DUTY IN VIETNAM/SOME HELPFUL HINTS GENERAL INFORMATION SHEET-FOR NEWCOMERS
TO REPUBLIC OF SOUTH VIETNAM
US Army Combat Art Team IV
15 August-15 October, 1967, Vietnam
16 October-31 December 1967, Hawaii
Team IV members:
Sp/4 James Pollock from South Dakota
Sp/4 Daniel Lopez from California
Sp/4 Samuel Alexander from Mississippi
Sp/5 Burdell Moody from Arizona
Sgt. Ronald Wilson from Utah
Technical Supervisor Lt. Frank M. Thomas
James Pollock's home state was and still is South Dakota. At the time of
his selection to US Army Combat Artist Team IV he was serving as a Sp/4
postal clerk with First Base Post Office, 8th US Army, and was stationed
at Camp Ames near Taejon, South Korea. All artwork completed as a soldier
artist are in the Military History War Art Collection in Washington D.C.
After being selected through army-wide competition, The following general
information sheet designed in a frequently asked questions FAQ format was
distributed to US Army Vietnam Combat Artist Team IV member James Pollock.
This document, prepared by Hq U. S. Army, Vietnam, gives an overview of
general information for all military personnel traveling to or on assignment
to the Republic of South Vietnam. There was probably a larger and unkown
comprehensive document that this was taken from. Photo copies of pages 4
and 5 are all that Pollock has in his possession. Included on page 4 (not
reproduced here) was a simple map of Vietnam and vacinity.
DUTY IN VIETNAM
This roundup contains information, in question and answer form, designed
to assist Army personnel in making personal plans for travel to and assignment
within the Republic of South Vietnam. This information has been assembled
by Hq U.S. Army, Vietnam, and represents questions most frequently asked
by newcomers to the area.
WHAT KIND AND HOW MANY UNIFORMS SHOULD I TAKE TO VIETNAM?
You are required to arrive in Vietnam wearing khaki short-sleeved shirt
and trousers. Enlisted personnel will have in their possession a full issue
of summer khaki clothing and fatigues, boots, and low quarter shoes. The
service cap and greens are withdrawn at port of embarkation CONUS. Officers
should bring at least four sets of khakis and six sets of fatigues. a light-weight
green uniform is recommended for officers; however, greens can be tailored
AM I PERMITTED TO TAKE CIVILIAN CLOTHES? IF SO, WHAT TYPE AND IN WHAT QUANTITY?
The wearing of civilian clothes during off-duty hours is encouraged. Light-weight
civilian suits of slacks with conservative sports shirts are recommended.
All clothing should be washable since laundry and dry cleaning facilities
are scarce, and the quality of their work is poor.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE MY HOD BAGGAGE TO GET TO VIETNAM?
It will take 60 days or more for your hold baggage to arrive in Vietnam.
HOW MUCH U.S. CURRENCY SHOULD I HAVE IN POSSESSION WHEN I ARRIVE IN VIETNAM?
Your should arrive in Vietnam with sufficient funds to defray expenses until
you receive your first pay in Vietnam. ($75 is the recommended minimum amount.)
AM I REQUIRED TO CONVERT ALL U.S. CURRENCY INTO SCRIPT AND PASTERS? IF SO,
WHERE AND WHEN DO I ACCOMPLISH THIS?
When you arrive in Vietnam you must immediately convert your U.S. currency
and dollar instruments into script. You may exchange your money at the Replacement
Center or at the finance office that services your unit. Finance officers,
clubs and messes, the USO, and American Embassy will exchange script for
WHAT MONTHLY PAY OPTIONS WILL I HAVE?
In Vietnam, the usual pay allotments are available as they are throughout
the army. Also, you have options of having all your pay sent to a CONUS
bank or authorized dependent; taking part of it in script and having the
balance sent to CONUS; or taking part of your pay and allotting the balance
to be carried forward.
NORMALLY HOW LONG AFTER MY ARRIVAL IN VIETNAM WILL I RECEIVE MY TRAVEL PAY?
You will receive your travel pay about four or five weeks after submission
of your travel voucher.
ON THE AVERAGE, HOW MUCH MONEY IS REQUIRED FOR NORMAL EXPENSES, SUCH AS
MEALS, LAUNDRY, TRANSPORTATION, CLUB BILL AND FEES?
This is a difficult question to answer, as the amount you will spend depends
on your assignment and location. Obviously you will find yourself spending
a lot less if you are stationed out in the field than you will spend in
Saigon, Nha Trang or other cities. A trooper from the 1st Brigade 101st
Airborne Division reports he spends less than $30 a month. An NCO assigned
to Hq USARV lists his expense as $70 a month. An average figure would be
from $50 to $100 a month for basic expenses. Your personal tastes and inclinations
will dictate the amount you spend for '"'extras.'"'
CAN I CASH PERSONAL CHECKS, MONEY ORDERS AND TRAVELER'S CHECKS?
You can cash traveler's checks and personal checks at clubs, messes and
post exchanges. Postal money orders can be cashed a APOs. There are no facilities
for cashing savings bonds at the present time.
IS PROFICIENCY PAY AWARDED IN VIETNAM?
Yes. A certain percentage of nontested personnel are authorized special
and proficiency pay. Personnel who were tested in the States will normally
receive this pay, if qualified by test score.
DO CERTAIN AREAS IN VIETNAM HAVE CURFEWS?
Curfews are established in accordance with the military situation and local
civilian regulations and policies.
WHAT MEANS OF TRANSPORTATION ARE AVAILABLE?
Transportation in Vietnam is generally provided by organic military vehicles.
In population centers, such as Saigon, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Vung Tau and
other cities, commercial transportation-Taxis, pedi-cabs, and similar vehicles
is available. For long distance travel within Vietnam, you will go by air.
AM I PERMITTED TO BUY AND OWN A PRIVATE VEHICLE?
POVs cannot be transported to Vietnam. POVs are not feasible as the driving
hazards are great and, except for Saigon and other population centers, there
is nowhere to drive. Applications for purchase of motor vehicles must be
submitted through command channels to Hq USARV although subordinate commands
have the authority to disapprove.
IS IT NECESSARY TO BRING PERSONAL WEAPONS?
No. Individuals who need weapons are issued them. Military personnel are
not authorized to purchase locally or import privately-owned firearms except
as an exception to policy upon approval of written request.
--SOME HELPFUL HINTS
HOW IS MAIL SERVICE AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECEIVE LETTERS AND PACKAGES?
Normal time for air mail to and from the U. S. and Vietnam is three to seven
days, depending on the in-country location. Parcels shipped surface mail
take 45 to 60 days.
ARE OVERSEAS TELEPHONE CALLS AVAILABLE?
Commercial overseas telephone calls can be placed from the USO building
in Saigon. Messages of a personal nature may also be sent by troops to the
United States using MARS facilities. There are seven MARS installations
CAN I PURCHASE MONEY ORDERS IN VIETNAM TO MAIL HOME?
Facilities for the purchase of postal money orders are located throughout
LENGTH OF TOUR
WHAT IS THE LENGTH OF THE PRESENT TOUR?
The normal foreign service tour in Vietnam is now 12 months. Extension and
curtailment policies are in effect in this and every other overseas command.
MAY I EXTEND MY TOUR IN VIETNAM?
Tour lengths for enlisted personnel may be extended on a voluntary basis
for periods other than multiples of six months provided the prescribed maximum
tour lengths are not exceeded. Therefore, with a voluntary extension, the
maximum tour length in Vietnam is currently 24 months.
DO I HAVE DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY WHILE STATIONED IN VIETNAM?
By special agreement between our two countries, United States military personnel
in Vietnam are immune from arrest and prosecution by Vietnamese authorities.
However, the U.S. authorities in Vietnam may waive that immunity in a particular
case. All personnel are required to obey the laws of RVN, and are of course,
subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM PERIOD I CAN DEFER FILING MY FEDERAL INCOME TAX RETURN
AND STATE TAX RETURN?
Federal income tax returns are not required to be filed until 180 days after
leaving Vietnam. However, you must make prior arrangements with IRS, letting
them know your status and location. You should determine from your home
state the rules for filing state income tax returns.
WHAT IS THE POLICY ON EMERGENCY LEAVES IN VIETNAM?
An emergency leave is authorized upon receipt of a confirmed report of specific
situation requiring the presence of the service member. Normally 30 days
are authorized. Travel time within the country of destination is chargeable
ARE LEAVES ALLOWED IN VIETNAM?
Yes, in-country leave is authorized for no longer than seven days. Two such
leaves in addition to R&R, are authorized per 12 month period. Leave
to the United States is authorized for compassionate reasons (in addition
to emergency leave) for 30 days. Space available transportation is authorized,
but the individual must be able to pay his way on commercial flight if required.
Leave starts upon departure from duty station and terminates upon return.
WHAT IS THE GENERAL POLICY ON REST AND RECREATION LEAVES?
Military personnel in Vietnam may utilize the R&R program to Manila,
Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bangkok, or Taipei. One five-day leave is authorized for
every 12 months served in Vietnam. There are six in-country R&R areas
where individuals may go for a three-day pass.
ARE RELIGIOUS SERVICES AVAILABLE FOR ALL DENOMINATIONS?
Religious coverage is on the area concept. This means that all units, whether
assigned a chaplain or not, will have religious services for major faiths
are held. AFRS also broadcasts devotional programs.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO CONTINUE INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLING, SUCH AS CORRESPONDENCE
Many courses of instruction for all levels of education are available through
USAFI. In addition, more than 6000 correspondence courses are available
from the extension divisions of 44 leading schools. In the Saigon area,
a limited number of college courses are available through the University
WHAT IMMUNIZATION IS REQUIRED DURING THE TOUR IN VIETNAM?
Smallpox, typhoid, and typhus within one year; tetanus within six years;
cholera within six months; plague within four months; oral polio on record
and current flu innoculation. All military personnel will have yellow fever
WILL I EAT IN THE MESS HALL OR ON THE LOCAL ECONOMY?
Military messes, to include BOQ and BEQ facilities, are available through-out
WILL I LIVE IN TENTS, BARRACKS OR ON THE LOCAL ECONOMY?
Billets vary in each area. Screened hutments and squad tents are widely
used. In some cases, personnel will live in houses or hotels.
WHAT TYPE OF LAUNDRY FACILITIES ARE AVAILABLE?
Quartermaster laundry facilities are limited. Most individual laundry is
done by civilian firms. The services and quality of work varies from good
to very poor.
WHAT TYPE OF PX SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE?
PX facilities in Vietnam are primarily for the individual soldiers's needs.
Some luxury items, such as watches, are available.
WHAT PERSONAL ITEMS SHOULD I BRING?
Personal items to include cameras, transistor-type radios, cordless electric
razors, extra underclothing, light washable trousers, and sport shirts can
be used in Vietnam.
ARE AER AND RED CROSS FACILITIES AVAILABLE IN VIETNAM?
Yes, AER facilities are at major troop concentrations and Red Cross personnel
are with unit in the field.
ARE CERTAIN ITEMS, SUCH AS CIGARETTES, RATIONED?
Yes, cigarettes and luxury items are rationed.
(end of page 5)
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