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Viewing Topic "Techniques of Advising"
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Posted by: Amaral Introduction How does the advisor gives advice? Each person must find the methods, which will produce results. Varying circumstances and personalities make it impossible to establish a rigid set of rules. This document has been prepared to give an insight into the complex job of Marine Advisor/diplomat. It represents the views, opinions, and recomendations of a number of experienced and successful Marine Advisors. It is offered as guidance to new advisors. It must be assumed that an officer assigned to the Marine Advisory Unit has broad experience and professional competence for this is the basic foundation for success. Upon reporting to the unit, the advisor should arm himself with as much information as possible concerning his duties. This can be accomplished by means of the "Job Description" provided by the Marine Advisory Unit, thorough briefing by the officer whom he is replacing - if possible, and a detailed study of all applicable directives concerned with duty in the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam. Upon joining the Vietnamese Marine Battalion, the advisor should initially listen and observe closely. Until he begins to feel that he knows completely what is happening and why, suggestions should not be offered unless asked. He should remember that there have been many Americans before him, and his counterpart probably feels that he knows how to handle advisors. This will be the advisor's first - and probably last - experience of this nature; the Vietnamese experience this change constantly with the rotation of advisors. General The relationship between the advisor and counterpart must be based on the solid ground of competent professional knowledge, a mutual respect of services, and if possible, friendly personal contacts. The amalgamation of these will give best results. The advisor should at all times be himself, and not adopt a "new face" for dealings with his counterpart. The manner of extending advice or offering suggestions depends upon personalities, moods and the situation. It has been found that using the same methods one would use to recommend a change of action to an American commander produces excellent results with the Vietnamese commander. Quick changes are not to be expected and every effort should be made to continue the programs of the previous advisor, so that a continuity of programs and aims is apparent. The advisor should work from the "soft sell", with a gradual but persistent approach, featuring repetition of ideas and proposals. It is common, however, that the counterpart will not consider the new arrival as "his advisor" until the two have been exposed to combat together. The new advisor must have patience. The advisor's goal: to develop a genuine friendship and pesronal loyalty to his counterpart which will not interfere with the advisor's professional relationship wit the counterpart or his objectivity to his job. Assistance to the Unit Since advisory duties involve all aspects of the battalion with which the advisory will work, the advisor will find that he must extend his influence through all levels of the command including the senior staff noncomissioned officers. It will often be necessary to give recommendations to, tutor, and encourage the staff officers as well as the company and platoon commanders. This must be done openly with no interference of usurping the battalion commander's authority. Generally, the commander will welcome such assistance. The advisor must show interest in all facets of battalion operations and training, not solely the activities in which the battalion commander is directly concerned. The advisor must get out and look around, being alert to new practices or new procedures. He must talk to company commanders, platoon commanders, staff officers, and noncomissioned officers, learning their names and their interests. Only in this way will the advisor obtain a feel for the entire battalion. It will also help him know what is going on at all levels of comamnd within the unit. The advisor should also take an interest in the dependents. The following are considered basic methods of approach: - Retain a sense of humor. There are many occasions during the advisor's tour where a sense of humor will be a necessity - and an advantage. The Vietnamese are happy people and like to laugh, sometimes in situations which might be considered under strange and morbid circumstances. It is not proposed that the advisor join a crowd in appreciation of the particular effect artillery has on the human body, but neither can he afford to be appalled if the Vietnamese show such an interest. But the advisor can expect to have some embarrasing moments - losing his footing a tidal stream, reacting too quickly and violently to an incoming mortar round - and the Vietnamese will think that this is hilarious. At a time like this, the only thing the advisor can do is laugh at himself with them. - Always remember that the counterpart is the commanding officer. It is more practical for an advisor to proffer a suggestion prior to a commander's decision than it is to try to change a decision once it has been made. If there is any one point to be considered absolute doctrine, this is the one. And it behooves the advisor to be alert to anticipate decisions through circumstances and make his suggestions accordingly. The commander can then gracefully accept the advice by appearing as though it was his idea in the first place. - Do not outwardly display displeasure or disagreement with decisions which have ignored the advice of the advisor. The advisor must take a decision on his own as to whether to fight for his principles, or to save his ammunition for another time, another place, a more important battle. Usually, the advisor finds it advantageous to wait. There have been many instances where the commander, realizing that the advice was good, has reversed himself on his own volution. Further prodding by the advisor would have had a reverse effect of setting the commander's decision irrevocably. The advisor will find that demonstrations and examples will show the relative effectiveness of advisor ideas as compared with existing methods, and changes will eventually result. - Never boast or attempt to take credit for practices or procedures which are implemented. The fact that the counterpart knows that the original idea was the advisor's is enough credit. This, too, is a vitally important point. - Set a personal example of dress, bearing, industry, and initiative. The advisor must strive to be profesisonally correct and military in appearence at all times. The Vietnamese expect a U.S. Marine to be the epitome of strength, endurance, appearence, courage, and military skill. Though the advisor will seldom be aware of this, the Vietnamese will often compare their "Co Van" with those of other American serving with the ARVN. The Marine advisor must not let them down. - Try to visit with U.S. Marine units. The counterpart and his battalion are proud of the fact that they are Marines. When possible, the advisor should make an attempt to take his counterpart to visit a U.S. Organization. With little assistance and briefing by the advisor, the USMC Commander can give the full VIP treatment to the counterpart, thus increasing his prestige. The visit also provides live training raids for programs in sanitation, staff functioning, unit training, etc., which the advisor may be suggesting. The advisor will be surprised at the many practices that a Vietnamese battalion staff will adapt after they have watched a USMC battalion staff go through its paces. - Understand the Vietnamese view. Usually, it is drastically different. But the advisor must realize that a valid suggestion cannot be accept unless he understands the Vietnamese reason for doing something the way they have been doing it for years. The suggested changes have to be made with a view towards customs and circu
Posted on: 04/03/2014 01:24:00

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Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
- Understand the Vietnamese view. Usually, it is drastically different. But the advisor must realize that a valid suggestion cannot be accept unless he understands the Vietnamese reason for doing something the way they have been doing it for years. The su
Posted on: 04/03/2014 01:25:00
Posted by: Railok
Total Posts: 19
Joined Date: Monday, 8 October 2012
While this is very interesting and all, I can't quite seem to understand why you would post what appears to be a primary source to a forum without any context.
Posted on: 04/03/2014 01:27:00
Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
I just imagined it would be interesting.
Posted on: 05/03/2014 00:02:00
Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
Oh, I forgot. Better new? http://macvsog.yuku.com/topic/425/Captain-John-Ripley-USMC-Major-Le-Ba-Bihn-Vietnamese-Ma#.UxUZSNKryHx
Posted on: 05/03/2014 00:06:00
Posted by: achim
Total Posts: 40
Joined Date: Wednesday, 11 September 2013
I for one, found it interesting! Good insight...
Posted on: 05/03/2014 21:00:00
Posted by: xeneize
Total Posts: 75
Joined Date: Friday, 18 January 2013
The Marines and Airborne divisions were the best in the ARVN, but at the end the US advisory was a colosal faliure, in the first great battle without the US troops and Air Support, the South Vietnamese Army did fall as a house of cards.
Posted on: 06/03/2014 00:37:00
Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
The American advisory effort was flawed because the Americans never understood how to train an army to fight without them. When the ARVN crossed into Cambodia to Operation Lam Son 719 without the advisors responible for coordinating firesupport. It was a mess. The man chosen to command the operation wasn't the best qualified for the type of mobile warfare required. But the Americans claimed it was a success anyway. And in the ARVN's defense, their elite units performed better than the ordinary American ones. But no army can be sustained by its elite units alone. But the ARVN fought well in Tet-68 and in the counter-attacks and clearing operations afterwards. They also blunted he 1972 Eastern Offensive and fought above and beyond expectitions in 1975.
Posted on: 06/03/2014 06:04:00
Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
By the way, I was already going to post the Co Van escale model. I really forgot, it wasn't a challenge to Railok.
Posted on: 06/03/2014 06:05:00
Posted by: xeneize
Total Posts: 75
Joined Date: Friday, 18 January 2013
Amaral. Lam Son 719 was in Laos, not Cambodia, go to Amazon, two new books about the Laos incursiĆ³n are comming.
Posted on: 06/03/2014 11:38:00
Posted by: Amaral
Total Posts: 200
Joined Date: Friday, 8 March 2013
Sorry, my mistake. Talked by memory. The red one was already in my wishlist: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_8?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=lam%20son%20719&sprefix=lam+son+%2Caps%2C506
Posted on: 06/03/2014 12:48:00

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