four sides) was prepared for the Spanish Force. Some of the text and chapters are:
INFORMATION FOR IMPLEMENTATION FORCE SOLDIERS
TRAFFIC CONTROL METHODS
Checkpoints; general rules of conduct; and actions to be taken by the Implementation Force when encountering an unauthorized checkpoint.
Should they run into such an illegal checkpoint, it tells the troops how to react:
This is an unauthorized checkpoint. Please dismantle it immediately.
Some of the reasons for such unauthorized checkpoint might be:
An immediate emergency with danger of death; a temporary roadblock due to important works, or the police need to maintain large groups of agents in traffic control tasks due to a specific need to restrict movement.
The 10th PSYOP Battalion was part of the Combined Joint Information Campaign Task Force rotation in Bosnia from July 1997 through Feb 1998. John C. Buford was the Commander and Larry Dietz was the Deputy Commander of the Task Force. Both were Reservists. This rotation was about roughly half Reserve and half Active Component. The 10th was part of the 7th PSYOP Group and commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Noel Freesh of St. Louis. Larry Dietz was the Commander of the 12th PSYOP Battalion.
What the Combined Joint Information Campaign Task Force Hoped to Achieve
The PSYOP Task Force (CJICTF) prosecutes the Commander of the Stabilization Force’s campaign objectives with messages in multi-media directed at key target audiences, encouraging respect for democracy, adherence to the rule of law, acceptance of returnees, and thereby multiplying the Stabilization Force’s stabilizing influence in Bosnia Herzegovina.
The approved Objectives (edited for brevity):
Enhance safety and security of SFOR.
Facilitate orderly peace implementation.
Gain civilian adherence to implementation measures.
Gain armed faction compliance with separation and cease-fire measures.
Establish SFOR as a credible information source.
Dissuade interference with SFOR operations.
Alleviate local population anxieties about SFOR operations and expected end-state.
Limit effectiveness of hostile propaganda, disinformation, and other forms of political warfare on SFOR operations.
Curb the development of unreasonable expectations of ethnic minorities in operational areas.
Magnify the positive effects of Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC).
Reduce accidental injury and death from unexploded munitions.
Unexploded Ordnance Warning – Danger
This large poster is printed on both sides so that the proper side could be exposed according to the language in the area where it was used. The poster depicts various rocket shells, landmines, grenades, and anti-personnel mines. The text on both sides is:
Unexploded ordnance is extremely dangerous, do not attempt to handle these items
Inform the troops of the enforcement forces of where you have seen them.
On 19 December 1997, the 10th PSYOP Battalion received orders activating the members of the Battalion for 270 days to support Operation Joint Guard. The battalion was ordered to Ft. Benning, Georgia, for soldier readiness processing and preparation for overseas movement. On 20 December 1996, NATO had transitioned its operation in support of the Dayton Peace Accords in Bosnia and Herzegovina from implementation to stabilization. As a result, Operation Joint Endeavor ended, and Operation Joint Guard began. NATO's Implementation Force (IFOR) was similarly replaced by a Stabilization Force (SFOR). The US Task Force Eagle, comprised at that time of 20,000 soldiers led by elements of the 1st Infantry Division, continued to be the US component of the NATO mission.
Serbo-Croatian Words and Phrases
In just about every war the United States takes part in the PSYOP units prepare “Pointee-Talkee” cards. These cards can help the American or Allied soldier make himself understood, and sometimes a conversation can be held just by one person pointing to a word and the other person reading and understanding.
Veteran Manny Salazar told me:
I used this one while running checkpoints and security for 1st Infantry Division back in 1996 (IFOR) and 1998 (SFOR). I remember cards like this being passed around. I never considered who produced them back then.
Talking with the retired former 10th PSYOP Battalion Commander and Deputy Commander of the SFOR Combined Joint Information Campaign Task Force (CJICTF) Colonel David Mitchell, he told me (edited for brevity):
From January 1997 through April 2000, I commanded the 10th PSYOP Battalion (10th POB) in St. Louis, Missouri. Below are my personal recollections and thoughts on the deployment of 10th POB to Bosnia in 1998.
In the Fall of 1997, the 10th POB was notified that it would deploy in early 1998 to support NATO operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH). When the final tasking arrived, a determination was made that in addition to the 35 10th POB soldiers, individual soldiers of the 307th and 318th POCs from St. Louis, the 308th POC from Kansas City and the 345th POC from Dallas would be consolidated into a Division PSYOP Support Element (DPSE). The total number of personnel authorized for the deployment was approximately 125.
On February 11, 1998, the 10th POB HQ moved to Sarajevo to support the Combined Joint Information Campaign Task Force (CJICTF) at the NATO led Stabilization Force (SFOR) Headquarters and the Division PSYOP Support Element moved to support Task Force Eagle in the US led Multinational Division (MND) area of operations.
For the purposes of military operations, the country was divided into three Military Nation Divisions (MNDs), one led by the US military (MND-N) whose HQ was located near the city of Tuzla, a second led by the British military (MND-SW) whose HQ was located near the city of Banja Luka, and the third division led by the French military (MND-SE) whose HQ was located near the city of Mostar. Many other NATO and non-NATO countries were also providing support throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, to include Russian soldiers who worked in the US MND.
During the deployment I served as both the Battalion Commander and as the Deputy Commander, CJICTF. The CJICTF HQ consisted mainly of US Army PSYOP personnel but also included US Navy radio operations and we had liaison teams from British, French, and German militaries.
A Second Serbo-Croatian Words and Phrases card
Note that although the first “Pointee-Talkee” card just has English, this later card takes into account many of the other nations involved in Bosnia to include French, Spanish and Italian.
Veteran Craig Shaw told me:
I remember getting issued both cards when I was in the 502nd Engineer Company right before leaving for Bosnia in 1995.
This warning leaflet tells the citizens of Bosnia that the Implementation Force will be sending convoys through the streets. As in most such leaflets it asks the people to act lawfully and not to disturb the movement in any manner. The polite request always comes with an attached warning. The text on both sides is:
The Implementation Force will be in the area to help implement the agreed peace plan.
Do not interfere with the movement of the Implementation Force manpower or equipment.
The Implementation Force is ready to defend itself from all unfriendly attacks.
For your own safety, do not approach the Implementation Force convoys.
In 1996, the NATO led Implementation Force (IFOR) transitioned to the NATO led Stabilization Force (SFOR). A decision was made and supported in some fashion by each of the Multinational Divisions that the CJICTF would target the young people of Bosnia-Herzegovina no matter their ethnicity. This group was chosen because they were the most receptive to bringing new ideas (read freedom and independence) to BiH. When the 10th POB arrived in Sarajevo there was a PSYOP printing operation provided by the Product Development Battalion (I believe that it was the 8th Battalion) from FT Bragg. Shortly after our arrival that printing capability was sent home, which in hindsight was a mistake. SFOR had determined that our printing requirements needed to be resourced at the local level to assist in rebuilding the local economy and infrastructure. This proved to be an almost impossible task and most initial publications, listed below, were printed in Germany, and flown to Bosnia-Herzegovina for distribution. We did source most of the leaflets, flyers, and posters through local printers in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
At Stabilization Force Headquarters our focus was on the production of several high-quality publications which were to be produced in large quantities and distributed to each Multinational Division for their use.
These publications included:
The Superman Comic Book Printed in Three Languages
SUPERMAN based comic books which reminded the readers to stay away from, and reporting to the Stabilization Force, any unexploded ordinance, primarily undocumented landmines which were believed to be numerous throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina. These comic books were focused at the youngest of our target group.
[Author’s note]:There were many propaganda publications used in Bosnia. Perhaps the most interesting is the mine-warning 12-page Superman comic book entitled "Deadly Legacy" that was produced pro-bono with DC Comics. The cover shows the man of steel swooping down to save two young boys who are about to pick up an explosive device on the ground. The back of the book shows Superman flying the children to safety and the text:
Superman has come to help the children of Bosnia-Herzegovina! But even when he cannot be here, you can keep yourself safe from land mines! Mines kill kids! For more information on how you can prevent these accidents, call the mine action center.
IFOR distributed over 1 million of the magazines in their first year in Bosnia.
Veteran Jon Harvey told me:
I was a combat engineer handing out the Superman comics during visits to schools, teaching mine awareness and the dangers of unexploded ordinance. I had not even heard of PSYOP until a couple of years later, and then during reclassification I learned about the origins of that comic book. One lesson that brought home to me, that I remembered on my own later PSYOP deployments, was to leverage other forces who are already going out on relevant related missions to support dissemination efforts. I was a member of the Minefield Extraction Squad, there primarily to extract U.S. forces and friendly personnel from suspected minefields. The mine awareness education in schools was a secondary mission.
The purpose of such gifts as comic books is explained in the Army uncoded and undated publication Building Bridges – Commander’s Guide to Face-to-Face Communication. Although undated, the text indicates that it was printed between 1992 and 1996. The 46-page publication says about comic books:
DEVELOP PRE-PACKAGED “BRIDGE BUILDING” PRODUCTS
The Commander can bring expendable supplies that can assist the mission. These items are intended to establish or enhance rapport with some of those deserving or difficult target audiences. Whether used as formal gifts or free hand-outs, material handout may have a big impact on your success with communicating with critical Target audience…Here are a few suggestions which may be squeezed into the corner of that last pallet, or in the top of an A bag.
Host nation flags, small American flags, soccer balls, baseballs, softballs, frisbees, school notebook paper, coloring books, pencils/pens/crayons. Old T-shirts, patches/pins, and hackeysack balls.
MIRKO was a magazine-style publication designed to introduce the “pop culture” and was focused on the teenage target audience. Initial publications were primarily focused on the pop culture in the US, which was, in hindsight, a short-coming on our part. Two big pluses for MIRKO were that it provided a “reader’s corner” where recipients could send comments and receive a written response in subsequent publications. It also introduced and greatly expanded the listeners of “Radio Mir” our US Navy operated radio station. Apparently, this publication was successful, as I have a copy of a MIRKO dated September 2003, some five years after we left Bosnia-Herzegovina.
An English Language Version of MIRKO – Issue No. 13
This issue features Michael Jackson, Disneyland-Paris, Radio Balkan, Val Kilmer as “The Saint,” Jamiroquai, Pop News. A Readers Corner, The Genises Project, and of course the reminder, “What else are you interested in? Just write. Yours Mirko.”
[Author’s Note]; Major Richard C. Sater wrote a 19 September 2001 article about Mirko that appeared in the SFOR Informer. It said in part:
Mirko is a monthly publication specifically targeted to teenagers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The glossy, colorful pages include interviews with celebrities (singers, writers, and film stars), both national and international, Britney Spears side by side with Boris Maric, a young poet from Brcko. Fashion, sports, films, the pop charts, reader letters … just like any other teen magazine… published by NATO's Psychological Operations Task Force, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers, Europe. The magazine is a tool, and a highly effective one. A quick look at the contents reveals the subtle message: we share common interests, and we can get along. Tolerance is a key message, and Mirko is a forum aimed at a specific audience. With a monthly circulation of 160,000, the publication has a devoted readership. Three versions are published each month; 90 percent of the run is Serbo-Croatian, with half printed in the Roman alphabet and half in Cyrillic. The third version alternates each month between English and German. The name of the magazine has no special significance - it's simply a boy's name - but "Mirko" was chosen because the name is common to all three of the primary ethnic groups in Bosnia: Bosnian-Croats, Bosnian-Serbs and Bosnians…Once the issue has been approved for release, it is printed in Sarajevo and readied for distribution. The magazine has enviable name recognition. It is estimated that 89 percent of the young people know it…
HERALD OF PROGRESS
HERALD OF PROGRESS is the last publication that I will mention. The Herald of Progress was an informational publication that was focused on all citizens in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It provided an ongoing update on the progress the Stabilization Force was making in restoring peace and prosperity and encouraged all to be active participants in that process.
[Authors Note]: Under SFOR the Herald of Peace became the Herald of Progress with a circulation of about 100,000 by 1997. Its admirers stated that the Herald of Progress was a dramatic departure from former, traditional PSYOP print journalistic endeavors. It was a “Madison Avenue-quality” monthly journal with pertinent articles, color photos, and political cartoons and commentaries. It was published in both the Latin and Cyrillic alphabet.
Sergeant Mark Jenkins of the 6th PSYOP Battalion tells us more about the Herald of Peace, some of these facts from his After-Action Report prepared 11 June 1996.
Production work for the Herald of Peace in Zagreb began the week of 25 December 1995.The first Zagreb issue was laid out on 28 December 1995 and printed at Radin Press over the weekend. Dissemination began in Bosnia and Herzegovina on 4 January 1996. Approved articles were received early in the week (usually Tuesday), translations were completed by Wednesday evening, Disk files were prepared and forwarded to EuropaPress on Thursday, printing over the weekend, quality control check on Monday, delivered and placed on pallets on Tuesday, shipped to Bosnia on Wednesday.
HERALD OF PEACE
31 May 1996 issue
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe campaign to inform citizens about the voter education plan.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe continues to play a key role in peace enforcement.
Bosnian Serb prime minister fired.
The open market provides a successful business in a peaceful environment.
[Author’s note]: U.S. forces in Sarajevo published a weekly news magazine called Herald of Peace. The paper, each edition of which numbered 150,000 copies, was initially published in Stuttgart, Germany, later in Zagreb, Croatia, and finally in Sarajevo.
My good friend retired Lieutenant Colonel Karl Zetmeir was the publisher of the Herald of Peace for a short time. He told me about his experience with the magazine:
One of the most professionally satisfying psychological operations products I ever worked on was the Herald of Peace. Though a relatively short-lived product, it represented the hard work and true dedication to our craft on the part of its PSYOP soldiers as no other. In a leaflet-dominated world often marked by simple illustrations and hip-shoot phraseology, the Herald of Peace stands in a class of its own.
We simply called it “the HoP.” It was a magazine produced by the Combined Joint Information Task Force (CJICTF) in Sarajevo, Bosnia from 1996 through 1997. I reported to the CJICTF in June 1997, where I worked for the Product Development Chief, Major Roger Smith, as the Officer in Charge for all print product development, which included being Chief Editor of the HoP, as well as the Budget/Finance (BUDFIN) officer for our overall PSYOP campaign efforts. The officer I was replacing in both those functions was Captain Roger Lintz. Roger’s drive and initiative had raised the bar from the HoP’s initial format to that of a glossy, four-color, 36-page, TIME-quality magazine. He had also negotiated a robust print contract with a Zagreb-based company that made this quality leap possible. Our transition from his team to mine was seamless and we eagerly accepted this challenging job.
The operational direction of the HoP came from our boss Roger Smith. Roger insisted the magazine hold true to stories that supported the Stabilization Force’s country-wide objectives, and we focused on themes like freedom of movement, election participation, and other peace initiatives. The major stories covered subjects like the recently restored Sarajevo ambulance service or the purchase of new firefighting equipment. We deliberately steered clear of ‘collage’ photos of US or other nation’s military forces conducting peacekeeping operations, unit rotations, changes of command, etc. One Stabilization Force logo was found on the inside cover, along with letters from the chief editor (Roger Lintz, followed by me) and our Noncommissioned Officer editor (Bob Kellogg followed by Hans-Marc Hurd) in each issue. In retrospect, we were going for the same appeal as that of a “Readers Digest,” that even older copies would be interesting and fresh to a war-devastated target audience, particularly in the hinterlands, that rarely saw any printed media at all
Gummed Label – Radio MIR
RADIO MIR (“Radio Peace”). I cannot give enough credit to the Sailors who manned Radio MIR. They lived, sustained, and secured themselves on a compound which they built from scratch far removed from any immediate support if trouble came their way. There were approximately 20 Sailors assigned at any given time. They produced high quality PSYOP messages and embedded the information into a popular musical program which was broadcast on three different FM radio frequencies in the Sarajevo area. They manned and maintained each of these radio stations 16 hours each day. They also made digital copies of all their programming which was sent to each MND for their use. Finally, they were instrumental in helping the Combined Joint Information Campaign Task Force get many other radio stations in the Sarajevo area to use their products. The Programming on Radio Mir consisted of: Current news five times a day; “Classic” rock and roll, “Top 40” hits, Rhythm and Blues, “Eurohits,” and local area music; Interviews with SFOR commanders and the Office of the High Representative; and Broadcast talk shows with guest radio station personalities from local stations.
Product approval for these publications and other products was a cumbersome process. Finally, it was especially important to remember that all PSYOP products had to be prepared in two languages. Either Serbo-Croatian or Bosnian (also referred to as Bosniak) as each ethnic group continued to be very suspicious of the others.
10th POB’s rotation ended in in mid-September 1998 and all personnel traveled by bus back to Taszar, Hungary and flew to Ft Benning. At Ft Benning individual Soldiers were given travel orders to their Home of Record. Our last day of active duty was September 21, 1998.
Children's Safety Calendar
This is a different kind of explosives-warning for children. It is in the form of a calendar with various cartoons interspaced with comments on explosives safety. Some of the Comments are:
Do not play with discarded ammunition you never know what might happen. Do not play near minefields. Do not try to pick it up — it can still explode. Do not take discarded mines or bombs. Do not play in abandoned houses. Do not open discarded boxes. Do not set discarded ammunition on fire.
PARENTS - HELP YOUR CHILDREN UNDERSTAND.
Specialist James Holmes with the 307th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, passes out patriotic pamphlets to local Afghans, in Pol-e Alam, provincial capital of Logar Province, Afghanistan, on 4 December 2010. (Photo by: Private First Class Donald Watkins)
Specialist Matthew Osborne, a psychological operations specialist with the 307th Tactical Psychological Operations Detachment, 10th PSYOP Battalion, passes out radios to Afghan National Police in Subdistrict 1 of Kandahar City, 11 July 2011. The ANP then passed out radios to community members.
Specialist Josh Brimm, assigned to the 307th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, plays a counter improvised explosive device message on a loud speaker during a mission with U.S. soldiers assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, to patrol the villages around Malajat, Afghanistan. (Photo by Sergeant Canaan Radcliffe)
Staff Sergeant Sostenes Rocha, assigned to 307th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, speaks to a local Afghan man and distributes radios during a mission to patrol the streets outside of Combat Operating Post 8-1, in downtown Kandahar City, Afghanistan. The objective of the mission is to set up tactical control points to search vehicles and occupants, and to gather information from the general population. The people often are bothered by the checks and will become belligerent. The PSYOP troops using loudspeaker and face-to-face communications can explain the need to search for weapons, explosives and even drugs.
Staff Sergeant Sostenes Rocha, assigned to the 307th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion hands out pens to local children during a mission with U.S. soldiers assigned to the 4th Infantry Division, during a patrol to gather information from the local population, and to distribute PSYOP leaflets and radios. (Photo by Sergeant Canaan Radcliffe)
Captain Chris Strelluf, a member of the 308th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, interacts with local soccer players 8 June 2011 during a ribbon cutting ceremony which signified the official opening of a new soccer field in subdistrict one of Kandahar City. The new field was one of many projects headed by Task Force "Raider" and their Afghan national security forces partners in their joint-reconstruction efforts to improve quality of life, safety and security for residents of Kandahar City.
Task Force Raider was made up of Afghan uniformed forces and men from Troop C, 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, to clear a village in eastern Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province. Improvised explosive devices had been found in the roads surrounding the village, so they devised a plan to find the culprits. In the past, when U.S. forces came by themselves, it was seen as disrespectful to the local people. When U.S. and Afghan forces work together to search their houses it is more acceptable. Afghan culture is very important, especially when there are females in the house. When the forces work together, they can observe the culture properly.
In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch devastated large areas of Central America. The 10th PSYOP Battalion had been conducting reconnaissance in Honduras and Guatemala in preparation for the New Horizons 1999 missions prior to the hurricane. In December 1998, the Honduras New Horizon exercise was moved from Lempira to El Progresso to support massive disaster relief operations in Honduras. The first 3-man team arrived in Honduras on 4 January 1999 to support Task Force Sula. On 11 January 1999, a meeting at Southern Command Headquarters announced that five disaster relief New Horizon missions would begin in February 1999, with over 18,000 Reserve and National Guard soldiers deploying to Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic to rebuild bridges and roads, build schools, and conduct Medical Readiness Exercises. The 10th PSYOP Battalion was ordered to support operations in the Aguan Valley in Honduras and began to prepare to deploy soldiers and equipment. The area had been hardest hit by massive rains and flooding and had a large refugee population.
Sergeant Eduardo Ramirez Organizes Distribution of Bags of Rice and other Relief Supplies.
The donations from all over the world came into Porto Cortez. The donations came in without paperwork and uninspected. The advisor to the President of Honduras authorized the U.S. Military to distribute the goods from a local soccer stadium.
The Belleville Illinois News-Democrat of 7 June 1999 Covered the deployment of some members of the 10th PSYOP Battalion to Honduras. The article mentions Sergeant Eduardo Ramirez heading up a three-man Army Reserve PSYOP team among about 3,000 American Reservists and National Guard members. It says that Ramirez quickly found himself part diplomat, part advertising pitchman, and part public relations specialist. He coordinated American relief efforts with those of other countries and nongovernmental relief organizations while working to convince the Hondurans that Americans were there to help. Ramirez was perfect for the job being fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and a student of international business at Southern Illinois University. He was so successful that one PSYOP officer said the embassy would like him assigned to Honduras.
The Honduran government said little about the relief effort and the newspapers implied they might be spies. Ramirez set up a press conference and invited all the doubtful reporters into the base camp to see everything that was going on. Instead of weapons, the PSYOP specialists use leaflets, loudspeakers, and radio broadcasts. Ramirez’s team used leaflets and posters prepared in St. Louis and local radio broadcasts to warn the residents to avoid the heavy construction equipment. They also passed out calendars with Honduran holidays listed and gave out 250 soccer balls.
Sergeant Ramirez and a member of the 7th PSYOP Group post PSYOP/Military Information Support Team Posters.
The Sergeant spent six months in Honduras supporting Joint Force Sula. Other members of his Battalion would come down two at a time and return home after two weeks, but Ramirez stayed the entire time. At first the PSOP specialists supported an Engineer unit, later it was asked to support a Civil Affairs unit.
They sent me down on a peace mission, so I decided to let the media in to see what we were doing. They did not see weapons; they did not see soldiers training. I showed them we were there for humanitarian purposes. All these people were in some way affected by the hurricane. Most of the people depend on the banana plantations for their livelihood and the banana plantations were destroyed. We arranged for some Honduran soccer stars to visit the villages. These guys are household names in Honduras and the people thought it was great to see them. Because of the soccer stars, the local press visited us, and the United States got some excellent publicity for its humanitarian actions. I coordinated a lot with the U.S. embassy, which for a guy like me, who had never done anything like that, was really something. I would love to go back to Honduras. I am interested in international politics and found my time there interesting.
Talking to Eduardo Ramirez recently he told me:
The President of Honduras at the time of the hurricane really seemed to want to help the people. Later I was assigned to General John F. Kelly and we often talked about what it had been like in 1998. I told him that we used the theme “Reconstruction of Honduras” in our radio broadcast and the people were wonderful. You could walk anywhere without any worries. The U.S. always tried to help Honduras and for a while it seemed to be working, but the corruption just got so awful that the country is in trouble. It is much worse and more dangerous now than it was in 1998.
U.S. and Canadian servicemen unload mattresses and relief supplies for victims of Hurricane Mitch from a West Virginia Air National Guard C-130 Hercules at the airport in La Cieba, Honduras, on Nov. 11, 1998. Over 1,000 U.S. service members are helping to rush food, shelter, pure water, and medical aid to the central Americans made homeless by Hurricane Mitch.
The effects of Hurricane Mitch in Honduras were destructive and deadly, resulting in the most significant flooding in Honduras in the 20th century. Hurricane Mitch, the strongest storm of the 1998 Atlantic hurricane season, formed on October 22, and after becoming a Category 5 hurricane, it weakened and struck Honduras on October 29. While near peak intensity, Mitch struck the offshore Guanaja island, where it nearly destroyed the mangrove forest. On the mainland, the hurricane dropped torrential rainfall, and many gauges were washed away in mountainous areas where unofficial rainfall totals were as high as 75 inches.
The President of Honduras estimated that Mitch set back 50 years of economic development. The storm wrecked about 35,000 houses and damaged another 50,000, leaving up to 1.5 million people homeless, or about 20% of the country's population. Mitch directly caused $2.005 billion in damage, with an additional $1.8 billion in indirect costs. Over 70% of the transportation infrastructure was damaged, mostly damaged highways and bridges. Widespread areas experienced power outages, and about 70% of the country lost water after the storm. Throughout the country, there were at least 7,000 fatalities, some reported in each department.
Sergeant Chris Matthewson and Corporal David Bullion, assigned to the 318th Tactical PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, goes over details about an upcoming Medical Readiness Training Program called Beyond the Horizon, in Zacapa, Guatemala, 5 May 2014. Beyond the Horizon is an annual exercise that embraces the partnership between the United States and Guatemala, to provide focused humanitarian assistance through various medical, dental, and civic action programs. (Photo by Sergeant Austin Berner)
Soldiers from the 318th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, visit a local school to inform the community of an upcoming Beyond the Horizon medical readiness training exercise 4 June 2014 in Agua Blanca, Guatemala. As part of Task Force Oso, the group is charged with gathering information from the public on ways to make the exercise better in the future. (Photo by Corporal Michael Spandau)
Beyond the Horizon is a joint foreign military interaction and humanitarian exercise sponsored by U.S. Southern Command that involves hundreds of U.S. service members representing the National Guard, Army Reserve and active forces. Since its inception in the mid-1980s, U.S. troops have deployed annually for this exercise which takes place in different countries as designated by U.S. Southern Command. These units deploy for short periods of time to support and implement agreed upon tasks developed during the planning phase. In 2016 the exercise ran from April to June and resulted in the 10th PSYOP Battalion taking part in building three new clinics and two new schools for the people of Guatemala. The three new clinic facilities included medical equipment and hygiene kits. The school buildings with fitted with classrooms, digital computers, desks and chairs.
Captain Gerald Walling, assigned to the 10th Psychological Battalion, 318th Tactical Psychological Company, speaks with a group of local Guatemalan boys during Beyond the Horizon, Zacapa, Guatemala, 5 May 2014. Beyond the Horizon is an annual exercise that embraces the partnership between the United States and Guatemala, to provide focused humanitarian assistance through various medical, dental, and civic action programs. (Photo by Sgt. Austin Berner)
U.S. military health care professionals will conduct multiple Medical Readiness Training Exercises (MEDRETEs) in each country, working with host nation medical personnel to provide general and specialized medical and dental services to thousands of citizens requiring care. These services include public health and preventive medicine, dental care, adult and pediatric medicine, medical education, immunizations, and nutritional counseling. The exercises also include veterinarian care, a vital service that ensures the safety of valuable food sources and helps prevent diseases that could be passed from animals and livestock to a population.
Staff Sergeant Joseph Schicker of 318th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, drops informational leaflets during the aftermath of the destruction of a suspected insurgent safe house by four 500-pound U.S. Air Force Guided Bombs which were dropped by a B-1 bomber aircraft in the Gharman area of Baghdad, Iraq, on 19 May 2007. Soldiers cleared houses and told residents to evacuate the area in preparation for the bombing of the building suspected of being an insurgent safe house. (Photo by Staff Sergeant Bronco Suzuki)
Staff Sergeant David Ingram from 318th Tactical PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, gives a local boy a soccer ball during a patrol in the southwest Rashid area of western Baghdad, Iraq in May 2007.
The military booklet: BUILDING BRIDGES: Commander’s Guide to Face to Face Communication mentions soccer balls and mentions other gifts that can help to win hearts and minds. It says in part:
In addition to deploying personnel to augment the force, the Commander can bring expendable supplies that may assist the mission. These items are intended to establish or enhance rapport with some of those deserving (or difficult) target audiences. Whether used as formal gifts or free handouts, material items may have a big impact on your success in communicating with critical target audiences…Here are a few suggestions which may be squeezed into the corner of the last pallet, or in the top of an A-bag:
Host nation flags, small American flags, soccer balls, baseballs and softballs, Frisbees, school notebook paper, coloring books, pencils/pens/crayons, old T-shirts, patches and pins, and hackeysack balls
318th PSYOP Company soldiers from the 10th PSYOP Battalion assigned to Tactical PSYOP Team 1484 hand out toys and clothes to Iraqi civilians at Mahmudiyah, Iraq on 9 June 2007.
A PSYOP soldier receives a high five from one of the local children after soldiers from the Tactical PSYOP Team 1484, 10th PSYOP Battalion, handed out 1500 pounds of food and other items to Iraqi locals in the village of Al Murtada, Iraq.
An Iraqi officer tests the chemical composition of both real and fake currency during an anti-counterfeiting class being taught in 2010 by the 3212 Tactical PSYOP Detachment, 318th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion.<
Training and War Games
The 10th PSYOP Battalion talks about training:
The 10th PSYOP Battalion constantly strives to maintain a harmonious working relationship with the Active Component counterparts in the 1st and 9th PSYOP Battalions. Communications and on-site visits to Ft. Bragg, NC, are frequent. Several soldiers conduct the annual training attached to the 1st PSYOP Battalion to assist in augmenting the Regular Army. The 10th PSYOP Battalion takes part in many Active Component PSYOP exercises. These include Golden Saber exercises and numerous joint training exercises. The 10th PSYOP Battalion is also a consistent factor in the New Horizon series of Humanitarian Assistance exercises in Central and South America. Since 1996 the Battalion has deployed elements to support New Horizon missions in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Belize, and Guyana. The number of missions being conducted with the Regular Army’s 1st PSYOP Battalion has increased. These missions include counter-drug PSYOP in the Caribbean, and Humanitarian and Peacekeeping Joint Exercises in Central and South America.
Soldiers of the 308th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, set up a loudspeaker while attending the PSYOP Qualification Course in October 2010.
Specialist Timothy Jones from the 318th PSYOP Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion, and Australian Defense Force Private Dirk Seelig install a speaker system for Information Operations while providing PSYOP support to the 7th Brigade as part of the Australian Defense Force participating in Talisman Sabre 2011. TS11 is a biennial combined training activity designed to train Australian and U.S. forces in planning and conducting combined task force operations to improve Australian Defense Force and U.S. combat readiness and interoperability.
The Current 10th Psychological Operations Battalion (Army Reserve) - St. Louis, Missouri
307th Psychological Operations Company (POC) - St. Louis, Missouri
308th Psychological Operations Company (POC) - Belton, Missouri
318th Psychological Operations Company (POC) - St. Louis, Missouri
362nd Psychological Operations Company (POC) - Fayetteville, Arkansas
10th PSYOP Battalion Awards and Decorations
Meritorious Unit Commendation Streamer
Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for VIETNAM 1967-1968
Vietnam Campaign Streamer
Counteroffensive, Phase III;
Counteroffensive, Phase IV;
Counteroffensive, Phase V;
Counteroffensive, Phase VI;
Counteroffensive, Phase V
Republic of Vietnam Civil Actions Streamer
Republic of Vietnam Civil Action Honor Medal, First Class for VIETNAM 1967-1970
Headquarters and Headquarters Support Company, 10th PSYOP Battalion
307th PSYOP Company
Global War on Terrorism Campaign for units deployed abroad in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
318th PSYOP Company
Global War on Terrorism Campaign for units deployed abroad in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
362nd PSYOP Company
Global War on Terrorism Campaign for units deployed abroad in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.
This ends our very short look at the history of the United States Armys 10th PSYOP Battalion. Readers who wish to comment or send further information are encouraged to write the author at Sgmbert@hotmail.com.