Cover: Documents of an Elite Viet Cong Delta Unit:  The Demolition Platoon of the 514th Battalion

Documents of an Elite Viet Cong Delta Unit: The Demolition Platoon of the 514th Battalion

Part Four: Political Indoctrination and Military Training

by David W. P. Elliott, Mai Elliott

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Abstract

Translations of documents pertaining to political indoctrination and military training in a Viet Cong unit operating in the Mekong Delta. This is fourth in a series representing the entire file of unit records captured intact. (The others are RM-5848, RM-5849, RM-5850, and RM-5852.) In the period covered by the documents, early 1966 to mid-May 1967, the battalion was under-strength and saw little action. Much time was spent training, reorganizing, and bolstering morale. In Vietnamese Communist practice, the training of troops includes both indoctrination and conventional military instruction. The basic instructional unit is the company or platoon, whose commander instructs the cadres in the Party Chapter. The cadres, in turn, instruct the common soldiers. The cadre is the key, since he is the last link between the Party and the troops, and all instruction has the secondary aim of improving his ability as a leader. Political indoctrination aims at giving the fighter a firm Communist ideological stand, arousing his hatred of American "bandits," and convincing him that the Party is the supreme guide. He is coached in the usual arts of war, his unit's immediate military goals, and the presumed intentions of the enemy.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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