FIGHTING A HOT, DIRTY, insect-infested war is hard work, and the
rewards and satisfactions often seem to be nonexistent. To the
soldier in the field, progress is moving from one hill to another,
crossing the dayís third blue line or chasing enemy soldiers from
a bunker complex.
Minds are occupied with outsmarting and outfighting a determined
enemy on the individual, squad, platoon and company level. There is
no time to worry about the overall picture. That is the job of the
Major commanders do consider the overall picture and yet, as
indicated in a letter written in praise of the Famous Fighting
Fourth Infantry Division by General Cao Van Vien, Chief, Joint
General Staff, Republic of Vietnam Armed Forces, they also recognize
the efforts of the individuals who do the fighting.
IN HIS LETTER to General Creighton W. Abrams, USARV Commanding
General, General Vien said in part, "As operation MacArthur,
Cochise Green, Walker, Bolling and McLain have come to an end with
most encouraging results scored by the operating troops of the 4th
Infantry Division, I should like to ask you to extend to all
officers and men taking part in these highly successful operations
the expression of my heartfelt appreciation.
"In these operations," he continued, "the valiant
American fighters accounted for 8,689 NVA soldiers killed, 6,941
detained and 155 returnees. They also captured 276 crew-served
weapons and 2,258 small arms.
"These remarkable results, it goes without saying, were
obtained through the courage and fighting spirit of the men and the
outstanding leadership of the officers."
In forwarding General Vienís letter, General Abrams asked that
his "personal commendation for exemplary display of teamwork,
dedicated service and mission accomplishment" be conveyed.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL CHARLES A. Corcoran, IFFV Commander, added his
praise when he wrote, "The operations were, without exception,
conducted with a degree of professionalism which commanded success.
You may take just pride in these achievements."
Fourth Division commander, Major General Donn R. Pepke, commented
on the praise given his men, adding, "I am sure that all
members of the Famous Fighting Fourth Infantry Division will share
my pride in the recognition afforded to our past and present
accomplishments. I have no doubt that the Divisionís traditional
fighting spirit will be passed from our presently assigned officers
and men to those who will follow them."
Fourth Division soldiers, down to the last rifleman, can be
rightfully proud of their accomplishments.