Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

The Navy Department Library

Related Content
Topic
Document Type
  • Primary Source Document
Wars & Conflicts
  • nhhc-wars-conflicts:vietnam-conflict
File Formats
Location of Archival Materials

Z-Gram #65; 5 December 1970

The Vietnamization Challenge: Naval Advisors to the Job

R 051525Z DEC 70
FM CNO (Z-65)

TO NAVOP

UNCLAS //N01300//
THE VIETNAMIZATION CHALLENGE: NAVAL ADVISORS TO THE JOB

1. IN DECEMBER VICE ADMIRAL KING, COMMANDER OF THE U.S. NAVAL FORCES IN VIETNAM, WILL TURN OVER TO THE VIETNAMESE NAVY (VNN) THE LAST OF THE ONCE-OWNED U.S. NAVY SMALL COMBAT CRAFT, THUS COMPLETING THE FIRST PHASE OF THE EXPANDED PLAN FOR THE ACCELERATED TURNOVER OF THE U.S. NAVY ASSETS TO THE VNN (ACTOV). ACTOV, THE NAVY PLAN FOR VIETNAMIZATION, CALLED FOR THE TURNOVER OF LARGER SHIPS BY END OF FY 71; AND TURNOVER OF LOGISTICS SUPPORT BY END OF FY 72.

A. THE TRAINING IS PROCEEDING VERY WELL FOR THE REMAINING LARGE SHIPS AND THIS PHASE SHOULD COMPLETE ON TIME BY JULY 1971.

B. AS FOR THE LARGE VNN LOGISTICS SUPPORT COMMAND, ALL PERSONNEL ARE NOW AT SOME STAGE IN THE TRAINING PIPELINE; AND BY THE SUMMER OF 1971 ALL CONSTRUCTION FOR THE VNN BASES WILL BE COMPLETED AND ALL NAVAL BASES IN THE RVN WILL BE DUALLY MANNED IN PREPARATION FOR THE TURNOVER BY END OF FY 72.

2. THUS, BY ALL INDICATIONS, THE VNN PERSONNEL ARE DOING WELL OPERATING THE ASSETS WE HAVE TURNED OVER AND ARE DEVELOPING MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT CAPABILITIES AT A FAST RATE. THE BIGGEST TASK THAT REMAINS OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS IS FOR OUR NAVAL PERSONNEL AS ADVISORS TO FILL IN THE LARGE MIDDLE MANAGEMENT GAPS THAT EXIST AS A RESULT OF THE RECENT VNN GROWTH IN MANPOWER BY A FACTOR OF 2.3 IN ABOUT 20 MONTHS.

3. AS YOU CAN SEE, WITH THE EXCELLENT COOPERATION BETWEEN PERSONNEL OF OUR TWO NAVIES, THE ACTOV PROGRAMS HAVE PROGRESSED WELL. HOWEVER, FOR THE NAVY TO PROPERLY COMPLETE ITS PORTION OF VIETNAMIZATION, OUR NUMBER ONE NATIONAL MILITARY PRIORITY, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT WE PHASE OVER FROM WHAT HAS BEEN A VERY SUCCESSFUL USN OPERATIONAL EFFORT TO A HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL SUPPORT AND ADVISORY EFFORT. THIS, OF COURSE, CALLS FOR A CHANGE IN THE RANK PROFILE IN VIETNAM. FOR EXAMPLE, FROM JANUARY 1969 TO SPRING OF 1971 WE WILL HAVE BEEN ABLE TO REDUCE OUR U.S. NAVY IN-COUNTRY STRENGTH BY A FACTOR OF ABOUT ONE-THIRD AND THIS TREND SHOULD CONTINUE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS. YET, AS THE ADVISORY EFFORT INCREASES AND AS THE PIPELINE IS LENGTHENED TO PROVIDE HIGHER NUMBERS OF LANGUAGE TRAINED TAD/ISOFS, THE TOTAL NUMBER OF LIEUTENANTS REQUIRED IN THE PIPELINE PLUS IN-COUNTRY IN VIETNAM HAVE ACTUALLY INCREASED.

4. FROM MY OWN EXPERIENCE, I CAN TELL YOU THAT THE ADVISORY AND SUPPORT PORTION OF THE WORK IN VIETNAM CAN BE THE MOST HEART WARMING AND PERSONALLY REWARDING JOB YOU CAN PERFORM BECAUSE OF THE LIMITLESS OPPORTUNITIES TO ASSIST IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND UPGRADING OF THE VNN PERSONNEL, THEIR FAMILIES, AND THEIR NAVY ORGANIZATION. THESE JOBS CAN ALSO BE THE MOST CHALLENGING IN THE NAVY, REQUIRING THE VERY HIGHEST DEGREE OF INGENUITY, INNOVATIVE SKILL, IMAGINATION, PATIENCE, UNDERSTANDING AND PERSEVERANCE. FOR THIS REASON, I HAVE DIRECTED THAT WE FILL OUR BILLETS IN VIETNAM WITH ONLY THE HIGHEST QUALITY PERSONNEL. FURTHERMORE, BECAUSE OF THE IMPORTANCE AND CHALLENGE OF THESE JOBS AND SINCE THEY ARE IN A COMBAT ENVIRONMENT, I BELIEVE THEY SHOULD BE THE MOST CAREER ENHANCING TOUR POSSIBLE TODAY.

5. ACCORDINGLY, I INTEND TO TAKE POSITIVE PERSONNEL ACTIONS TO INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:

A. ASSIGNMENT OF ONLY THE HIGHEST QUALITY PERSONNEL TO VIETNAM. THESE ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE GIVEN THE HIGHEST PRIORITY IN THE ASSIGNMENT PROCESS.

B. EXPANSION OF THE SPOT PROMOTION PROGRAM TO INCLUDE ALL IN-COUNTRY VIETNAM ACTIVITIES FOR ALL OFFICER CATEGORIES SO THAT QUALIFIED LTJG VOLUNTEERS CAN BE ASSIGNED TO LT BILLEYS [sic], QUALIFIED LT VOLUNTEERS TO LCDR BILLETS, ETC., WITH COMMENSURATE SPOT PROMOTION IN EACH CASE.

C. INSTRUCTIONS TO SELECTION BOARDS TO ATTACH THE VERY HIGHEST IMPORTANCE TO VIETNAM TOURS.

D. PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT IN CHOICE OF DUTY FOR PERSONNEL REASSIGNED FROM VIETNAM. UPON ASSIGNMENT TO VIETNAM, OFFICERS WILL RECEIVE A WRITTEN COMMITMENT FROM CHNAVPERS THAT FOR THEIR NEXT ASSIGNMENT THEY WILL RECEIVE THE BILLET TYPE OF THEIR CHOICE AT SEA, ASHORE, OR OVERSEAS PROVIDED IT IS WITHIN RANGE OF THEIR QUALIFICATIONS AND RANK.

E. ALLOWANCE FOR THIRTY DAYS LEAVE BEFORE AS WELL AS AFTER VIETNAM DUTY.

F. ALL OFFICERS WHO MUST HAVE SHIPBOARD TOURS CUT, ARE ASSURED THAT THEIR FORESHORTENED ASSIGNMENT WILL COUNT AS A COMPLETE TOUR IN THAT BILLET AND SUBSEQUENT SHIPBOARD BILLETS WILL FOLLOW NATURAL PROGRESSION (I.E. HIGHER BILLET ON SAME CLASS SHIP OR SIMILAR BILLET ON LARGER SHIP.

6. BECAUSE OF THE INCREASED SKILLS AND RESPONSIBILITY REQUIRED OF OUR PEOPLE IN-COUNTRY AND SINCE THE NAVAL ADVISORY JOBS ARE EVEN MORE CHALLENGING THAN THEY HAVE BEEN IN THE PAST, IT IS HIGHLY DESIRABLE THAT AS MANY AS POSSIBLE OF THE POSITIONS BE FILLED BY VOLUNTEERS. THUS, OFFICERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO VOLUNTEER FOR VIETNAM DUTY AND SHOULD SUBMIT THEIR REQUESTS, REGARDLESS OF DESIGNATOR OR CURRENT LENGTH IN PRESENT DUTY STATION, TO CHNAVPERS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. DUTY PREFERENCE UPON REASSIGNMENT FROM VIETNAM SHOULD BE INCLUDED. COMMANDING OFFICERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT REQUESTS BY MESSAGE.

7. I DESIRE ALL NAVAL OFFICERS BE COUNSELED REGARDING THE BENEFITS OF THIS NAVOP. E. R. ZUMWALT, JR., ADMIRAL, U.S. NAVY, CHIEF OF NAVAL OPERATIONS.
BT

__________

ACRONYMS/ABBREVIATIONS:
ACTOV: Accelerated Turnover to the Vietnamese
CHNAVPERS: Chief of Naval Personnel
ISOFS: [unknown]
LCDR: lieutenant commander
LT: lieutenant
LTJG: lieutenant junior grade
RVN: Republic of Vietnam
TAD: temporary assigned duty

[END]
Published: Tue Oct 04 06:45:06 EDT 2016