SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)

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Unit Crest


A Gold colored metal and enamel device 1 3/16 inches in height overall consisting of a shield blazoned: Above a white chevron, silver and black checks, charged with three lightning flashes. Below, a West African symbol that represents initiative and versatility. Attached to the shield at the sides and in point a Black scroll inscribed POTENTIA ET ADDUCO ("To Influence and Persuade") in Gold letters.


The white chevron portrays truthful messaging wedging out the opposing propaganda symbolized by the silver and black checkerboard. There are three types of propaganda. White is truthful and identifiable. Grey may or may not be truthful and often will hide its origin, and black may be truthful or untruthful but is usually considered to be false.

The three lightning flashes refer to the unit's lineage in World War II as the 3d Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company. The green base is the primary branch color for Psychological Operations. The yellow West African symbol for initiative and versatility represents the attitude of the members of the Battalion and indicates the geographical area of responsibility for the unit.


The distinctive unit insignia was approved for the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion effective 16 October 2011.

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Coat of Arms


Shield: A chevron at the center, black and grey checks above, and below a West African symbol for initiative and versatility.

Crest: A black and white wreath at the bottom, and a truck wheel, on top of which is a depiction of an early model microphone with five lightning flashes above.

Motto: POTENTIA ET ADDUCO (“To Influence and Persuade”)


Shield: The white chevron portrays truthful messaging wedging out the opposing propaganda symbolized by the silver and black checkerboard. The green base is the primary branch color for Psychological Operations. The yellow West African symbol for initiative and versatility represents the attitude of the members of the Battalion and indicates the geographical area of responsibility for the unit.

Crest: The crest refers to the Battalion's World War II lineage as the 3d Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company. The truck tire indicates this was a mobile unit the microphone is a vintage 1940s style and represents the broadcasting aspect with the three bars indicating the numeric designation. The five lightning flashes refer to the five World War II campaigns the Company participated in.

Background: The coat of arms was approved for the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion effective 16 October 2011.

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7th PSYOP Battalion Challenge Coin


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Loudspeaker equipped tank

I could write 10,000 words on the birth of American PSYOP in WWII, but this is a brief look, not a detailed study. Much the data can be found in Report of Operations – 12th Army Group. I will just lightly touch on it.

The 7th Psychological Operations Battalion (Airborne) was first constituted on 23 December 1943 in the Regular Army as the 3rd Mobile Radio Broadcast Company and was activated on 29 December 1943 at Camp Ritchie, Maryland. The unit was deployed to the European Theater of Operations during World War II.

Many of the terms we will use in this section will sound quite foreign to current PSYOP members. It was a different time and a different war and everything was brand new and being tried out for the first time.

The initial planning for a Public Relations Task Force for the campaign in Europe was accomplished by the Public relations Officer of the European Theater of Operation in January 1943. In March 1943, a small Public Relations Task Force accompanied the First Canadian Army in their “Spartan” War Game to uncover possible weaknesses.

In November 1943, the First U.S. Army Group was activated and called for a public relations staff. Notice at this time there was no use of the words “Propaganda,” “PSYWAR,” or “PSYOP.” The civilian Office of War Information was already producing white propaganda while the Office of Strategic Services was doing black propaganda. As might be expected, the Army wanted to do its own propaganda and thought some combination of Public Relations and Psychological Warfare would work best. The result of this was the 6808th Publicity and Psychological Warfare Service Battalion. Mobile Radio Broadcasting Companies were incorporated into the Battalion.

The First U.S. Army Group was soon absorbed by the 12th Army Group in the United Kingdom. The PSYWAR staff had no equipment so borrowed from the OWI, the OSS, and British civilian agencies.

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The 105 mm Leaflet shell

Tests were conducted in leaflet dissemination by the 105 mm shell, and firing tables and range tables were established. Experiments were conducted in the air dropping of leaflets and the employment of combat loudspeaker equipment in the field.

According to Leaflet Operations in the Western European Theater, 1944-1945, published by the Psychological Warfare Division of SHAEF:

The employment of artillery for leafleting can be traced back to the French use of the 75 mm field piece for propaganda purposes on the Western Front in 1918. In WWII, the idea was first put into practice with the British 25-pounder during the Tunisian campaign of 1942-43.

Although experiments were made with the propaganda use of other artillery weapons, the 105 mm in the U. S. Area, and the 25-pounder in the British, were the mainstays of the artillery leafleting effort. Limited use was made of the 155 mm smoke shell. However, when firing it at ranges over 5,000 yards it is generally impossible to observe where shells burst except by aerial observation, which is often unavailable. This is somewhat of a drawback to the use of longer-range weapons that the 105 mm.

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Soldiers check out leaflets before loading them into artillery shells

Publicity and Psychological Warfare mentions artillery leafleting in WWII:

The basic weapon used for the purpose of firing leaflets in the American Army was the 105 mm Howitzer M2 or M2A1 and the shell used was the 105 mm shell, Smoke M64 or M2A1. This shell was drawn by psychological warfare personnel and modified by them for leaflet use. The M84 BE Smoke shell was equipped with the M54 fuse capable of 25 seconds time of flight which corresponds approximately to a range of 8,000 yards. At distances greater than 8,000 yards the M 67 fuse which has a time of flight of 75 seconds was tested. This utilizes the maximum range of the 105 mm Howitzer, approximately 12,000 yards.

A limited use of the 155 mm Howitzer smoke shell was made in the European Theater, but despite the fact that three times as many leaflets may be placed in the 155 mm than in the 105 mm, ordnance officers concerned with the supply of ammunition believe it is more efficient and cheaper to fire 3 rounds of the 105 mm in preference to one round of 155 mm.

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Loading 105 mm leaflet artillery shell

Arthur T. Hadley mentions the problem of finding the shells in Heads or Tails: A Life of Random Luck and Risky Choices. He says the biggest problem he had as a member of the Fifth Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company in support of the 12th Army group in 1944 was finding smoke shells. He would send his men out to scrounge for smoke shells and then they would seek shelter where they could remove the smoke canisters and insert the leaflet rolls. This problem was never solved.

William E. Daugherty mentions the MRB Companies in an article entitled “U.S. Psychological Warfare Organizations in WWII":

In the separate American Army groups and field armies special staff sections were organized to coordinate the staff planning and operational problems of waging psychological warfare. These army groups and field armies were assigned field units called Mobile Radio Broadcasting Companies. In all, five such companies were activated during the war and sent to Europe; the first being sent to the Italian Front and the last four to the Northwest Europe front.

Alfred E. Paddock adds in U.S. Army Special Warfare: Its Origins:

The basic field operating unit for psychological warfare was the Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company…The equipment for these units was unlike anything conventional soldiers had seen in the field – public address systems, radios, monitoring sets, loudspeakers, typewriters, mobile printing presses and leaflet bombs.

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WWII Loudspeaker Team in the field

The first actual guidance for psychological warfare was in a SHAEF memorandum entitled: Conduct of Psychological Warfare in Operation Overlord, dated 22 April 1944. It directed that a Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company would accompany each of the First and Third U.S. Armies.

Combat propaganda was to include the writing and dissemination of leaflets, oral addresses by loudspeakers, intelligence operations and tactical radio broadcasting. By now, the Battalion containing two radio companies was renamed the 72nd Publicity Service Battalion. Within the MRB companies were the men and equipment for the actual printing of leaflets and news-sheets. The Companies had specially designed mobile printing presses with 2.5 ton trucks.

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The First issue of the 12th Army Group newspaper for German troops, Frontpost, appeared on 14 August 1944. Frontpost was made up like a newspaper, not a leaflet. It contained news, a map of the western Front, features, German sports news and general information. It did not harangue the German troops with propaganda.

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The Official Safe Conduct Pass for the Germans

The story of the "Passierschein" (“safe conduct pass”) for Germany is interesting because of the alleged belief on the part of the Allies that the German officer or soldier would react in a positive way to an official looking document. Therefore, the Americans and British collaborated to produce a fancy official document bearing national seals and signatures that would rival a stock certificate. They produced the leaflets late in the war in various formats with different code numbers.

Paul M.A. Linebarger mentions the theory in Psychological Warfare, Infantry Journal Press, Washington D.C., 1948. He says:

Germans liked things done in an official and formal manner, even in the midst of chaos, catastrophe and defeat. The Allied obliged, and gave the Germans various forms of very official looking ‘surrender passes.’ One is printed in red and has banknote-type engraving which makes it resemble a soap-premium coupon.

Daniel Lerner says in Sykewar, George E. Stewart, NYC, 1949:

This safe conduct pass was generally regarded as the most successful leaflet produced by the Psychological Warfare Branch of Supreme Headquarters, Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF)…everything about the leaflet was designed to appear authoritative: the format handsomely engraved on good paper in a rich color, has been described as “looking like a college diploma.”

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The “Ei ssorenda” Leaflet

This is the English and American pronunciation of the words “I surrender.” (I surrender). Make use of it when opportunity arises

Sergeant Simon J. Lewin mentions his time in the 3rd MRB Company in Reflections and Repercussions. He says in part:

Inducted into the U.S. Army at Ft. Dix, I received my basic training at Camp Crowder, then more training at Camp Ritchie, the Army Intelligence training center and final instructions in England. Nine days after “D day”, my convoy sailed out of the same port I had departed nine years earlier for America. The sights and sounds were music to my ears. I stood at the railing in all my battle gear and - wept. In my wildest dreams of "revenge", I could not have imagined returning to Europe with quite such an awesome armada...After landing in Normandy, I was assigned the task to persuade German soldiers to surrender - by loudspeaker and leaflet, and, on occasion, interrogate just surrendered prisoners....Soon after landing in Normandy, I realized that offering only the traditional choice of "death or surrender" was useless against soldiers trained to follow orders – obediently. “Don't mention politics, or allude to their 'loved ones at home'; even patriotism becomes lost on a battlefield. Just convey definite, simple instructions on ‘how to surrender", I proposed to my superiors, and then devised a simple phonetic way to teach enemy soldiers a few simple steps: "Ei ssorenda" would become the basic message of every leaflet and every loudspeaker appeal directed into enemy lines, together with a few simple steps on "how to surrender". Repeated over and over, this tactic proved increasingly effective. Eventually, I learned, from some just captured prisoners, that long before surrendering, they had practiced among themselves the "correct" pronunciation. "Ei ssorenda" became an insidious challenge, intruding into enemy minds and eventually the trigger for surrender. Subtly and obliquely, the strategy - call it brainwashing - worked.

In concluding this portion I want to point out that although the Mobile Radio Station sounds like a unit that just broadcast over the air; in fact we see they were expected to print leaflets, posters and other literature, use loudspeakers; be able to fix and broadcast over the radio, and perform intelligence and interrogating. They had all the responsibilities of a modern PSYOP company. The bloodlines are clear.

The unit was inactivated on 25 November 1945 in Germany. As always, the U.S. Army seems to forget everything it learned after victory in a war. It had to relearn it all in Korea and again in Vietnam. We now look at the return of the 7th PSYOP Battalion in Vietnam.

7th PSYOP Battalion in Vietnam

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Loudspeaker equipped truck

The 6th PSYOP Battalion was originally responsible for all psychological operations (PSYOP) in Vietnam.

On 10 February 1966, three companies were formed within the 6th PSYOP Battalion to provide tactical propaganda support.

1. The 244th PSYOP Company served I Corps initially from Da Nang. The unit was subsequently relocated to Nha Trang (in II Corps), with a detachment in Quang Ngai in I Corps.

2. The 245th PSYOP Company served II Corps initially from Nha Trang. The unit was subsequently relocated to Pleiku (in II Corps) when the 6th PSYOP Battalion became the 4th PSYOP Group and the radio station was built as 8th Battalion's "B" Company.

3. The 246th PSYOP Company served III Corps from Bien Hoa, about 20 miles northeast of Saigon in III Corps.>

4. The 19th PSYOP Company was activated at Ft. Bragg as part of the 3rd Special Forces Group on 10 August 1962. 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.

In this article we will concentrate on the 244th PSYOP Company because on 01 December 1967 it would be redesignated 7th PSYOP Battalion.

The 244th PSYOP Company

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244th PSYOP Company Headquarters in Vietnam, 1968

The 1st PSYOP Field Support Detachment at Da Nang and the 27th PSYWAR Detachment at Quang Ngai merged to form the 244th PSYOP Company with initial headquarters at Da Nang. The 244th PSYOP Company served combat units in I Corps and the South Vietnamese Army’s 3rd PSYWAR Battalion from an initial station in Nha Trang (in II Corps), with a detachment in Quang Ngai in I Corps. Looking through the Detachment 2 Quang Ngai Leaflet and Poster Catalog I note that besides preparing products for American forces, they printed a large number of items for the Vietnamese 2nd Division of the 12th Division Tactical Area (DTA). An Army of the Republic of Vietnam DTA comprised two or more provinces; the DTA commander was also the ARVN division commander, and the DTA was his permanent Tactical Area of Responsibility.

The 244th PSYOP Company also took part in Task Force X-Ray in 1966 and 1967, conceived as an operational command without administrative control over units within the Chu Lai area.

Mission: To conduct psychological operations as deemed appropriate. in support of military and civil affairs operations. These operations include psychological warfare and encompass those political, military, economic, and ideological actions planned and conducted to create in neutral or friendly foreign groups the emotions, attitudes, or behavior to support the achievement of national objectives. And by influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives.

The methods include airborne loudspeakers and leaflets dropped from Air Force U-IO aircraft or Marine helicopters. By hand-delivered posters, leaflets, newspapers, magazines, and other printed matter. By Army ground loudspeaker teams accompanying patrols, and other ground movements. By movie shows conducted by Army audio-visual teams or G-5 provided projectors and films. By psychological operations exploitation teams used to rapidly exploit situations unfavorable to the VC publication of which will cause an immediate negative reaction by the population.

COUNTY FAIR is a clearing operation combining and coordinating governmental, civic, and psychological warfare activities to reestablish GVN control over the populace of a given area. It is designed to flush Viet Cong from community in which he is a member or a parasite, while at same time ensuring that populace is not alienated toward the Government. Military actions are accompanied by vigorous civic action and psychological warfare program, the purpose of which is to convince the people that the GVN is an effective government, that it is interested in welfare of people, and that GVN victory against the Viet Cong is inevitable.

Karl Kobnfelder authored an article titled “Getting Last Word is GI’s Viet Job” in The Pittsburgh Press of 11 December 1966. He discussed various operations performed by the 244th PSYOP Company in Vietnam (edited for brevity):

The United States is escalating its battle to "win hearts and minds" of the Vietnamese people through psychological warfare. That is the word from former Specialist Four Peter McElman whose command of the French language and self-taught artist skills were used in fighting the battle. "Winning their hearts and minds" is a cliche but that is exactly what we are trying to do." explained the 22-year-old Sewickley resident as he looked back on 15 months in Vietnam.

In that time, he said, he saw his 244th PSYOP Company grow to battalion.

McElman spent the final 12 months of his overseas duty In Danang illustrating propaganda leaflets which were dropped over Vietnamese villages from C-47s and helicopters. His sketches in ink accompanied messages which emphasized that the government and Army had the best interest of the people at heart while the Viet Cong only sought their destruction.

A sketch of an exploding land mind killing a Vietnamese child references a specific tragedy at Tra Bong and the warning:

"Viet Cong harassed, disturbed, and killed innocent children and people. Viet Cong tactics are to kill people. They are cowardly and afraid to attack the Vietnamese soldiers at Tra Bong."

A Leaflet depicts Vietnamese Army Medics treating patients.

"Another leaflet says, The Government of Vietnam will provide you with food and medical care and a better life. And bears the sketch of a Vietnamese Army medic treating villagers."

A Feast of Rice

On the reverse side, hands hold a bowl into which other hands pour an ample helping of rice. The message: "The Government of Vietnam will provide you with a better life. Support the Government and end the war."

On another, McElman sketched a giant hand reaching from the north over young men working in a rice paddy. "Stop the Viet Cong from taking your rice and young men. Report Viet Cong activity to Government forces."

A series of sketches in comic-strip fashion helps to explain the symptoms of malaria, but still gets in the pro-Government pitch and a rap against the enemy.

"The Government of Vietnam has medicine and equipment to cure you…The Viet Cong never helped a patient…Viet Cong only know how to choose death for the people."

The latter caption underlines a graveyard scene.

Use of the words "American" or "United States" is avoided so that the people can identify with their own kind. Mr. Elman pointed out. Do the leaflets produce results?

"Often through interrogation of prisoners, we could determine that particular themes hit upon in the leaflets were being carried out by the people," he said.

To prepare for his role in psychological warfare, Me. Elman attended Intelligence school at Ft. Holabird, Md. after basic training. Next came a six-week course at the John F. Kennedy Psywar School at Ft Bragg, N. C. McElman was then assigned to a roving audio-visual team in the Army’s Psychological Service and spent the next eight months in Okinawa.

"What that duty had to do with psychological warfare I’ve never figured out, they had us locked up in a safe all day, managing classified documents."

But then came Vietnam and his chance to use the French he learned in five years at a private school in Massachusetts.

"At that time, very few Americans could speak or understand the Vietnam language, and vice versa. We were trying to reach the people through a Vietnamese battalion and my counterpart, each member of an audio-visual team had a Vietnamese counterpart, happened to speak fluent French. He translated the Vietnamese into French and I relayed it in English, and the same in reverse. Our biggest job was to explain to the villagers the presence of the American military in their country."

For three months Specialist Four McElman flew by either helicopter or U-10, a single propellor craft comparable to as Piper Cub, from village to village in the combat zone. The short hops often were punctuated by bullets whizzing through the aircraft.

After that it was 12 months of relative security in Da Nang free of the terrorist activity which plagues Saigon. There he set the propaganda phrases to pictures and kept himself busy at night by teaching English to a class of 20 Vietnamese ranging in age from 18 to 60. A State Department program run by the Viet-American Association; the course consisted of 13 levels of English. Completion of all thirteen levels earned the Vietnamese student a degree in English from the University of Michigan.

Teaching in the middle levels from three to eight hours a week, Mr. McElman found his pupils "very receptive" and eager to learn. While he had it pretty good in Da Nang, living in a hotel instead of a tent, McElman often ventured to outlying villages with audio-visual teams.

"On trips by ground, Marine fire squads escorted us for protection. We would show movies in the villages, documented films showing destruction from Viet Cong attacks. Most of them had never seen a movie before and they were spellbound by it all."

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Leaflet 151-66

This one of the earliest leaflets I have seen for the 244th PSYOP Company. It is so early in 1966 that they do not show the code on the leaflet. My records show it as 151-66. In fact, later in the year the code will be adapted and would have been 244-151-66. So, we might say this leaflet was printed before a standard operating procedure for codes existed.

The leaflet was printed as part of the I Corps Tactical Zone Joint PSYWAR Civil Affairs Center. The front depicts two Viet Cong squatting in a cave. Above, a B-52 bomber drops a bomb that is heading directly toward that cave. It is interesting to note that about four decades later that same general theme will show Taliban hiding in a cave in Afghanistan about to be bombed. I good idea is never obsolete. The back of the leaflet depicts Viet Cong flying through the air from the B-52 bombings. The text on front and back is:

The tunnel where you try to hide is never safe from the bombs of the B-52

The B-52 can search out its enemy anywhere

On 2 July 1966 the 244th PSYOP Company was asked to determine the most effective they had used so far in the war. They selected leaflet 1151 and said in part:

Hoi Chanh and NVA prisoners indicated this leaflet was highly effective. On 22 February 1966 two Viet Cong rallied with hand grenades and a Thompson sub-machinegun. They were carrying this leaflet. Several prisoners remembered seeing the leaflet and on 10 June one captured cadreman said it was very effective. The artwork conveyed fellowship and helped allay his fears about how he would be received by the Vietnamese Army.

Leaflet SP-1151

This leaflet depicts a dead Communist soldier at the left and a live prisoner being treated in a hospital at the right. The text on the front says in part:

What will your fate be if you are wounded in battle?

A cruel death because of neglect in a primitive Viet Cong jungle hospital where medicines are scarce and facilities are inadequate. OR recovery and new life through the tender care provided by Government of Vietnam and Allied doctors.


The text on the back is:


If you are wounded, find ways to delay and avoid being taken away. Try to go to an open area where you can easily be found by patrols. If possible cross the Government of Vietnam’s lines. You will be taken to a hospital where you will be well cared for by doctors.


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Audio Visual team sets up projector to show movies

The Marine Command Chronology for 1967 mentions working with the 244th PSYOP Company. It says in part:

Hearts and Minds was a huge part of the Marine mission in Vietnam. If the Marines could get the trust of the people, they would benefit from the intelligence on Viet Cong movements from the village chiefs and villagers. The more Vietnamese people who were on the side of the Marines, the more lives of young Americans could be saved by villagers pointing out booby traps or mines.

A county fair was held by Ninh Binh. This hamlet was near to the Nong Son base. An audio/visual team from the 244th PSYOP Company entertained over 1,500 Vietnamese with movies, Chieu Hoi appeals and a request for information on the Viet Cong. The reward program for such information was emphasized.

Vietnamese officials spoke to the villagers of the up and coming elections, and that they must use their votes…The election went ahead in Quang Nam and 76.3% of the population turned out to vote…At lunchtime the Marine drum and bugle corps arrived and played to the villagers who had never seen such a band before…100 sheets of tin were given to help re-roof the marketplace, and clothes and soap were given to the refugees.

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The PSYOP-POLWAR Newsletter

The PSYOP Newsletter was first called the Military Assistance Command Psychological Operations Directorate (MACPD) Newsletter about 1966 and printed by the United States Military Assistance Command (Actually what would become the 6th Battalion) to inform commanders, PSYOP personnel, and PSYWAR advisors of psychological operations in Vietnam and to exchange ideas and lessons learned. It provided hints and lessons from combat and PSYOP units all over Vietnam about what worked and what did not.

The purpose of the MACPD Newsletter is to inform PSYOP personnel and POLWAR advisors of the progress of psychological operations and to provide a forum for personnel to exchange ideas and methods which they have found to be successful. Readers are requested to submit items they consider to be of value to our combined counterinsurgency operations.

Later Vietnamese POLWAR personnel were added and the name was changed to the PSYOP-POLWAR Newsletter. Looking through my copy from April 1967 I find the following comments on the 244th PSYOP Company:

The 244th PSYOP Company set a record of 4 million leaflets printed in one week. Three presses of the Company and one of the 10th Vietnamese POLWAR Battalion operated together in a new print shop built around the vans. Supplies, presses, paper, drafting boards, photo equipment, paper cutter, and finished leaflets are arranged in an assembly line. Production continues even when a press is down for maintenance and rush orders do not delay mass production…Major McCraig, Commander of the 244th, provides a monthly orientation course for new Marine PSYOP staff officers and U.S. advisors.

The 244th PSYOP Company is organized functionally in the following elements: Intelligence and Propaganda Section; Audio-Visual and Loudspeaker Teams; Reproduction Section, Supply and Maintenance Section and PSYOP Support Center.

“Four Winds” is a continuing project being planned by the 244th PSYOP Company. The mission of the project is to extend leaflet coverage to the first Corps Tactical Zone. “Four Winds” uses all rotary and small fixed wing aircraft by units in the CTZ to drop leaflets. These leaflet drops will be made at random outside the large cities. Each flight will have five bundles of 1000 mixed leaflets.

An Early Uncoded 244th PSYOP Company Leaflet

This early leaflet depicts a lonely Viet Cong soldier seeing all the technology and equipment of the Republic of Vietnam and its allies and deciding to go Chieu Hoi. He sees ships, aircraft, artillery and tanks. The image is very bad. It was in the official records of the company but apparently the photocopy equipment from the mid-1960s leaves something to be desired. The text is:

The Viet Cong and their Party cannot exist in South Vietnam. They are resisting the powerful armed forces of the Vietnamese and their allies which are strongly supported by the people. In addition, with their air power, effective artillery, and other modern weapons the Viet Cong will be destroyed. No Viet Cong can possible live: they are defeated because of their aggressive police against the country and the people.

The Lansing State Journal (Michigan) tells of a MEDCAP operation by the 244th PSYOP Company in November 1966. The article by says in part (edited for brevity):

Deep in the mountainous regions of the Quang Tri Province, Special Forces held a successful MEDSTRAC (Medical Special Action). This is a combined operation which uses the talents and facilities of several agencies, both civilian and military, in areas of civil action, public health and psychological operations to help win the confidence of the people of a specific location. The people chosen for this operation were the Bru tribe of the Montagnards in Long Viet and Po Reing.

The day before the team arrived, an aircraft equipped with loudspeakers and carrying leaflets announced the coming of doctors and medicine. The following day an audiovisual team from the 244th PSYOP Company played taped messages over a public address system to tell the people of the coming event. From then on, the team worked at a frantic pace with more than 200 patients being treated each day. As the patients left the clinical tent, they were given vitamins, health kits, and other civic action items.

In the evening the audiovisual team showed movies to the Montagnards. At the end of the four-day operation more than 1000 patients were seen and treated.

Note: I have an extremely poor image of the envelope that the vitamins and drugs (if necessary) was given to the native people. The image is so bad that I cannot depict it but I can describe it. The title of the envelope is:


On the front of the envelope, we see a Viet Cong with a machete chasing a woman. The text is:

The Viet Cong are the aggressors in Vietnam. The Viet Cong confiscates your goods, burns your homes, and does not care for your life.

The back depicts a Red Cross and a soldier caring for a young child. The text is:

The medicine is a gift for the people from the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces. The Army of the Republic of Vietnam always respects your property and wants to take care of your health.

By December 1968, the PSYOP Company had become a Battalion and the newsletter reports:

Operation Meade River was a cordon and search mission by the 1st Marine Division. The primary purpose was to capture or neutralize Viet Cong infrastructure personnel; an ancillary objective was to destroy enemy units. Two HB Loudspeaker teams from the 7th Battalion and an Armed Propaganda team broadcast 340 hours of ground loudspeaker broadcasts. There were 7 hours of aerial loudspeaker broadcasts and 1,946,000 leaflets dropped. 71 members of the Viet Cong infrastructure were identified and arrested.

The January 1969 edition also mentions the 7th PSYOP Battalion:

On 29 December 1968, a loudspeaker team HB from the 7th PSYOP Battalion at Da Nang was in support of the 11th Light Infantry Brigade. The team had finished a day of broadcasting information about the Volunteer Informant Program. Villagers in the area started bringing in Chinese grenades and mines to the team. The leader of the team asked where the grenades were coming from. “About 50 meters away,” he was told. The team walked to the site and found the villagers digging them out of the ground with their hands. The cache revealed over 500 grenades and several mines. The capability of the Viet Cong to wage through the countryside is reduced every time rewards are paid under these programs.

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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.

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The 0-2B depicted on the cover of the PSYOP Newsletter dropping leaflets

General Westmoreland Inspects Leaflets being loaded into an M129E1 Leaflet Bomb

The Same M129E1 Leaflet Bomb loaded and ready to be airdropped

The Leaflets

The I Corps Joint PSYWAR and Civic Affairs Center Leaflet Catalog


Leaflet 106-66

This very early Vietnamese leaflet to the highland people was prepared before the PSYOP companies were sent to Vietnam. It was created by the I Corps PSYWAR and Civil Affairs Center. Later the 244th PSYOP Company and then the 7th PSYOP Battalion would print leaflets for the I Corps Tactical Zone. This leaflet is an odd size at 5.25 x 4-inches. The standard Vietnam leaflet would soon be 6 x 3-inches due to its ability to provide a better and more accurate spread over the target. The leaflet is stained from the glue used to paste it into an intelligence file. The front depicts friendly Montagnard natives greeting Allied Army troops, The back shows two soldiers joining one native near his home. The Montagnards loved the Americans, were not overly friendly with the South Vietnamese, but hated the Viet Cong. The text on the front and back is:


Citizens, it is your duty to warn the national military authorities of the Viet Cong presence in your village. Hindering Viet Cong penetration into your village means ridding yourselves of personal danger.

The Highlander citizens have given a hand to our troops in courageously chasing away the Viet Cong. We hope you go on to help us in this endeavor and we are ever thankful.

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The 244th PSYOP Company Leaflet & Poster Catalog

My copy of the Catalog is old and faded. The catalog depicts and translates about 100 leaflets. There is a letter inside written by the Commander of the Company, 1st Lieutenant Al T. Burns. As expected in the old days, officers did not have a PSYOP specialty so the Lieutenant was shanghaied from the Infantry. He explains the use of the catalog and says in part:

In compiling this catalog, efforts were made to make the leaflets and posters contained herein as general as possible. But, to give an overall view of our capabilities it was necessary to add leaflets and posters which pertain to specific situations only…Any leaflet or poster can be changed to suit your individual situation. If additions and deletions are necessary, indicate along with your request.

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Leaflet 244-75-67

This is an interesting leaflet written for the highland tribesmen that might have joined the Viet Cong. It was believed that they could not read so this leaflet has four images that tell a story without a single written word. In the first image, three tribesmen look at half-empty Viet Cong rice bowls. All seem to be holding their stomach. In the second image, one has died, either from starvation or disease and the other two decide to go Chieu Hoi and defect. In the third, image they are greeted by a Vietnamese officer who gives them a heaping bowl of clean rice. In the final image, a Vietnamese Army medic cares for their wounds. The Americans show a story of salvation and not a single word of text.

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Leaflet 244-030-68

This leaflet was prepared by the 244th PSYOP Company in 1968. It was made for Viet Cong that could not read. On the front the VC are defeated in a battle and a badly wounded fighter returns to his base camp and finds that they have left without him. The back shows an alternative scenario. The Viet Cong fighter surrenders and receives immediate medical care.

This leaflet was one selected by the Department of Defense to be evaluated for effectiveness by a test group of about 1,757 Vietnamese civilians, Hoi Chanhs (former Viet Cong who had defected) and North Vietnamese and Viet Cong prisoners of war. The leaflets were judged as very effective, moderately effective or ineffective in a publication entitled The Effectiveness of U.S. PSYOPS Leaflets: A Scale for Pretesting published 7 January 1969. The former Viet Cong questioned about this leaflet found it very bad, counter-effective and unintelligible.

Leaflet 244-133-68

This 1968 leaflet from the 244th PSYOP Company depicts a rocket. $100,000 in Vietnamese currency, which was about $847 in U.S. currency, is offered for information leading to the confiscation of the rocket by U.S. or ARVN forces. The text is:

The Government of The Republic of Vietnam and the Free World Military Forces shall reward a sum of maximum 100,000 dong for any information leading to a confiscation or a destruction of enemy rockets.

Another reward shall be for any accurate information on placement, target, firing time, firing position, means of transportation and paths used by the enemy to bring in those rockets into this area. 


Looking through some old leaflet catalogs I see this leaflet was also used by the 244th Leaflet company, probably between early 1966 and late 1967. And we now know it was printed before the arrival of the company by the I Corps Joint PSYWAR and Public Affairs Center where they called it job 124-66. The leaflet itself bore no code. Once the company was authorized all the leaflets were eventually coded with a "246," leaflet number, and 2-digit year like "68."

The text on the front is:

Is this not the time to return to your family?

Which scene do you choose from above?

The text on the back is:

How can you live with hardships, hide in the jungle with poisoned water and constantly worry about airstrikes, far from your family and loved ones?

You have many hardships, but what rewards have you received? While you inhumane and war-mongering leaders who live in North Vietnam only fight with their mouths! Wherever you unit went it only brought death and destruction, the people had to leave their villages and hide from you. And you claim you fight for the right cause?

You must think and choose. A warm house or a shallow grave in the jungle or mountains? A loving wife and children or a place where everyone questions you, are suspicious, and kills each other? A beautiful future or a dark way where death is waiting for you? All this is your choice.

Leaflet 244-301-68

This leaflet depicts a soldier coming down from the North and about to enter South Vietnam. He looks south, but everywhere he looks he sees South Vietnamese Army troops ready to fight and possibly kill him. Where can he safely go? The text is:

Dear Friends

You have taken a harsh journey to infiltrate into South Vietnam. We are saddened to think what is about to come to you next. You will discover the lies of your leaders. The people of the South don't like Communism. We are fighting for freedom.

Regardless of the ideology we follow, we share the same Homeland as brothers from the same family. However, we cannot accept what your leaders have done to our country to make it miserable. Me and you, we don't hate each other, as there is a brotherhood between us. Nonetheless on the battlefield, as we are on the opposing sides, we will have to destroy each other.

My family as yours are dear to us. My family however is enjoying a better life. Thus, I will fight and give my life if necessary to the Nation's just cause. And you, who are you fighting for? To liberate South Vietnam? No! A thousand times no! Your leaders have forced you to fight for a cruel ideology which is Communism that your Chinese masters have brought upon you.

I hope you'll see the truth before it is too late. Death awaits you should you not return.

Please think it over and promptly return to the Nation!

Leaflet 244-329-68

Although this early leaflet is kind of crude, it is interesting because it simply depicts an AK-47, a hand grenade, and a mine. It is surrounded by what looks like a pine bough so that immediately makes me think this was printed around Christmas. At the bottom of the leaflet a Vietnamese civilian point to his right and tells an American or Vietnamese soldier where these weapons are to be found. The text on the back is:


Ask yourself if you have fulfilled your duty of being a citizen of your government yet? While the government has made and is making efforts to bring us material benefits, what have we done to deserve such goodwill from the government. We cannot just stand and watch our loved ones die at the cruel hands of the Viet Cong. We must prevent such meaningless deaths. We all know too well that the Viet Cong hideously place mines and traps in our living areas. To save the lives of our loved ones, we must report all Viet Cong's activities to the government or Allied forces. The government has committed rewards to patriotic and loyal citizens. We are so proud of our homeland, let’s contribute to the construction of a peaceful, wealthy, and free nation. Support the Operation Khai Phong now and we'll participate in the real revolution by the Government.

My translator said that the grammar is awful, and that "revolution" just spoiled the text in his opinion.

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Death Card Poster

This poster is 16 x 10.25-inches in size and printed on one side only; black print on white background; probably designed to be posted on buildings and trees. It has an ace of spades card with skull and crossbones and below it are 4 lines of shaded verse. It is coded “244-298-67,” so it was printed by our 244th PSYOP Company in I Corps in 1967.

The poster message is:

The owls are calling for the souls of the Viet Cong
Those wandering souls without destination
Spreading countless horrors to the people
Those wandering souls died in nameless graves

RETURN [to the National Government] OR DIE

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Leaflet 244th (Q) 018-67

This leaflet was printed by the 244th PSYOP Company in 1967. It seems to be a fairly early version of the image of the Viet Cong and Allied soldier, in this case a Korean Marine. The 244th PSYOP Company served I Corps initially from Da Nang. The unit was subsequently relocated to Nha Trang (in II Corps), with a detachment in Quang Ngai in I Corps. The text on the front is:

Our people should cooperate with the Korean Marines in order to eliminate the Viet Cong

The back of the leaflet is a fairly direct threat which basically says, "Cooperate with the Korean Marines or else." The text is:

The Korean Marines have come here to help the South Vietnamese people. The Korean Marines are now conducting reconnaissance missions and patrols in your villages and out on the front lines to look for the Viet Cong. If you help, conceal, or cooperate with the Viet Cong, allowing them to covertly shoot at the Korean Marines to kill or wound them, your village will inevitably suffer terrible consequences.

You should cooperate with the Korean Marines when they enter your village to eliminate the Viet Cong for the sake of your own self-preservation.

Curiously, I was talking about the Koreans with Vietnam Vet Darrell Bain, and he said:

I like the way the Korean Marines handled their sector. Anytime they got fire from a nearby village, they simply went in and leveled the place. It may not have made many friends but they sure got rid of a lot of enemies.

Apparently, the Koreans were not to be trifled with.

The exact same image was depicted on another uncoded leaflet with the text on the front being:



The text on the back is:

My name is Le Doan Binh of C/15 unit who returned to the National Right Cause on 3 March 1966 at Son Huong Village, Son Tinh District, Quang Ngai Province. I was warmly received by the Army of Vietnam. I therefore want to notify you that Comrades Loi and Tu were wounded in action and Comrades Hoang and Loc were killed in action.

I wish that Comrades Luan, Duong, Luong, Doan, Can Dang and others of the C/15 wait no longer and return to the Government of Vietnam. You will be warmly welcomes as I was.

I’ll be waiting for you.

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This is a B-52

The Americans believed (and rightly so) that the North Vietnamese and the Viet Cong were deathly afraid of the B-52 bomber. As a result, they printed dozens of leaflets depicting the B-52 and dropped them over the enemy in the millions. In what might be considered an odd campaign, the 244th PSYOP Company offered four variations of this leaflet in their Leaflet Catalog. Each variation depicted the same picture of the giant bomber and text on the front, but a different message on the back. The text on the of all four leaflets is:

This is a B-52

Your death will bring much grief to your family back home in the North

The texts on the back of the four leaflets are:


The Army and people of the Free South have known about your plans for a major offensive. The Vietnamese and the Allied armed forces are ready. On this Year of the Monkey 1968 you will meet the same fate as the 200,000 Chinese invaders on Tet 1789. All our most modern weapons await you.


You are preparing to die because your plan for a major offensive has been revealed. The leaders of the Communist Party miscalculated when they decided to launch the offensive before Tet, Year of the Monkey, 1968. The Vietnamese armed forces are ready to launch all their most terrible and modern weapons. You will surely be defeated.


The Government of Vietnam and its Allies have known your plans for a general offensive to gain political superiority. Therefore, all the most modern weapons will be used by the Government of Vietnam and its Allies. You will surely be defeated and have no chance to survive. The armed forces and people of the South will surely win.


Your plans for a general offensive have been revealed. Therefore, you will meet the mighty counter-offensive of the Vietnamese armed forces and the Allied armed forces. We are ready to crush the plots of the leaders of the Communist Party. Death awaits you on the battlefield. You will be defeated like 200,000 Chinese invaders as before.

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I seldom add all-text leaflet because I think the reader deserves interesting images. However, I think this one is worth adding because it is about defoliation. The Americans and Republic of Vietnam produced many different leaflets that talked of all the benefits of spraying Agent Orange and other defoliants. They apparently had no idea of the long-term medical problems these chemicals would cause. The text on the front of this leaflet is:

To the Citizens:

The Army of Vietnam uses chemicals to destroy trees, bushes and all types of vegetation. Because of this, the Viet Cong do not have a concealed place to live, thus making the the conduct of guerrilla operations limited.

This chemical will not harm people, now will it harm animals such as cattle.

After the harvest, the ground will be more fertile.

There is more good news for the farmer on the back:

Do not believe the Viet Cong’s invented propaganda that these chemicals are very poisonous because it is a trick.

The Army of Vietnam has made sure that these chemicals are not poisonous. They will not harm people or animals, but will only destroy vegetation.

After the vegetation is destroyed, the Viet Cong will not have a place to hide and sabotage. Then the people will live in peace.

23 February 1967
Sergeant Bobby May at a MEDCAP

Staff Sergeant Ronald Schatte, the Historian of the 244th PSYOP Company was kind enough to send me a copy of a short talk with a former 244th PSYOP Company soldier in Vietnam. Some of the discussion is quoted here, edited for brevity:

Bobby May Photograph from an unknown newspaper.
He wears a manpack loudspeaker while supporting the 3rd brigade of the 25th Infantry.

Bobby “Bob” Mays Sr. was in the 244th PSYOP Company in Vietnam from 1966 to 1967. He was attached to and supported the 3rd Marine Division at Dong Ha on the demilitarized Zone, then the 25th Infantry Division at Duc Pho. He spent the last 3 months at Da Nang loading leaflets on a C-130 Hercules. He remembers two members killed in action in October 1967. He thought the most critical or worrisome times were when he went on patrol along the DMZ.

Little Nguyen

Children should be giver a bath with soap and water every day

Don’t wash food in the river or in impure water

In Vietnam, Army PSYOP teams were assigned to support combat units of the American and Allied forces. In this case, an Army PSYOP team supported the 1st Marines. A small booklet was found held together by a typical military clasp that had the comment on the front: Health and Sanitation Leaflets by S-3 Psywar. An introductory letter inside was signed by G. R. Kesser, Captain, USMR. I have edited the letter for brevity:

The results of poor personal and public sanitation and hygiene have been evident to every MEDCAP team that has ventured into the villages and hamlets in Vietnam. The concern for this situation expressed by American medical personnel throughout the country is shared by Vietnamese officials at all levels of government. These conditions are most acute in rural areas where adequate educational and medical facilities are yet to be established…The idea of health and sanitation leaflets is nothing more than another approach to this problem.

The use of caricature to influence public opinion is not a new technique to modern advertising…The wording of the pamphlet has been kept simple and produced in bold letters. It is recognized by experts in the field of Psychological Warfare (and advertising) that the hand-to-hand dissemination of leaflets, pamphlets, and brochures is the most effective method. These leaflets therefore are envisioned to be as much a part of the treatment received from the MEDCAP as is the Band-Aid. “Little Nguyen” is a caricature associated with helpful sanitation, hygiene, and medical advice to be used as a tool to promote pro-government propaganda.

The assistance of First Lieutenant James Cully, 244th PSYOP Company, his staff, and counterparts at the 3rd PSYWAR Battalion in originating the caricature and preparing the leaflets is appreciated. Tribute must be also given to the U.S. Navy Doctors and Corpsmen attached to the 1st Marines. It is expected that “Little Nguyen” will serve his country well.

The booklet contains many leaflets and their translation. In all cases, Little Nguyen wears a bright golden conical hat (the only color on the leaflet) and his face is never seen. Some of the other leaflets are:

Little Nguyen sick in bed with the text on front and back:

When you are sick, rest in your room alone

Don’t sleep in the same room with a sick person

Little Nguyen in the shower:

Use soap when bathing

Brush your teeth upon waking up of going to bed

Little Nguyen pooping in the bush:

Dig a hole in which to excrete

Fill the hole carefully with dirt when finished

Little Nguyen and a female friend coughing:

Coughing in someone else’s presence can spread disease/p>

When you cough, use a handkerchief to cover your mouth 

244th Psychological Operations Company Awards and Decorations

Presidential Unit Citation

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The Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for Vietnam 1967-1968

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Navy Unit Commendation for Vietnam 1967-1968

244th PSYOP Detachment Awards and Decorations


Presidential Unit Citation

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Meritorious Unit Commendation

Valorous Unit Award

The Return of the 244th PSYOP Detachment

The reader will see directly below this section that the 244th became the 7th PSYOP Battalion and in theory ceased to exist. We know that as the United States pulled out of Vietnam in 1972-1973 just about all the PSYOP units turned over their printing presses and other equipment to Vietnamese forces under President Nixon’s “Vietnamization” plan. Combat units still in the field were told to order the leaflets and loudspeaker mission they needed from the Vietnam PSYOP units. There were still some Americans there, though very few. In fact, some American troops that wanted to stay in the field of PSYOP were told to apply for entrance into the 7th PSYOP Group in Okinawa. I assume that there was a need for a dedicated PSYOP unit in Vietnam because the 244th PSYOP Detachment was reconstituted.

The 244th was reactivated on 1 May 1972 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel David G. Underhill who we mention often in our articles on the 7th PSYOP Group and Operation Jilli. He handpicked his staff. Captain Richard Sanders was Executive Order, Civilian GS-13 Billy F. Hunt was Operations Officer, First Lieutenant Joseph L. Tebor was the Intelligence Liaison Officer, Sergeant First Class Robert Durbin was the noncommissioned officer in charge, and Specialist Five Robert Leach was Administrative Clerk.

The Detachment took over the Strategic Leaflet Operation from the Military Assistance Command Vietnam on 1 July 1972 and Underhill, Hunt, and Tebor were in Vietnam from September 1972 until 24 April 1973 when combat operations ended. Mr. Hunt went to Vietnam first to interview 150 applicants to fill 12 positions. He hired 2 females (both illustrators) and 10 males (1 former newspaper editor, 1 former magazine editor, 1 interpreter and 7 writers). All twelve were born and raised in North Vietnam.

Retired Army Major Joseph L. Tebor was interviewed in March 2022 about his duties during the Vietnam War with the 244th PSYOP Detachment of the 7th PSYOP Group in Okinawa and Vietnam. Later he spoke to me. Some of his comments are:

As the war neared its end, the 7th PSYOP Battalion had nothing to do with strategic leafleting. We took that over and were sent on temporary duty to Vietnam as the Leaflet Development Unit (LDU). On 1 July 1972, we took over the product development, pre- and post-testing of the leaflets, and the dissemination of the leaflets. We wore civilian clothes, kept to ourselves, and had a low profile. We were part of the 7th PSYOP Group. When Underhill left, I became the commander of the 244th PSYOP Detachment.

I am referring to Psychological Warfare, and the use of Propaganda Leaflets, radios, flotation bags, the dissemination of leaflets from various aircraft like helicopters, Jets, cargo planes and drones. We also delivered transistor radios by balloon launched from submarines. That was a complicated process. The radios were in a Styrofoam box attached to a wooden stick we called a mast. The radio floated using the tides and when a timer activated a balloon it expanded and lifted the radio into the air and after a certain desired time the balloon burst, a parachute was deployed, and the box and radio gently fell to the ground in the desired location.

We disseminated leaflets printed in 3 different denominations (1, 2 and 5 dong) of North Vietnamese currency, printed in full color front and back. Originally the banknotes were designed to just have one serial number. Someone later decided that they would work better if all the serial numbers were different. That change by the printers in the Philippines made it possible for the North Vietnamese to claim we were counterfeiting their money. If all the notes had the same serial number, it would have been clear they were not meant to be spent. If we wanted them to be spent, we would have perforated them for easier separation of the propaganda tag.

As the Intelligence Liaison Officer for the 244th Det, 7th PSYOP Group, I was responsible for selecting the targets for every Vietnamese Language Strategic Leaflet Drop throughout all North and South Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos from 1 May 1972, until combat ended in April 1973. I provided the 7th Air Force with 60 targets every month; 30 primary and 30 alternate. They flew at least 1 mission every day and every mission included a minimum of 15,000,000 leaflets. I prearranged codes that were Field Goal, Rice River (Cambodia), Prairie Lightning, and Trail (Laos). That made the targets more secure because nobody knew the codes and could tell where the missions would occur except for the people that knew the codes.

I also selected the targets for the last 6 missions involving the delivery of leaflets by remote controlled Drones. My collection includes a box specially made for drone missions, that is packed with the same leaflets that were dropped from these drones over North Vietnam.

I also contracted with the Union Carbide Corporation for special paper and ink that were waterproof and would last for years. I put one of our safe conduct passes in a jar full of water and sealed it. It looks as good today as the day we printed it about five decades ago.

Major Tebor has donated his collection to the National Vietnam War Museum in Texas.

I was interested in seeing if my PSYOP records mentioned the return of the 244th PSYOP Unit. This happened so late in the war, July 1972 to be exact, and my last copy of the PSYOP POLWAR Newsletter is April 1972, which by coincidence is the last issue published. Vietnam was on its way to disappearing as a viable nation. I saw no mention of the unit but did see that the only tactical PSYOP assets remaining in-country were two C-47 PSYOP aircraft based at Tin Son Nhut airbase. They flew daily leaflet and loudspeaker missions In Pleiku and Kontun Provinces. Possibly by coincidence Tebor told me that the 244th was based at Ton Son Nhut close to the Navy Commander’s headquarters. I also see a request for American PSYOP specialists to apply to the 7th PSYOP Group in Okinawa. They ask for interviewers, intelligence analysts, writers, artists, and clerk typists. It says that more than 200 troops responded to the request. So, we see the last of the Americans PSYOP troops leaving Vietnam and heading for Okinawa.

The 7th PSYOP Battalion in Vietnam

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7th PSYOP Battalion Headquarters in Vietnam

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7th PSYOP Battalion area of responsibility in Vietnam

In the I Corps Tactical Zone, the 7th PSYOP Battalion of the 4th PSYOP Group was formed in Nha Trang from the 6th Battalion's 244th PSYOP Company.  It was officially constituted 7 November 1967 in the Regular Army as the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion.  It was activated 1 December 1967. Since elements of the 244th PSYOP Company were already in Danang, the 7th PSYOP Battalion absorbed the unit and was headquartered there.

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.

According to the Operations Report ­ Lessons Learned Headquarters 7th Psychological Operations Battalion period ending 31 January, 1968 dated 6 February 1968, the number of leaflets printed during the last quarter of 1967 was 59 million. In addition the battalion took credit for 61 ralliers; Newsletter/Newspapers: 32,000; Ground Loudspeaker Broadcasts: 2,284 hours and 5 minutes; Motion Picture showings: 423 hours and 55 minutes; Movies shown: 699; Leaflets printed: 59,944,800; Leaflets printed Chieu Hoi: 14,977,610; Posters printed: 646,350; Total impressions: 13,850,249; New leaflets: 168; Sorties: 1222; Leaflets dropped: 620,140,500; Airborne Loudspeaker Broadcasts: 863 hours and 45 minutes and Leaflets shipped: 10,121,900.

Two additional battalion records were set during the quarter as they produced a total of 2 million leaflets in one day and a total of 7,250,500 leaflets in one week.

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Leaflet 7-408-71 - A Rice Denial Leaflet

Our Operational report just below mentions the rice denial campaign. There were dozens of such leaflets prepared because Mao had said that the Guerrilla must move among the people like a fish in the sea. The Americans knew that the Viet Cong stole or bought rice from the farmers with bogus “rice bonds.” These leaflets attempted to motivate the farmers to hide their rice and not give it to the guerrillas. I chose this one because it has a bit of color. There are several leaflets in this series all in a blue series. Some of the text on the front and back is:

Just as leeches suck the blood of the water buffaloes, the
North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong suck the blood of our people.

The North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong are just like leeches. They seek to suck the lifeblood from the poor peasants. They levied many illegal taxes on our property and rice, in order to prolong the war…To preserve our precious rice and at the same time to hasten peace, help the government to stop the collection of rice…

The reader might wonder “why all the bother? How much rice could the Viet Cong accumulate?”  The answer is quite surprising. In December 1967, the U.S. 9th Infantry division did a sweep just south of the Cambodian border and discovered a Vietnamese tin building in the middle of the jungle with no windows or doors. Wondering what it might contain, the men tore off the roof and found the building filled with 550 cubic feet of rice weighing 140 tons. Further reconnaissance found two more nearby buildings. In all, 440 tons of rice, enough to keep a small village fed for months was discovered. It was hidden in the middle of the jungle by the Viet Cong and used to feed one of their Brigades. The rice was confiscated and given to the Vietnamese people.

The Operational Report of Lessons Learned for the Quarterly Period ending 31 July 1968 of the 7th PSYOP Battalions mentions some of their achievements:

Three primary campaigns were developed during the reporting period. The first was called “The Rice Denial Campaign.” Leaflets and poster, informing the people of a safe-haven rice storage program, were developed to be utilized in all portions of I Corps. Their rice would be protected by the hamlet, village and district officials. As part of the Rice Denial program, the Government of Vietnam and Allied troops aided in rice protection in all of the provinces. The entire program was staffed throughout the provinces prior to production. Leaflets and posters were utilized in this program.

The second principal campaign developed and produced by this unit was “The Peace Talks Campaign.” This campaign began during the first part of June. As new developments during the peace talks occurred, new leaflets were developed and produced. A letter of instruction was published with the first group of leaflets outlining guides for the use of the leaflets on various target audiences. In addition to 7th PSYOP Battalion leaflets, JUSPAO and the 4th PSYOP Group leaflets were utilized in this campaign. Additional leaflets will be prepared as significant events develop during the peace talks.

The third principal campaign developed by this headquarters was directed against the 2nd NVA Division. This campaign was a pilot project to demonstrate to the allied divisions that improved psychological operations can be accomplished by having the Propaganda Development Center develop leaflets, with the divisions planning the targeting. This campaign is presently in initial states and the complete effectiveness is not yet available.

During the reporting period the following PSYOP support was provided to units in I Combat Tactical Zone:

a. Ground loudspeaker hours: 2,537
b. Motion picture hours: 364
c. Motion pictures shown: 598
d. Leaflets printed: 113,912,210
e. Leaflets printed in support of Chieu Hoi: 46,423,000
f. Posters printed: 91,450
g. New leaflets developed: 147
h. Tapes made: 331
i. Sorties flown: 1,044
j. Leaflets dropped: 565,671,300
k. Aerial loudspeaker hours: 1,350

According to the Operations Report ­ Lessons Learned Headquarters 7th Psychological Operations Battalion period ending 30 April 1970, dated 11 May 1970, in 89 days of continuous operations the battalion produced 77,297,737 6 x 3-inch leaflets. The number of requests for development and printing support fluctuated from a low of 55 in February to a high of 113 in March. The small number of requests for local development and printing support received during February is attributed to the large volume of off-shore printed materials disseminated in support of the TET campaign during that period.

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The Rallier Guide

To outline the procedures to be followed by the combined Psychological Operations Center in order to provide consistent, professional and effective propaganda development in support of the PSYOP effort in the 4th Combat Tactical Zone. This booklet was heavily illustrated and mentioned various ways to make the rallier feel at home and get him to produce intelligence and propaganda for our forces.

An increase in rallier appeal leaflet requests and in the number of items developed in support of the Phoenix/Phung Hoang Program accounted for the increased support rendered by the battalion in March. During this reporting period, the 7th Battalion supported the Phoenix/Phung Hoang Program in its campaign to induce the local populace to report the location of VC through the use of "wanted" posters.

Edwin Roberts says in The Psychological War for Vietnam, 1960-1968: University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 2018:

The 7th PSYOP Battalion in Da Nang attempted to hire a Vietnamese illustrator to insure a more culturally appropriate product in its corps. For example, a JUSPAO report warned: “A local artist would know better than to show a father publicly mourning the death of his young child”; and “depicting a female ex-Viet Cong Hoi Chanh with a cigarette in her hand would impair her credibility as a communicator.”

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7th PSYOP Battalion print vans in Vietnam

A 1968 U.S. Army 4th PSYOP Group booklet for newly arriving members says:

Winning the hearts and minds of the people of I Corps is one responsibility of the 7th PSYOP Battalion in Da Nang. Working closely with the Marine Corps, the battalion also provides PSYOP support for all operations in the northernmost corps. This support comes in the form of leaflet and broadcast messages and field teams. During the 1968 Tet Offensive, the battalion provided teams to such areas as Hue and Khe Sanh to give assistance to Allied units in battle scarred areas. The battalion headquarters is located on the ARVN 10th Political Warfare (POLWAR) Battalion compound. Enlisted men of the unit live in the Palace Hotel while Officers reside in the Hotel Than Nhat. During off-duty time, the men of the battalion relax at one of the many beaches located in the Da Nang area. Although the city itself is off limits to American military personnel, many recreational facilities are provided within a short distance of the battalion compound.

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U-10 aircraft dropping leaflets in Vietnam

Although we don’t know what specific propaganda leaflets were dropped on the Communist forces besieging the Marines as Khe Sanh, we do know that C-47 aircraft from Flight A of the 9th Air Commando Squadron, 14th Air Commando Wing, dropped a total of 31,000,000 leaflets in adverse weather on the enemy and the unit’s Commander was awarded an Army Commendation Medal for “deterring enemy forces from conducting a massive ground assault on the Khe Sahn position.”

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Loudspeaker team accompanies a combat unit on patrol

Captain Anthony Mottle was a Detachment Commander in the 7th PSYOP Battalion based in Da Nang in 1970. When asked about his duties he said:

The mission of the unit was to support the various units in I CORPS. We had a propaganda section in Da Nang that produced leaflets for units such as the 1st Marine Division, the 2nd Brigade of the 101st Airborne Division at Phu Bai, The 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division at Chu Lai and the 1st Brigade of the 5th Mechanized Infantry Division. We had a Vietnamese psychologist working for us in the propaganda section. We usually assigned two-man teams to the supported units that went out with the maneuver forces to broadcast to the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army troops. We had helicopters at our disposal at the various units to broadcast to the enemy and disseminate leaflets. We also participated in Medical Civic Action Programs.

U.S. Army Sergeant Charles Cook served in Headquarters Company and later “B” Company, 7th PSYOP Battalion in Da Nang City as the Battalion Photographer from January to December 1970. At the time the 7th Battalion was quartered at the White Elephant Hotel, across the street from the Interrogation Center, and next to the CORDs building. About January 1971 the Battalion moved across the river to China Beach. He told me:

We had a work compound in the city close to camp Tien Shaw (an old French fort taken over by the Navy). We provided PSYOP support for all Army and Marine combat units in I corps. We also supported ARVN combat units in I corps. We worked with Civil Operations and Rural Development (CORDS) providing support for Medical Civil Action Programs (MEDCAPS), Yet Thi, Phu Heuong, and Phoenix. For operation purposes we were directly under 5th Special Forces Group Nha Trang.

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American-made North Vietnamese Propaganda Currency
The Counterfeits were of a higher grade

The 9th SOS (Special Operations Squadron) at Da Nang Airbase was used for air support, making leaflet drops, and “special missions” all over I Corps. At the north end of Da Nang Airbase were about 100 Conex containers that were filled with leaflets and counterfeit currency. We had one container that was filled with boxes of counterfeit currency that were so real that even North Vietnamese officials had a problem telling the difference. Of course, there are always problems. I was told that right after we filled one container North Vietnam changed their money rendering that container worthless, and useless. If I remember we were told that the watermarks on the Counterfeits were either wrong or had been changed. I am not an expert on currency so really don't recall exactly what the problem was.

Back in the 1970’s a lot more counterfeit money was available than most people think, although it was tightly controlled. Every bill had to be accounted for 24 hours a day. This was the only item that was not pilfered. If anyone of us got caught with any of it you could expect nothing less than a courts martial and serious time behind bars. From time to time myself and another member of the unit were sent on leaflet runs to Quang Tri and Phu Bui. One time my partner and I took a jeep from Quang Tri Combat Base, followed by an American civilian who we did not know, in another jeep, about 40 kilometers north. The jeep had 5 or 6 boxes marked Hoi Bin (peace). We left the jeep in a clearing just off the road, and returned to Quang Tri Combat Base to spend the night. We returned the next morning to find an empty jeep and the boxes gone.

In conclusion, The 7th Battalion had about 150 men at any given time, with about half assigned to combat operations with other units in I Corps. In Vietnam the 7th Battalion was an efficient and hard-working unit. My experience was very good at times, and very bad at other times. I would not trade one minute of those times for anything.

I asked Charles about the equipment he used in Vietnam:

We sometimes used Polaroid cameras for lab work. We did all our lab work (leaflet and wanted posters) with a brownie 4X5. Sort of the old fashion way. I was issued a Nikon F W/55mm lens. I bought other lens from the Post Exchange and other sources. All after-action reports (official) were done with Nikon 35mm cameras. Pictures taken at the Interrogation Center were all 35mm cameras. Also note that some of the pictures that were on leaflets were from original pictures taken from bodies, or from Chieu Hoi's and Regional and Popular forces. One of my jobs with CORDs was to walk around Da Nang and take pictures of buildings and people. The prints that were confiscated from me when I left were from these excursions into the city. I had an ID card that allowed me to go anywhere in Da Nang. When I first got to Danang it was under the control of AFP's (Armed Forces Police) I got checked at every turn by them. About June or July 1970, the AFP's were disbanded and the Army Military Police took over. After a while Da Nang was under such tight control that we would get asked for identification cards just walking over to the Interrogation Center. I was head of the camera section for a while and I set up the system to make wanted posters and the Viet Cong Infrastructure leaflets.

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Sp5 Pasquale Vallese

Specialist 5th Class Pasquale Vallese who was in Vietnam from November 1968 to November 1969 as part of the U.S. Army 7th PSYOP Battalion attached to the 3rd Marine Division remarked:

After Basic training at Fort Bragg, I was sent to 16 weeks at Fort Holabird in Maryland for Order of Battle Analyst (96B20). I received orders for 525th Military Intelligence at MACV Headquarters. I was excited and looking forward to what some might call an office job.With fate being as it is, our Flying Tiger Airline jet broke down in Anchorage, Alaska, delaying our arrival in Saigon by a day. When I arrived, I found that my job was assigned to somebody else. But we got another assignment in Saigon with the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion.It did not look like the best duty and we thought it was office work until we found out we would not be in Saigon; we were headed for Da Nang in I Corps. So, I am back on a plane, heading for Da Nang.When we got there somebody grabbed our gear for us and we were taken to a compound which had a hotel for a barracks. I thought that looked great, not Saigon, but living in a hotel and all. Well that bit of dreaming, ended fast. I was assigned to B Company, and I was on the move again up to Dong Ha, stationed with the 3rd Marines at their base camp.

This was the end of the line, hooches with sandbags, rats, and mud filled bunkers. Our unit was the Marines G2/G5 staff, so we did have a sort of free hand in our comings and goings.  We did the field broadcasting with Kit Carson Scouts and ARVN interpreters throughout northern I Corps. Rockpile seemed to be our jumping off point for most Operations.  Having a rock musician background, I revised our speaker system we use to lug into the field. I found out early that the Marines like to use the PSYOP message to draw fire to locate the North Vietnam Regulars, so I revised our field speaker system. My first revision was to get 50 yards of speaker cable, do some splicing and soldering and cut the speaker rack down to two horns from four. That made it a little safer to broadcast. We are talking November 1968 thru November 1969. I Corps had just lost Khe Sanh and NVA and VC were a tough audience to convince to Chieu Hoi. However, We did have some walk right up to us with their safe conduct passes.  

We used to go out some afternoons looking to buy weapons and stuff in the villages, and as it turned out, we kind of sold them back to some of the Officers when we returned. I ended up with this nice AK-47 with a folding stock, almost mint on one of those operations. At night we would travel down Highway one towards Quang Tri and get into those back road villages for MEDCAP Operations [Author: medical teams would sometimes go to local villages to treat the civilians and try to make friends for the Americans and the Government of Vietnam], except we were only one truck, and movie projector, a generator, a screen, and interpreter, a reel of the latest Armed Forces TV show (usually "Wild’ Wild West") TV show, and a movie or two about health, except these were in Vietnamese. I have no idea how they knew what "James West" was saying, but the people really enjoyed watching. [Author: In one of my other articles, I tell of the Montagnards attacking the screen with arrows when the cavalry arrived to kill the Indians].

It has always amazed me that walking up and down those mountains in I Corps, getting into fire fights, living the childhood game of "Army" I was not authorized to receive a CIB, because my MOS was 96B20. A lot of FACs that traveled with the infantry were also pissed. Blame General Marshall. He said guys like you could come and go but the infantry stayed. He made the CIB just for them. [Author: General George C. Marshall was very specific in WWII in saying that only the infantry grunt stays under fire for months while the other specialties, even though important, come and go as needed].

We got used to taking showers in the rain and burning the "Shit Cans" when we got back to base. We had the advantage of being Army at a Marine Base Camp, that their PX was not allowed to punch our ration cards, so we could buy as much as we wanted.

The time in 1969 when they had the MPC switch over, [Author: the MPC was changed without notice every few years so that it could not be hoarded by the black marketeers and Viet Cong. It became valueless in one day. Vietnamese bar owners and bar girls were known to gather at the base entrances and beg troops to exchange their money]. We were in Da Nang, and when they closed down everything for the switch, we told the Pay Officers we had money back in Dong Ha, our home base, they checked it out, found it to be true, and gave us special passes allowing us to switch after the date! This is not to say it was all fun and games with us. A guy I met in Da Nang had just arrived in the country. His name was William C. Gearing Jr. We became good friends that day. On the 27th of June 1969 Life magazine put his face on the cover to give a face for the War Dead in Vietnam. This issue listed everyone killed that week with pictures. We in Vietnam never got to see this issue. And it's no surprise that our PSYOP Units did have more killed. Places like Camp Carroll, Quang Tri, Razorback, and The Rockpile were dangerous. On the Rockpile I met and spoke to a young Marine Lieutenant named Oliver North. We never wore rank in the field, so no one ever knew who we were. Which I liked. If we wanted to get out of a hot zone, all we had to do was ask. Just writing this has jogged some memories. I often wondered why the pilots of the Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter would never lower the tail gate to the ground. After running for your life up a hill with a full backpack of gear, I had to throw myself onto the chopper. Ba Moui Ba [Author: Vietnamese beer] was always good after a hot day in the field. One thing we also did at Dong Ha, we bought Seabee [Author: Naval Construction Battalions] uniforms so we could eat in the Navy Mess. They had the best chow.

Yeah, for a while I was near a PT Boat base (they didn’t call them that) and they all got double rations and food cooked to order like the submariners. It was a pleasure to eat with them. It was also good to sneak into the Officer's Club every now and then if you could pull it off.

We drove there in an Army deuce and a half, but no one seemed to care. One night we found a navy jeep stuck in the mud, so we pulled it out and gave it an Army paint job and fake numbers and gave it to our Captain. He loved it, except he drove it down to Da Nang one day for a meeting, bragging and all, and they took it away from him because it was not in his list of authorized vehicles.

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PSYOP team member announces information on a movie that will be projected from his vehicle in Vietnam

Specialist Pasquale Vallese told me on a second occasion:

To be honest, our operations in northern I Corps, as far as the NVA were concerned, was a losing battle. All these North Vietnamese troops were “gung-ho” to kick some butt, and the last thing they wanted to hear after just crossing over the DMZ was some guy playing loudspeaker messages about them being homesick. We tried using an Order of Battle Handbook to talk directly to the Regular Units, even adding a name here and there of their dead or people known to be in these Units. The people we did manage to talk in usually did not have much to offer in the way of intelligence. To win the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese people, we had to go into their villages, and show them respect. While in the villages, we used our ARVN interpreters. They were very helpful, broke the ice, so to speak, and provided our G2 shop with lots of intelligence about VC movement, caches, and strong holds. When we had field operations, we were to use Kit Carson Scouts [Author: The Army used former Viet Cong, called “Hoi Chanhs” as Scouts and sometimes as entertainers talking about their awful life in the Viet Cong. The Marines called them Kit Carson Scouts and were very proud of them, all ex-Viet Cong who knew their ways and could speak their language]. I always had mistrust for these greasy turncoats. When they were broadcasting, without our interpreter, I was never quite sure what they were saying, were they traitors to their own cause? After many complaints, our team was allowed to use just our Vietnamese Army translator, Sergeant Be, a real nice guy.

On some nights we could see movement on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Up in the mountains we could see the battleship USS New Jersey shell impacts and hear the shells whizzing overhead. I saw two Arc Light runs, B-52s hitting the enemy from about 3 miles out. If you thought Disneyworld had a lightshow, you never saw Puff the Magic Dragon [Author, gunships were aircraft fitted with mini-guns and sometimes even artillery. In Vietnam they went from C47s to C119s to C130s and the name kept changing from Puff to Spooky to Specter.] doing her gunship thing.

I suppose the difference between people who come back whole, and those who are troubled about the war are the people who can lock away the bad memories. So, as I write this all I can conjure up is spending my 21st birthday, in the field, eating pound cake with melted chocolate bar as icing, using napalm to cook my dinner (was a ton of the stuff everywhere I walked up in those mountains), walking thru fields of Marijuana, It was quite an adventure for me. Nothing I was expecting while attending Ft. Holabird. Took my Rest and Relaxation time in Sydney and watched an anti-war protest at the University of Sydney. I also went to Bangkok and Hong Kong.

Little did I know I would be faced with the same greetings when I returned home. Walking thru the Seattle Airport trying to get to the USO between flights; walking in a semi formation, we got a lot of "Baby Killer" shout-outs. Most people would put their heads down when they passed you in uniform. It seemed that the only place you were welcomed was in Vietnam, or the Bob Hope House. I have never seen a “score card” for how the PSYOP did all those years. It’s something I would like to know. I'd also like to hear of some other accounts of other PSYOP troops. Oh, and most importantly, I learned to appreciate Jim Beam during this year. It’s still my only drink to date. [Author: there are various claims for the number of Viet Cong and NVA that surrendered using Chieu Hoi (open Arms) safe conduct passes. They are as low as 80,000+ and as high as 200,000. It all depends on who did the counting.]

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Sergeant Rich Hosier with a Viet Cong Colonel who went Chieu Hoi

Rich Hosier was originally assigned to the 6th PSYOP Battalion in Vietnam in August 1967. He was later sent to the 244th PSYOP Company and 7th PSYOP Battalion in Da Nang. He was then sent to Chu Lai to support the 23rd Infantry (Amercal) Division where he started his “On-the-Job training.” He went on various missions winning “hearts and minds” and showing movies. He always started with hygiene movie to explain the proper way to brush your teeth or bathe a child, and then he would show a real Hollywood movie. The favorites were Westerns. The Vietnamese loved the horses! Once his team was laughing as they watched “The Green Berets” although it was in English and most of them couldn't understand a word of it. Rich told me:

We were an HB Team (Loudspeaker), with no team members. We would broadcast on the ground and from helicopters using a cassette player with tapes sent to us from Da Nang. We usually had a script so we knew what the message was and sometimes we took the S3 (Operations) interpreter on missions for live broadcasting. We dropped leaflets by the thousands. Leaflet drops were very sophisticated. We would identify a target; usually a village and the pilot would help us with wind direction and tell us when to drop. Some missions we flew while a battle was going on. I remember at least three times when our tactical leaflets identified the enemy units so the messages were very personal. Broadcasting and dropping leaflets was very dangerous as we flew very slowly at an altitude of about 1,500 feet. I can't ever remember not getting shot at when doing this.

One of the great problems with writing these stories is digging information out of the vets who had boots on the ground. After this story was complete I talked to Rich Hosier and he agreed to send me more data and photographs. I want to thank Rich personally for taking the time to put this material together for our readers.

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Preparing for a Mission

Rich Hosier and Marine Staff-Sergeant Conticelli (his first Team Leader), preparing for a mission in December 1967. This was in support of Operation Muscatine, which was a Division size operation in the Southern I Corps. They ran daybreak and dusk missions for 27 straight days. The flights were provided by the 123rd aviation company.

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The Viet Cong tend to shoot at Loudspeakers

Rich told me:

On those days we were not in the field, we would take a couple of our Chieu Hoi's on a drive up Highway 1 find what looked like a Viet Cong trail, point the jeep toward a tree line or village and broadcast messages. In March 1968, we were coming off LZ Baldy in Quang Tin Province, south of Da Nang and north of Tam Ky, province capital. Our Chieu Hoi was sitting in the back seat broadcasting and we suddenly took several rounds of fire one of which hit our jeep. The bullet went right by the broadcaster and hit our spare tire!

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Setting up a Loudspeaker System on a Jeep

Rich spoke about setting up his jeep and his former Chieu Hoi team mamber. He said:

This is January 1968 on LZ Baldy. I send this to show how we had our speakers attached to our jeep. The Chieu Hoi in the background was our first, who came from the Tam Ky Center. His name was Tran Loi. He was 19 years old, had been a school teacher in a small village and when the VC came on recruiting tours the villagers hid Loi. Finally they knew they couldn't hide him forever and brought him to Tam Ky. The colonel reached out to us and told us Loi was smart and would make a good man for our team. Good call on his part; he was outstanding.

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After Tet 68, a Viet Cong has had enough

This picture shows a Viet Cong guerrilla who gave up as Rich and his team were broadcasting. They were with an ARVN company in Quang Tin province shortly after TET, in March 1968. This guerrilla was so close to where they we were broadcasting that they didn't even know he was there until he stood up and walked toward them.

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More Viet Cong call it Quits!

The Viet Cong were almost wiped out in Tet 68. 37,000 may have been killed during the heavy fighting. Here, a group of VC soldiers who gave up in March of 1968 near Tam Ky, where a Chieu Hoi center was located.

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Supporting the Marines with a Loudspeaker Mission

In June of 1968, the Marines were taking heavy fire and Rich was called upon to set up his loudspeakers on an Armed Personnel Carrier (APC) and broadcast to the enemy on Highway 1, just south of Hoi An.

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A Former Viet Cong Speaks to his old Comrades.

Here is one of the Hoi Chanhs attached to the PSYOP Detachment on top of the APC shown above broadcasting to his friends still fighting the Vietnamese government and their allies.

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The Marines make a House Call

Hosier stated that:

Lieutenant Stewart Clark III was the 7th PSYOP’s Detachment 3 Commander and supported the Amercal Division located in Chu Lai. Here Clark, Hosier and Marine Sergeant Major Roger Fahrengruh are on the river from Chu Lai to a local village to perform a United States Medical civic action program (MEDCAP). Treating the local Vietnamese for various diseases and medical problem was an excellent way to win hearts and minds. This was April 1969, and Hosier went along for the ride and was happy to report that there was no unfriendly fire!

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A 7th Battalion audiovisual truck

Homer Hodge was a 7th PSYOP Battalion audio/visual team leader that operated from Detachment 3, in Chu Lai. He told me:

I was a newly commissioned Field Artillery officer right out of Officer Candidates School when I arrived in Vietnam in December 1968, but I had eight years previous intelligence work and PSYOP training as an enlisted man with tours in Korea and Japan. I believe that early experience provided me a better understanding of Vietnamese culture and much greater insight into the rural people, their daily lives and hardships, and community. As a result I developed much respect for and empathy toward those Vietnamese with whom I met and associated. This understanding enabled my team to tailor our message to the maximum extent possible, considering available tools and material.

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The team prepares to ride boats to a remote village with its loudspeaker equipment

During my tour, I provided PSYOP audio/visual support to rifle companies on operations, Military Assistance Command-Vietnam advisor teams, Vietnamese Army Special Forces teams, and even a U.S. Marine Combined Action Program team. My team spent numerous days and nights in rural villages and drew hostile fire a few times. Our Vietnamese Kit Carson scout (a former Viet Cong who went Chieu Hoi) saved our lives more than once with his advice on where to go and not go.

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Team members Specialist Four Esch, Kit Carson scout Loi, and Homer Hodge

Our Kit Carsen Scout Loi seemed to have an intuitive sense of areas and villages where Viet Cong might be waiting in ambush for us. On one occasion, we were accompanying U.S. MACV advisors to a village, when Loi said we should turn back. We did but the MACV advisors continued on and ran into small arms fire and had to execute a rapid retreat.


All the PSYOP Battalions, the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 10th, were subordinate to the 4th PSYOP Group. The Group was activated in the U.S. Army on 7 November 1967 and activated with headquarters in Saigon on 1 December 1967. The Group published a monthly magazine called Credibilis (“Credible, worthy of belief”) that told of the exploits of the Group and the Battalions. It is a nice way of keeping track of what any battalion was doing at any specific time.

In December 1968, Credibilis looked back on that year in Vietnam and said in part about the 7th Battalion:

The 7th PSYOP Battalion supports five U.S. Army and Marine Divisions from the Demilitarized Zone to the ancient capital of Hue. Over the past year more than 2,500 enemy soldiers have rallied to the Government of Vietnam under the Chieu Hoi Program. The Battalion works closely with the Vietnamese Army 10th Political Warfare Battalion, sharing the same compound. In January, 33,785,000 leaflets were dropped around the Khe Sanh area while it was under siege. “Operation Homefront” was developed by the Battalion in April, with packages containing safe conduct passes and a general Chieu Hoi appeal. The Peace Talks Campaign in June began with four basic leaflets. A logical progression of more leaflets was added to attain maximum exploitation of Hanoi’s role in the talks. In June, the Battalion set a record of printing 25 million leaflets in 10 days. Support of the Phoenix Program was begun in July.

7th Battalion Field Teams Take to the Waterways

The December 1969 issue had a short story about the 7th PSYOP Battalion using a small flat-bottomed police boat borrowed from the 198th Light Infantry Brigade to reach Vietnamese citizens otherwise inaccessible:

Reminiscent of the riverine force operations in the Delta, a 7th PSYOP Battalion field team has taken to the water to increase the effectiveness of loudspeaker broadcasts north of the I Corps city of Chu Lai. The members of HB (Loudspeaker) team 8, operating with the Americal Division, has found reaching the people in the area extremely difficult because of the numerous waterways, islands, and inlets there…Other teams in the area have also taken to the water aboard Navy swift boats for broadcasts along the coast.

The Monthly Operations Report

The Magazine Credibilis is usually about 20-pages long, highly illustrated, and mostly light news for the Group members. The Monthly Operations Report is a completely different animal. It has no fancy cover. It would be sent back to Ft. Bragg and perhaps the Pentagon and Joint Chiefs of Staff. Its length was decided by how much the Group and Battalions did in a month, it is single-spaced, usually with no illustrations and it mentions everything that was done in each month. It is highly detailed. If a Battalion had 18 loudspeakers teams, it would mention each one of them. I was going to give an example of some of the comments on several such reports, but because they give so much information’s I will just mention a few comments from the December 1969 report. The reader will understand I am ignoring 98% of the text.

According to the 7th PSYOP Battalion, the waterproof characteristics of the AM 2524 amplifier are lost after repair of the unit. Fixed rallying points identified by a column of smoke and advertised by leaflets and broadcasts do not achieve the success planned. The Battalion motivated 5,993 ralliers to come over to the Government of Vietnam during 1969. In December, the Battalion developed posters and leaflets for use by Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols. The monsoon season decreased activities in December, 3,706 leaflet targets were requested, and 2,726 loudspeaker tapes missions were requested. The Battalion formatted a plan for Tet 1970. The number of impressions prepared was 9,228,636 and the number of leaflets printed was 32,300,226. The Battalion's “High price of rice” campaign stressed denial of rice to the Viet Cong. This led to 414 enemy dead and 20,924 pounds of rice captured. Two Vietnamese Army pressmen were added to the 1250W Multilith Press. All day shift presses are now run by ARVN. Working with the 1st Marine Division, the Battalion is working toward cooperation and participation by the people in the local rewards program. The combat loudspeaker team collected 211 pieces of ordnance. Detachments are currently supporting the 5th Infantry Division and the Americal Division. The Battalion’s Product Development Center (PDC) has developed an interrogation center with the Region 1 Chieu Hoi Center for middle rank Viet Cong ralliers. The PDC has also completed a “Rallier’s Guide” to explain to the men in the field how to exploit new Hoi Chanhs. The current guide was difficult to fill out since it contained many questions which were not actually needed. An example of some of the questions in the new guide below:

Combat Intelligence Lessons

Before I start to depict the leaflets, I thought I would add this comment from the 4th PSYOP Group, found in the classified confidential report Combat Intelligence Lessons, printed from about 1968 to 1971 that talks about the need for better coordination:

PSYOP/Intelligence Staff Coordination in staff operations. Psychological operations (PSYOP) personnel in Vietnam have not been integrated adequately into the normal activities of military staffs. The average staff officer does not appreciate fully the importance of PSYOP and occasionally PSYOP staff members have isolated themselves and have failed to utilize the staff resources which are available to them. This lack of staff integration has been especially critical in coordination with G2 and S2 sections. In Vietnam there has been a tendency to isolate so called PSYOP intelligence from the normal intelligence gathering process. The intelligence required for effective PSYOP is an all-encompassing type of intelligence which requires an integration of all factors bearing on the conduct of the war.

The Leaflets

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The 7th PSYOP Battalion Leaflet Catalog

My copy of this catalog is dated 1 July 1969. It depicts and translates about 100 leaflets and even breaks them down according to PSYOP campaign. There are five main types of leaflet. They are: Chieu Hoi; Pro-Republic of Vietnam; Anti-Viet Cong; Anti- People’s Army of North Vietnam; and Rewards.

Each PSYOP Battalion published a catalog list of 600 to 800 available leaflets. The catalog was numerically indexed and gave data on leaflet number, theme, target, size and color of the leaflet together with the leaflet and English translation. Catalogs were inventoried and screened periodically to maintain current leaflets. Catalogs were distributed to tactical units and PSYOP customers to facilitate ordering specific leaflets for the target audiences.

There are probably thousands of leaflets prepared by the 7th PSYOP Battalion. I have selected just a few. Otherwise, the next 40-50 pages would be all Vietnam leaflets.

Leaflet 7-134-68

This is a strange leaflet because the background in all black. That is a lot of ink and supplies were sometimes tight in Vietnam. It depicts an unhappy Vietnamese family waving to their son who is leaving to join the Viet Cong. They wonder if he will ever return. The text on the front is:

Your family mourns your leaving.

The back is all text and says in part:


We wonder how long you have been far from your family and home. How long will this situation continue, one month, or one or more years?

But one thing that is sure is that you are far away from home, your parents, your wife, and your children because your leaders are compelled to move you up to fill the serious strength shortages caused by the Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces and their Allies to your regional and regular forces. This fact will thwart completely any hope you have of being near to your family and wife and children again….


The leaflet is all text and I never like to add such leaflets without an interesting picture, but the text tells of a Viet Cong atrocity, so it is worth adding just for the story. The text on the front and back is:

Attention, people of Quang Ham!

On the night of March, the 5th, a group of Viet Cong armed with AK-47 automatic rifles entered the home of Mr. Dang Tu in Quang Nam hamlet. They forced Miss Dang Thi Lu, an 18-year-old child being the child of Mr. Tu, to join the group.

To protect her loving daughter, the mother of Miss Lu showed immediate resistance in order not to let the Viet Cong capture her child. She was then cruelly treated and killed on the spot. While the Viet Cong were still full of fury, without mercy they also killed Miss Lu.


This is an undeniable proof denouncing the cowardly action of the South Vietnam Liberation Front gang in their massacre of women and children. They have not missed any possible opportunity to carry out their contemptible acts since their advocacy is always to kill and burn down to gain civilians' support by terrorism.

But they have made a serious error: the more they kill and burn the more civilians hate them and side closely with the Government of Vietnam to stand against them.

Let’s rise up and fight them! Do not let the South Vietnam Liberation Front gang gain any profitable opportunity that might help them perform their contemptible atrocities again. Immediately report any information on enemy action to the authorities or Allied forces for severe punishment and destruction.

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Leaflet 7-163-68

I guess if we had to give this leaflet a nickname it would be “the Airborne leaflet.” The front depicts the insignia of both the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. The text is very long on the front and back so I will just translate a few lines:

To the People of Quan Huong-Thuy

In order to effectively protect your lives and property, the U.S. Airborne with full experience in battle has just arrived in your area. These brave allies desire to contribute to the struggle for the freedom and peace of humankind…The Airborne will stay here to protect your country until the aggressive communists stop their attempt to invade South Vietnam…Cooperate with the Airborne in annihilating the aggressive communists who are destroying this land and trying to enslave the Vietnamese people.

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Leaflet 7-191-68

Since we are talking about the 7th PSYOP Battalion, the Marines and Khe Sanh, this seems a nice place for this leaflet. If you want to piss off a Marine, tell him how the Army and Air Force saved the Leathernecks during the 1968 seventy-seven day siege of Khe Sanh. Marines will tell you that they were doing just fine and had the enemy right where they wanted them. Ask the Army and you will hear that the Marines were getting the Hell kicked out of them by the NVA. During the ferocious battle for Khe Sanh, the 7th PSYOP Battalion prepared a leaflet for the North Vietnamese forces taking part in the attack. The front of the leaflet depicts a map of Khe Sanh and a Huey helicopter and F4 Phantom jet attacking the forces encircling the Marine base. Curiously, there is no mention of the Marines. The text beneath the picture is:

The North Vietnamese will fail in their attempts to seize Quang Tri and Thua Thien Provinces. The Government of Vietnam and Allied firepower is defending every part of the South. You cannot survive if your invasion continues. You will be destroyed at Khe Sanh.

The text on the back is:

To the Men who Attack Khe Sanh

The march to Khe Sanh was a long and dangerous one. Many of your comrades who have come over to us speak of the misery you faced before you reached the desolate battlefield. Since arriving you have seen nothing but suffering and death. You have seen the tremendous B-52 strikes with bombs which will soon find you as they have found your comrades. From the artillery that has poured on you all day and night do you now realize how strong the Army of Vietnam and the Allied forces are? Now look at the valley to which you have been sent to die. You are surrounded instead of us. You are in the kill zone. To stay here means suffering, death and ultimate failure in a place far from your dear family.

If you want to get safely back to your family, leave now or rally to the National Government of Vietnam cause. Otherwise, Khe Sanh will be your useless grave.

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 7-191-68 was rated VERY BAD by the panel.

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Leaflet 7-202-68

This is an interesting leaflet because it bears a photograph on each side. Unfortunately, the paper is thin and some of the ink comes through making the pictures difficult to see clearly. The front depicts Vietnamese farmer working in his field. The text is:

Continue to work when U.S. Forces come. Do not run away because there is nothing to be afraid of.

The back depicts the same farmer shaking hands with a U.S. soldier. The text is:

U.S. soldiers are your friends; they help to secure your safety. When they come, if you run away, it is very difficult for them to distinguish innocent people from the Viet Cong. So, do not run away but continue to do your work.

We mentioned earlier that the report U.S PSYOP leaflets in Vietnam hated leaflet 7-191-68. On the bright side, leaflet 7-202-68 was rated VERY GOOD by the panel.

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Leaflet 7-361-68

In general, American PSYOP is told not to show dead or disfigured enemy bodies because it can be mistaken for gloating and the enemy tends to fight harder after seeing such leaflets. Still, Americans like them and believe they scare the hell out of an enemy. This 7th PSYOP Battalion leaflet coded 7-361-68 depicts a row of dead Communist Viet Cong. The leaflet was picked up near Landing Zone Bronco, Dac Pho village, I Corps, by a SP4 of the 23rd (Americal) Infantry Division's 11th Light Infantry Brigade in 1968. Text below the photograph on the front is:

These people are dead. Will you be just like them?

The text on the back is in part:

To the cadres of the [South Vietnam] Liberation Front in Quang Ngai Province

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Leaflet 7-406-68

Leaflet 7-406-68 reveals a photo of a body of a dead Viet Cong guerrilla left in the jungle, abandoned by his comrades who left so quickly they didn't even bother to retrieve his weapons (note the grenade still on his belt). The text on the leaflet is:

Don't let this happen to you!

Leaflet 7-459-68

This is an interesting leaflet in that it is instructional for three of the Allied armies in Vietnam, the South Vietnamese, United States, and the South Koreans. On the front of the leaflet the message is in English and Vietnamese. On the back, the message is in Korean. Reading the text, we can see that there was a propaganda campaign called,  "Denounce VC Cadre." This would be an attempt to catch the civilian infrastructure of the National Liberation Front movement. The leaflet mentions the Phoenix program, Phung Huang in Vietnamese and I assume they were the original requestors of the leaflet. Looking through my 7th PSYOP Battalion files I see that the leaflets numbered 7-433-68 through 7-426-68 were all titled "Denounce VC Cadre."

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Leaflet 7-474-68

The 7 th produced many anti-Communist leaflets that depicted the bodies of innocent civilians killed by the Viet Cong. This leaflet shows a civilian crying near a dead person on the street. Text at the right is:

This is a crazy and senseless death

The text on the back is:


On August 18, 1968, a Lambretta passenger vehicle hit a VC mine while commuting on National Road 1 near Long Thành ward. In result, ten civilians were killed on the spot, one being seriously wounded. This unjust murder by the VC has exposed their true evil face, their complete disregard for the life of women and children. To stop this killing by the VC, report to authorities of the RVN or US Army all spots where the VC has planted mines. In doing so, not only will you support the Government of the RVN and Allied in their hunt for the bloodthirsty VC, but you will be meritoriously rewarded. Your identity will be undisclosed.

Leaflet 7-549-68

I liked the image on this leaflet a lot. Two North Vietnamese Army soldiers resting in the bush, one seeming to massage his foot. It reminded me of the military when a couple of American soldiers would sit on their foot lockers, maybe shining their boots and just have a pleasant talk. It was always a very comfortable time. I liked the color of the leaflet, blue being my favorite color. It is a tactical leaflet aimed specifically at the 1st Regiment of the North Vietnamese 2nd Division. The text on the front is:


The text on the back is:


We know you are afraid of the prolonged death, and it has made your life in the jungle an exhausting misery. You do not have medicine when sick. More than 500 of your friends were killed in August. Do you want to become one of them? Your fellow soldiers were buried [The actual word was “burned”] in unmarked graves.

You have two choices - to die where you are, or to return [They use the term “Chieu Hoi” but if these soldiers came from the North how can they return to the South?] to the Government of the Republic of Viet Nam. You will be warmly received upon returning.

I have written about Viet Cong leaflets and Japanese leaflets in WWII. I love the way Americans laugh at the leaflets our enemies send to us, talking about the poor spelling, grammar, and the foolish arguments they make. In this case, my translator says:

I assume the translation was by an American because the grammar was awful and the text read unnatural.

Apparently, the enemy troops laughed when they read this leaflet. It just shows that everyone is imperfect when it comes to other languages. We like to think that our leaflets are perfect but that is seldom the case. I have read some wartime critiques of our leaflets by our own experts and have been shocked when 8 or 9 errors are pointed out and the leaflets are ordered taken out of distribution and destroyed.


Leaflet 7-567-68

This leaflet depicts the unmarked graves of Viet Cong fighters deep in the jungle. The text on the front is:


The text on the back is:


You are setting foot on ground filled with the bones of countless of your comrades.

They fell because they were accidentally or forced to sacrifice for the ambitions of the Communist leaders.

They fell because of the outrageous rhetoric of the Communist propaganda machine. There are so many people who have been given beautiful titles by the Party, such as "heroes who destroyed the enemy" and "heroes of production"; but ask yourself, do you remember those people? Soldiers, you will be praised, flattered, and listened to until you are fascinated. But when you fall, your memory is immediately erased, no one in the unit is allowed to mention your name to offend you. Only your family mourns you day and night, but no one knows where you are buried!

We, the emotional national soldiers [South Vietnam Army], do not want this land to be mixed with your bones anymore.

We sincerely wish to welcome you at Chieu Hoi Centers.

Leaflet 7-850-69

This is a rather crude leaflet that depicts Allied soldiers killing some Viet Cong soldiers that were stealing the farmer’s rice. This theme was used quite often. There are numerous leaflets that warn the farmers to protect and hide their rice. The theme is usually expressed as “Rice Denial.” The text on the back is:

Attention, compatriots,

The communist bandits are risking their life in collecting rice this harvest. Forty-six bandits have been killed this September while robbing rice in Thua Thien and Quang Tri. They got nothing despite losing their life. Due to your support, our army has stopped the robbing actions by the bandits. Do adamantly denounce the robbers. Don't let them get your rice!

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7th PSYOP Battalion Death Card

This card coded 7-1040-69 was printed by the U.S. Army 7th PSYOP Battalion in 1969. The skull on the front is a bit odd and perhaps more Asian than American. The back is all text with a green Chieu Hoi symbol in the background. What I find most strange about this item was that the official U.S. line on death cards was that they were useless and there were even some attempts to ban the troops from using them. Yet, here an American PSYOP unit actually produced one. I suspect an informal off-the-cuff request from some supported combat unit that wanted them and the PSYOP Battalion prepared them just as a courtesy. The text on the back is:

No place is safe for you. You have no place to hide. Your only option is to return to the just nationalist cause by rallying in order to stay alive.

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CAP 1-3-9 Ace of Spade

In spring of 1970 the United States Marine Combined Action Platoon (CAP) 1-3-9 stationed in Binh Song about 14 kilometers east of Tra Bong received intelligence indicating that they were about to be attacked by a large force of regular North Vietnamese Army troops. PSYOP was called in to help with the defense of the unit and they dropped a standard 3 x 6 leaflet coded 7-301-70 depicting an ace of spades on the front with the text:

DIE! The Angel of death will come...

The back of the leaflet is all text:

Do you remember that 116 of your comrades died on 13 September 1969 near the village of An Phong? Stop your useless fighting before you also die needlessly. Chieu Hoi.

Leaflet 7-650-70

In 1970, the 7th PSYOP Battalion produced several leaflets that were meant to frighten the enemy with various symbols of death and bad luck. They were tactical in nature and targeted specific enemy units by various American units. The leaflet above depicts a skeleton and targets the 107th Battalion and is from the Americal Division. The text on the front is:



The text on the back is:

Death is following you day and night.
Our artillery, aircraft, and gunships are ready to attack you.
Here is no safe place for you to hide from death.
The only way you can save your life is to rally.
Rally now!


Like leaflet 7-650-70, this leaflet targets an enemy unit, the 38th Battalion, and is also from the Americal Division. Instead of a skeleton, this one features a black cat. The text is basically the same except for naming a different unit.

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Leaflet 7-697-70

One of the more interesting PSYOP campaigns supported by the 7th PSYOP Battalion was Operation Searchlight. It was launched in Military Region I and was designed to influence enemy soldiers to defect during the Tet truce period of 19-29 January 1971. Giant searchlights would be aimed at the sky and the enemy urged to follow the beam to the searchlight where they could safely surrender. During an earlier test of the searchlight operation on 1 January, eleven Viet Cong defected. In the major operation the U.S. 101st Airborne Division used six lights, the 2nd Vietnamese Army Division, the U.S. 1st Marine Division and the U.S. 23rd Infantry Division all used five lights each. The operation was not a great success, and estimates of from zero to seven to thirty-seven defectors were rumored.  The above leaflet was prepared by the 7th PSYOP Battalion for Operation Searchlight. It depicts a pair of searchlights aimed skyward and the Chieu Hoi Symbol. The PSYOP theme was “Rally to the light of freedom and start a new life with the Government of Vietnam.” Two broadcast tapes were prepared and 6,000,000 leaflets, 500,000 handbills and 10,000 posters were printed and disseminated. The text is:


During the cease fire period of Tan Hoi New Year, all United States, Vietnam, and other Allied bases will turn on their searchlight at night. The searchlight will help you to find freedom. Move toward the direction of light, hide your weapon and wait until the daylight to rally. When getting close to the Government of Vietnam or Allied units, shout aloud “CHIEU HOI.” You will be welcomes and receive good treatment. Guide the Government of Vietnam or Allied forces to recover your weapon for a reward.


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VC surrenders holding Chieu Hoi leaflet

It is impossible to determine how many Chieu Hoi leaflets were produced during the length of the war. The Leaflet Catalog, 7th PSYOP Battalion, Danang, 1969, lists no less than 65 leaflets in the special category "Chieu Hoi." The first is 7-757-68, "Soldier of North Vietnam," the last is 7-528-69, "The Nguyen Trai Campaign." The latter was a campaign to psychologically attack enemy cadre and soldiers to cause them to rally. These 65 leaflets are just from a single battalion in a bit more than one year of the war.

The 7th PSYOP catalog also mentions various mixes of Chieu Hoi leaflets that were designed to be dropped together. For instance, mix 4 consists of 7-565-68 "With aching Heart," 7-690-68 "Chieu Hoi Poems," and 7-757-68 "Chieu Hoi is for VC/NVA." Mix 12 consists of JUSPAO leaflets SP3210 "I can't stop weeping," and SP3211 "Rallying helps you return to your friends."

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British Malaya Leaflet 3211/HPWS/18

It is interesting to note that in the 1950s the British has successfully conquered a Communist insurrection in Malaya. American propagandists studied the British techniques carefully. Note that British Leaflet 3211/HPWS/18 was printed about 1954 and depicts three guerillas discussing a searchlight in the distance. It is clear that the Americans copied the concept of the searchlight leaflet 16 years later. The text on the back is:


Look for the bright ray of the searchlight in the night sky. The searchlight is shining from the road.

If you want to escape from the forest to start a bright new life then run in the direction of the light to reach the road. The road will take you to a brand new happy and peaceful living environment.

Before you reach the road, please hide your weapons and ammunition. Then run to the road, raise both your hands high above your head and try to stop the first car that passes by.

All military drivers have been ordered to help you, and at the same time, civilians that assist you will receive a cash award.

If you stay in the jungle you will definitely be either shot dead ravaged by disease and hunger. A lot of people have escaped from the jungle and saved their own lives. Don’t you want to save your life? Sacrificing yourself for an unnecessary and losing battle is a stupid thing to do.

You will definitely not be abused and you will immediately receive good food and medical treatment.

Come and join the side where your friends have already begun a new life.

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Leaflet 7-249-68

For some reason the 7th PSYOP Battalion seemed to really enjoy printing reward leaflets. I find more from them than from most other units. Leaflet 7-249-68 depicts a happy black-pajama clad VC handing his rifle to an Army of Vietnam (ARVN) soldier. In his left hand, the happy former terrorist holds a big wad of banknotes. The text reads:

All Patriots who support the "Operation Search for the Enemy's Weapons" will be rewarded.

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Leaflet 7-213-69

The Battalion printed about a dozen reward leaflets in 1969 alone. Most of them actually show cash being handed to the informers. On the front of this leaflet a local farmer leads government forces to armaments hidden in a cave and a handful of cash appears. The text is:

This place contains murderous communist weapons

On the back we see the smiling farmer’s hut and his wife and child. The text is:

It can give you and your family a happy and prosperous life if you report the location of Communist weapons caches to the local authorities or to Allied troops. Your name will be kept secret.

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Leaflet 7-281-69

Leaflet 7-281-69 depicts two Viet Cong guerrillas handling a large rocket while a hidden Vietnamese civilian peers at them from the bushes. On the back, the same villager is shown being handed a reward by a soldier of the South Vietnamese Army, so it is obvious that the villager has informed on the two Viet Cong insurgents. The text on the front is:

We want you to know that the Rocket the Viet Cong make you carry and hide is very dangerous. There is great danger that the Rocket will kill and wound innocent people. If you know someone who has the rocket, you need to immediately tell the nearest Government or Army personal so that they can stop these blood thirsty rockets.

Text on the back is:

You are not only doing a great job for the people, you will also receive a great reward.

Poster P7-316-69

The above poster also depicts a Vietnamese seeing some Viet Cong rockets ready to be fired and thinks of the death and destruction they will cause. He then thinks that if he tells the government troops about the rockets, he will receive a reward. It bears the code P7-316-69. The code indicates that it is a 5.25 X 16-inch poster prepared by the 7th PSYOP Battalion in 1969. The text is:

Do report to the authorities or the Armed Forces all enemy weapons which can harm our families. You will be rewarded!

American PSYOP specialists often printed leaflets in the form of stationery assuming that the enemy in the bush would have nothing to write home on. This was done most often during the Korean War. Of course, the stationery bore Allied propaganda, so if the soldier read it, he saw the propaganda and when the letter got home, his family saw it. In this case, an American soldier found or took this leaflet as a souvenir and used the blank back to write a letter home to his family. Notes on leaflets are not common, but a complete letter is. I have edited the letter for brevity:

August 24, 1969

Hello again,

This stationery may be a little odd but thought it might interest you. It is what was handed out by our PSYOP Team. It bears some type of pro-American or pro- Saigon propaganda. Our main mission here is putting in and improving roads, also installing bridges and culverts.Rarely do we go out and hunt Charles, but the “Combat” after our Engineer Battalion shows that we know how to fight when necessary. The Chieu Hoi leaflet is quite self-explanatory. I am already feeling “short” and I’ve still got three months to go. There are better days ahead because we are moving from our landing zone on September 5-7 and back to a Chieu Hoi Base Camp. We will probably be there for the whole Monsoon season so I will return home from that location. I hate to put up with all the “lifer” rules and regulations, but that base is almost as safe as Ft. Sill…

Leaflet 7-323-69

I like this leaflet because it pulls no punches. It shows a large Chinese explosive shell and asks the Viet Cong why they side with the Chinese and the Communist Party while they kill their own people. It seems a fair question. The text on the front is:

You fire on your compatriots with this Chinese shell. Your people on one side, your party on the other side. Which side is dearer to you?

The text on the back is:


Look at the Soviet or Chinese shells in front of you. Do you know those shells have killed and will kill thousands of innocent women and children? Have you seen collective funerals, have you heard the doleful cry of the victims of the heartless artillery strikes by the Communists? Yet your Party considers those massacres great victories!


Think it through before pulling the trigger. Obeying your Party is spreading more tragedy and mourning, or listen to the voice of your conscience and ease the pain for your Nation?

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Leaflet 7-503-71

The United States has made a great effort in the last few decades to rid the world of mines placed in the ground during wartime. Here is an anti-mine leaflet from the Vietnam War. The 7th PSYOP Battalion printed leaflet 7-503-71. It depicts a young boy pointing out a bomb with tripwire to a soldier. The text beneath the picture is:

Many civilians have been killed by enemy explosives and booby traps. Report to military units or local authorities as soon as you discover Viet Cong mines, explosive, grenades and traps.

Text on the back is:

Attention people! The communists usually set booby traps along our paths, plant mines on our highways, and place bombs in residential areas to interfere with our daily activities. They also hide their weapons and ammunition which they use to terrorize innocent civilians whenever the circumstances permit them to do so. If you discover the enemy’s weapons or see anything which resembles a booby trap, you must immediately inform the Army of Vietnam or allied soldiers so that they can remove them. By doing so, you can save your own life and property and those of others.

Leaflet 7-505-71 

This leaflet depicts some Viet Cong rockets aimed at friendly forces. A Vietnamese civilian has spotted them. The text is: 

When you discover Viet Cong weapons, report them immediately to

Vietnamese or Allied forces

The back adds: 

Attention People! 

When you discover a mine, booby trap, grenade, rocket, or artillery round, do not touch it but immediately report it to Vietnamese or Allied forces who will immediately remove it. Only specialized soldiers can dispose of it safely. If you touch it, you are risking your life.

Leaflet 7-598-68

This 7th Battalion leaflet depicts a starving North Vietnamese or Viet Cong soldier. His ribs show through his chest, and he seems not far from death.  The text on the front is:

This is the result of your harsh life. Suffer this absurdity no longer! Return to the Government of The Republic of Vietnam!

The text on the back is:


What are you waiting for before abandoning your irrational, starving and sick life in the deep jungle to return to the Government of the Republic of Vietnam. Your compatriots on the lowland are awaiting you.

Return now like tens of thousands of your brothers-in-arms have.

The Government of The Republic of Vietnam is ready to welcome you and provide you with a new free and well-off life.

I chose to depict this leaflet because when I first saw it, I had a flashback to a group of WWII leaflets where the U.S. depicted a starving Japanese soldier on a bypassed island and told them about the good treatment and food, they could get by coming over to the Americans. The image was used on four different leaflets printed by the Office of War Information on Saipan and dropped on Japanese troops. Apparently good propaganda never gets old. he can be used over and over.

Leaflet 1054


Leaflet 7-505-68

This leaflet depicts three mortar shells on the front. The text is:

These mines used by Viet Cong to kill innocent civilians were detected by patriotic heroes in the "Find Enemy Guns" campaign. They thus saved many lives of compatriots and will be rewarded.

I thought it was odd that these were called "mines," when they are in fact mortar shells. My translator responded:

I believe technical correctness was not a priority here unless the VC indeed used those mortar rounds as mines.

And of course, when I read through more reports, I found numerous cases of mortar shells being used as mines, often connected to make the explosion bigger and more deadly. In one case eight mortar shells had been connected. In many cases the connecting wires had corroded due to the constant rains and the mines did not explode.

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Leaflet 7-559-68

The U.S. 7th PSYOP Battalion also printed leaflet 7-559-68. The leaflet has a photo of two types of mines that were commonly used by the Viet Cong. The text beneath the photo is:

Please inform [the government] about where the Viet Cong have laid mines. You will not only save many lives, you will also earn a reward.

The back of the leaflet is all text:

Report Viet Cong Mines: All citizens of Duc Pho County who are loyal to our national ideology will fight to destroy communist tyranny. Whenever you see communist mines [planted] on the National Highway 1, or anywhere, please report at once to the authorities, the soldiers of the Republic of Vietnam, or the Allies. You can earn a reward of at least 2500 piasters. Your patriotic duty is a practical way to save many lives from the murderous Viet Cong. Your name will be kept secret.

[Signed], County Commander, Nguyen Duc Trinh.

According to the 1969 declassified report: Employment of US Army Psychological Operations Units in Vietnam, the 7th PSYOP Battalion also printed a newspaper for the Vietnamese:

Ban Tin (News Clips), was issued twice weekly, two pages, 72,000 copies per edition. The 7th PSYOP Battalion printed Ban Tin for Vietnamese target audiences in Corps Tactical Zone I.

As the war neared its end in 1970, the 7th PSYOP Battalion developed and printed posters and leaflets for use by Long Range Reconnaissance and Force Reconnaissance units. The posters and leaflet mixes targeted the Viet Cong and People’s Army of North Vietnam and were designed to be disseminated in enemy base areas by the reconnaissance units as they exited an area.

The 7th PSYOP Battalion began working with the III Marine Amphibious Force PSYOP Intelligence Section to develop a special campaign directed against the 31st NVA Regiment in Quang Nam Province. The III MAF PSYOP was interested in such a campaign both to target an important enemy unit and to initiate a system by which US field units can more effectively identify and target psychological vulnerabilities of NVA troops. Themes used in the past in the NVA campaign had little apparent effect; fewer than four hundred NVA soldiers rallied in 1969 In all of South Vietnam, though PW interrogation reports show that Allied propaganda efforts do have some deleterious effect on NVA morale. The special campaign against the 31st Regiment targeted ideological weaknesses in propaganda that made special reference to unit personalities. Three leaflets were developed especially for use against the unit before and during TET, and other items would be produced for use later in 1969.

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Be aware of opium and heroin!

In August 1971, the 7th PSYOP Battalion supported the Vietnamese 2nd POLWAR Company in the Joint US/Vietnamese anti-drug campaign. Specialist 5 Churchill displays an anti-drug banner on his vehicle which reads:

Attention! Be aware of opium and heroin! They ruin your health and future.

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Leaflet 7-205-71

The 7th PSYOP Battalion on 26 September 1971 began the leaflet, poster, radio or TV and Aerial broadcast missions for the white medical evacuation helicopter campaign. The objective of this campaign was to persuade enemy forces to refrain from firing on medivac helicopters.

The 7th PSYOP Battalion printed a series of leaflets showing helicopters in an attempt to stop the Viet Cong from firing on rescue missions and provide better medical care to the Vietnamese people. Examples are 7-205-71 which says on the front:

This is an ambulance helicopter painted in white. Like all other ambulance helicopters, this helicopter is not armed. The only duty it performs is to save wounded regardless of friends or foes.


The message on the back is:


All medical helicopters bear the Red Cross. They are used in an emergency to transport sick and wounded people. Some new medical helicopters are painted white so that they can be better recognized by your ranks and should not be shot at.

The U.S. Pulls out of Vietnam

On 1 June 1971 the role of the 7th PSYOP Battalion was reduced due to Vietnamization to Liaison with the Vietnamese PSYOP Center.

The 7th PSYOP Battalion was the last PSYOP Headquarters to depart Vietnam on 21 December 1971 and was inactivated at Fort Lewis, Washington. They did not stay inactive for long. With the cold war and small wars and guerrilla movement all around the world, There was a need for PSYOP Battalions.

On 30 October 1975, it was Redesignated as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 7th Psychological Operations Battalion; then withdrawn from the Active Army and allotted to the Army Reserve in Washington, D.C. On 17 September 1990, it was deactivated at Washington, D.C. However, it would soon reappear once again like the Phoenix.

The ways of the Army lineage are sometimes hard to follow. The old 7th Battalion was redesignated 16 June 1996 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 11th Psychological Operations Battalion, and activated at Washington, D.C. So, in theory, the history of the 7 the Battalion ended and the 11 PSYOP Battalion takes over. However, magically, the 7th Battalion returned.

U.S. Africa Command

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With the announcement that the US would create a unified command for much of Africa in 2007, the 7th PSYOP Battalion was assigned to provide support to the new command. The US Africa Command (AFRICOM), was formally established in 2008.

The “new” 7th POB was originally constituted on 3 December 2009 as Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 51st Psychological Operations Battalion. The unit was provisional, and was being stood up to provide support to AFRICOM, the only operational theater to which no operational battalion (6th and 8th POB had been covering this AOR) had been specifically assigned under the 4th Psychological Operations Group.

On 30 March 2011, the 51st PSYOP Battalion was re-designated as the 7th POB (provisionally) and two additional companies were created: Company A and Company B. The Battalion was officially activated 16 October 2011 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In a discussion about how the new Battalion was named the 7th, I was told that the designation was changed from 51st to 7th based on a decision by Lieutenant General Mulholland who wanted to keep all active duty PSYOP battalion’s single digit. The number was suggested because the 7th had been a battalion in Vietnam. The Center of Military History had no issue with it since the original 7th was deactivated. The new 7th Battalion got some Soldiers from 6th PSYOP Battalion, and they also got members from all over the 4th Group PSYOP Group. 

On 4 August 2011, 7th PSYOP Battalion Commander Lieutenant Colonel Lee Evans said in a speech to his troops:

The activation of a battalion was a special occasion which is a snapshot in time that is a constant reminder of the past while operating in the present and looking forward to the future. The mission of the 7th Battalion will be different from the 3rd MRBC, as it supports Special Forces missions in Africa, which includes more than 50 countries. Evans and his Soldiers will meet the challenges with audacious professionalism.

53 countries in Africa have vast and diverse ethnic and cultural differences that will demand that the 7th Battalion be adaptive and innovative in their approach to their new mission. The 7th Battalion has a mission to deploy to the African area of responsibility on short notice and plan, develop and conduct PSYOP in support of the unified commanders, coalition forces and other government agencies.

The new 7th POB printed a poster in honor of its 10th Anniversary in 2021.

Sergeant First Class Marc Wayman, Military Occupational Specialty 37F; “Psychological Operations Specialist,” told me about his time in the 7th PSYOP Battalion.

I was assigned the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion (7th POB) on 17 May 2011. Originally, I was assigned to provide oversight, training, and support to the Battalion newly formed S-3 (Operations) Section. As the S-3 was still not fully functional, I was selected from by the 4th PSYOP Group to be assigned to the Battalion in order to train up the new 7th POB S-3. I was scheduled to deploy about July 2011 on an Individual Augmentee assignment to the Combined Forces Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan (CFSOCC-A) to serve as a PSYOP Liaison Noncommissioned Officer in Charge.

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Combat Action Badge

I was actually the first Soldier to earn a Combat Action Badge while a member of the Battalion, as well as the first Soldier from the Battalion to engage enemy forces in combat.

The Combat Action Badge was created by the Department of the Army in 2005 for recognition of Soldiers who participated in combat while in direct contact with the enemy or under direct/indirect fire from the enemy.

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The Crew chief of our helicopter just as the first RPG exploded.
I had just started to take his picture when we heard the bang

I earned mine on 9 September 2011. There really isn’t that much to tell. On that day, I was returning to Kabul with my Major from a completed mission in the Paktya province in Afghanistan. In addition to myself, and my Major, there was also an Infantry SGT (not part of our team), and three or four unarmed civilians (also not part of our team), plus the civilian crew. We took off without incident, and we were flying down the middle of a valley just south and west of the forward operating base. No more than five minutes into our flight I heard a loud explosion. The crew chief looked directly at me, and yelled “RPG! RPG!” I remember several thoughts running through my head: “We’re not armed…”, “We are going to get blown out of the sky”, and “We need to conserve our ammo for if we survive the crash”. My Major, who realized I was more experienced looked at me and said “You got this?” I replied “Yes sir…” I told everyone: “No firing out the windows – we’re going to need the ammo if we go down! If that happens, first order of business is get any survivors out of the bird, second is get to the high ground!” All this happened within seconds it seems. During this time, several more RPGs exploded, all within 100 feet of the aircraft. Additionally, the Taliban fighters were shooting at us with small arms and DSHKA heavy machine guns. They were shooting at us with everything they had, from both sides of the valley, and we were flying right down the middle of it.

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Mark Wayman and the civilian helicopter he was on when attacked

We made it out of their effective range and about 20 minutes later, safely landed. We told an Air Force Major who managed the C-130 gunship missions what happened, and about an hour later, he asked me to come over to his desk. On his computer, was an infrared image of a group of Taliban, and a map overlay. He pointed to the valley we’d been in, and then pointed out that the Taliban were on the north slope of the hill above the valley. He asked me if that was the valley we’d been flying through, I said “Yep”, and he said “Watch”. He spoke into a radio headset, gave the order, and a few seconds later, 105 mm shells were raining down on that group. As far as I know, there were about 10 to 15 Taliban confirmed.

That was how I officially earned the CAB – four days later, on the 13th, Kabul came under attack from another group of Taliban who had disguised themselves as women. Some of them suicide bombed a school of elementary kids, and others took over a building down the street from our compound. Over the course of the next 12 hours, both my Major and I engaged the enemy in the building down the street. I do not know if we were able to hit any of them as they had good cover, but by 6 PM, an Afghan Air Force Hind-D gunship flew over our position on the roof of our building in our compound and lit them up with the cannon they have on that bird. That was the end of the battle.

I returned from my deployment on 18 Nov 2011, and took over as the Battalion Safety Officer shortly after that.

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U.S. military PSYOP specialists hurl leaflets from a plane into the Central
African bush; the leaflets urge rebels to return home and accept amnesty.
Michael M. Phillips – The Wall Street Journal

In early or mid-2012, the Battalion began deploying detachments to Africa. Both A Company and B Company had detachments that were rotated through various deployments in Africa.

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Messaging by family members lead to mass defections from Kony

Tony Lombardo wrote an article entitled “Messaging leads to mass defections from Kony” in the Army Times of 13 October 2014. He said in part (edited for brevity):

Soldiers with the 7th PSYOP Battalion have traveled to Uganda to breed resistance within Joseph Kony's ranks. His Lord's Resistance Army has been built through the abduction and indoctrination of thousands of children.

Staff Sergeant Myles McCadney, a member of 7th PSYOP, who deployed to Africa from December 2013 to May 2014, spoke to Association of the U.S. Army attendees and provided an inside and candid look at the challenges US troops face in fighting the elusive warlord.

McCadney outlined how U.S. troops, working together with African nations, have successfully launched an extensive media campaign and convinced a number of Kony's soldiers to defect. Troops use radio frequencies to encourage defections and gain support of the civilian populations. Aerial loudspeakers have been a key tool, and so has a mobile cinema display that tells the story of a child's abduction and his eventual decision to defect. When radio or aerial messaging is impossible, thousands of leaflets are dropped from above or nailed on trees on trails known to be populated by Kony's Army.

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A surrender leaflet

In just the second half of 2014 alone, missions included: 14 leaflet drops; 515,000 leaflets; 20 messages via radio; and 19 aerial loudspeaker operations.

Since January 2012, there have been more than 240 confirmed defections of Kony's Army.

African troops are a big part of the mission, and McCadney said the U.S. mission is to advise, assist and accompany." The staff sergeant said he personally led efforts to develop a radio station that would be heard by Kony's Amy. The radio messages attempt to convince Kony's troops that they will be accepted with open arms if they choose to leave the warlord's Army. It's not an easy sell. Many of Kony's troops, due to their indoctrination, believe Kony has supernatural powers. McCadney compared their loyalty to Stockholm syndrome. Kony also threatens that anyone caught defecting will face torture and death.

PSYOP Public Relations

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Staff Sgt. Myles McCadney, a member of 7th PSYOP Battalion (A), who deployed to Africa from December 2013 to May 2014, spoke to AUSA attendees during a Warrior's Corner session on 13 October 2014. McCadney provided an inside and candid look at the challenges US troops face in fighting the elusive warlord Kony in Uganda.

Training and War Games

All PSYOP units train constantly using different scenarios from various countries using different languages.

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Briefing an Embassy Official

In July 2016, a regional PSYOP team briefs a role-player portraying a senior embassy official during their mission readiness exercise. The teams of psychological operators from 7th PSYOP Battalion will deploy to Africa and work in support of embassy operations across the continent. (Photo by Capt. Stephen Von Jett)

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Pitching Civic Engagement Plans


Psychological operations teams pitch civic engagement plans to role-players during Operation Warrior Anvil, a validation exercise held in Key West, Florida, by the 7th PSYOP Battalion. The exercise validated teams through unparalleled training with joint, inter-agency, and civic partners in real-world urban environments that reinforced PSYOP fundamentals, fostered teamwork, and strengthened character. (Photo by Capt. Stephen Von Jett)


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Conch Republic Flag

In February 2017, Captain Stephen Von Jett wrote an article entitled: “The Crucible: PSYOP battalion forged for Africa.” He said in part:

The 7th Military PSYOP Battalion, 4th PSYOP Group, is charged with equipping, training, and validating the teams that will go forth into the gray zones of Africa where alliances can be fluid and the people are as diverse as the many landscapes. Held in the last weeks of January in Fort Bragg, North Carolina and Key West, Operation Warrior Anvil served to validate deploying teams through unparalleled training with joint, inter-agency, and civic partners in real-world urban environments that that reinforced PSYOP fundamentals, fostered teamwork, and strengthened character.

Lieutenant-Colonel Patrick McCarthy, commander of 7th PSYOP Battalion, describes Africa as an archipelago of complex societal islands. The challenge for his battalion is preparing their professionals to partner effectively in any one of those numerous societies that make up the continent. Missions vary from maritime interdiction to creating alternative options for youth in danger of radicalization, with a thousand nuanced shades between. With teams spread across the continent, working such disparate missions, it proved impossible to craft a validation exercise that mirrored exact mission sets. Rather than fighting the mission, leadership chose to have the teams fight the process.

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A Tactical PSYOP Team (TPT) member transmits orders from a loudspeaker while conducting a pursuit mission aboard a U.S. Coast Guard Response Boat Medium, Feb. 2, 2017. The U.S. Coast Guard served as the Conch Republic Coast Guard during Operation Warrior Anvil, a validation exercise held in Key West, Florida.          (U.S. Army photo by Capt. Stephen Von Jett)

A litany of agencies committed personnel and resources to facilitate the exercise. Local law enforcement, U.S. Navy, Coast Guard, and civic leaders portrayed Conch Republic government personnel. More than simple role players, whose character background for military exercises typically is seldom more than a few paragraphs deep, these partners were able to use the entire breadth and scope of their careers. They challenged the teams to provide legitimate analysis and actionable plans.

The Conch Republic is a fictional nation off the western coast of Africa. Beset by a bevy of societal problems from drug trafficking to domestic terrorism, the government of Conch had requested support from the U.S. Embassy to combat these ills.

In Memorial

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Specialist 5 Gary L. Taylor, Columbus, Ohio, assigned to the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion,  KIA, as a result of hostile enemy action on 12 June 1967 at 0840, 13 kilometers south of Duc Pho in Quang Ngai Province while in support of Company A, 4th Battalion, 3rd Infantry, 11th Light Infantry Brigade, Americal Division. Specialist Taylor was traveling along a road, following what was believed to be fresh NVA footprints, when 6 to 8 NVA initiated an ambush.

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First Lieutenant John A. Blanco Jr., Palatine, Illinois, assigned to the Propasganda Development Center (PDC) of the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion, KIA 17 December 1968, in Quang Tin Province, Vietnam when the C-123K Provider he was aboard crashed.

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Specialist 5 William C. Gearing, Rochester, New York, assigned to the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion, KIA 19 May 1969, Quang Tin Province, Vietnam


Specialist 4 Jeremiah June, Birmingham, Alabama, assigned to the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion, KIA 19 May 1969, in Quang Tin Province, Vietnam.

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Specialist 4 James J. Pastore Jr., Stamford, Connecticut, assigned to the 7th Psychological Operations Battalion, KIA, 9 April 1970, in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, as a result of wounds received on 2 April while engaged in a loudspeaker operation in support of the 11th Infantry Brigade of the Americal Div. He was killed when a 500 pound enemy bomb was detonated 50 meters from his position.

7th PSYOP Battalion Awards and Decorations

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The Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army) for Vietnam 1967-1968

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Navy Unit Commendation for Vietnam 1967-1968

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Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm for Vietnam 1971

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Honor Medal, First Class for Vietnam 1967-1970

This ends our very short look at the history of the United States Army’s 7th PSYOP Battalion, a unit that has deployed to numerous nations to support legal governments and fight anti-government guerrillas and armed enemies of the United States for over 50 years. Readers who wish to comment or send further information are encouraged to write the author at