Tag Archives: perimeter guard duty

Article 15


So much for receiving a good conduct medal

Forty-three years ago today there was a party in our hooch which lasted into the wee hours of the night. After all, how often does a guy turn 21, and in Vietnam no less? I didn’t report for perimeter guard duty that night and it cost me an Article 15. For certain minor offenses, the military offers non judicial punishment – also known as NJP, Article 15.

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PBR time in my AO…
Dave Roger, Tom Connell & Rob Struck

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Charlie Troop Blues relaxing with a cold one after a hot day in the bush.
Mike Melton, Jim Debolt, Bob Porter, George Burns, Dave Parkhurst & Dave Roger

I don’t recall what my fine was, probable just a token amount of one months pay, if that. The bulk of my pay was sent home because Uncle Sam provided just about everything we needed. I remember paying $2.00 for a carton of KOOL Filters at the Phuoc Vinh PX. That’s right $2.00, which is a good indication of how cheap thing were back then. Upon landing in Vietnam, I was promoted to PFC (E-3-Private First Class). As an E-3 I drew approximately $65.00 overseas pay, $30.00 combat pay and with my basic rank pay of $200.00, my total pay came out to about $300.00 per month…

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Perimeter Guard Duty


Outer Limits of a Military Position

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Sgt. Tony Mizzi and I standing in front of a bunker on the Phuoc Vinh perimeter. Tony was from New York City, and as I recall wanted to be a NYC cop when he got back to the ‘World’. Tony, if you get a chance to read this, you still owe me twenty bucks.

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Eddie Smith from San Diego with Tony and I on a greenline bunker. The greenline (perimeter) is the outer limits of a military position. The area beyond the perimeter belongs to the enemy.

During the night, you sat on top of the bunker with a M-60 machine gun and watched for enemy movement outside the perimeter. On occasion, you shot a flare into the air to light up the area. We also were equipped with a starlight scope for night vision.

We took turns doing two-hour watches, and when you were off, there was a cot in the dug-out lower part of the bunker where you could get some sleep. I recall one night a screaming noise and something running across my legs woke me up. It was rats fighting over food scraps laying on the ground next to my cot. That event intensified my hatred for rats…

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