Southern Cross information
for 198 BDE 23 INF

For date 710115

198 BDE 23 INF was a US Army unit
Primary service involved, US Army
Quang Tin Province, I Corps, South Vietnam
Location, Chu Lai
Description: The following is an edited version of an article titled "8 rally in a day" by LT Mark Tucker of the 198th Inf. Bde. IO. The Psychological Operations Program (Psyops) of the 23rd Division's 198th Infantry Brigade, a proven savings program in terms of casualties for both sides, paid an extra dividend recently when eight Viet Cong soldiers turned themselves in to the government in a single day. At least one of the returnees turned himself in as a result of a unique "live" helicopter broadcast made the day before by another former Viet Cong who had previously rallied. This was believed to be the first time in the Division area that a returnee had personally flown on a Psyops mission and made a "live" appeal to his former guerilla mates. The eight ralliers, all former guerrillas in Binh Son District, turned themselves in to a Popular Forces outpost southeast of Chu Lai. All stated that the Psyops program of the 198th had influenced their decision to return to the government, according to 1st Lieutenant William Cain of Burlington, Vt., the Brigade civil affairs officer. "We have been running an intensive Psyops program in that area for some time," said Lt. Cain. "We were particularly interested in appealing to the village guerrillas who set booby traps and attempt to harass the pacification projects. These eight all told us that because of our broadcasts and allied operations in the area, they had decided to rally." Two days before the eight returned to the government, a lone Viet Cong turned himself into the Brigade's H Troop, 17th Cavalry, which was working in the area. The troop sent him to a nearby firebase where the former guerilla expressed his willingness to go up in the Psyops helicopter and make an appeal for his friends to rally. The next day, the normal schedule of broadcasting messages in the Brigade area was suspended and the helicopter was utilized for the "live" message by the rallier. "We normally use only taped messages in our broadcasting," the lieutenant said. "But this time the opportunity presented itself for us to make a direct "live" appeal. Our interpreter, the rallier and the civil affairs officer of the 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry got together and composed a short but effective message for the rallier to broadcast." The next evening, the eight turned themselves in to the Popular Forces. "Our Psyops program has been extremely effective this month," Lieutenant Cain said. "By employing this new twist of "live" messages, we hope we can have few more days of receiving eight ralliers in a single day." Photo Caption: 1st Lieutenant William Cain, civil affairs officer of the 198th Infantry Brigade, watches as a rallier makes a broadcast from a chopper to induce his former comrades to rally. (U.S. Army Photo by 1LT Mark Tucker)

The source for this information was 7101_402_scr supplied by Les Hines 04/05/2000

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Last updated 12/11/2000

Date posted on this site: 05/13/2023