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What It Was Like Training For The Vietnam War

Updated 7 Aug 2019 18.0k views15 items

During America's long involvement in the Vietnam conflict, from 1965 to 1973, tens of thousands of young men and women were recruited and drafted into the ranks of the US armed forces. They were sent overseas to fight on the battlefield or help in various support capacities. However, whether you were conscripted involuntarily or joined up to dictate your own career path, you had to undergo training, and that was one painfully unforgettable experience.

Officially, the basic training program during the Vietnam era called for 352 total hours of instruction - 44 hours a week for eight weeks. However, trainees who underwent the program recall that the instruction, the physical and emotional challenges, and the lessons accounted for far more time than what was officially mandated. This was followed by another eight weeks of advanced training before recruits were shipped out to the front lines or on to whatever position for which they were eventually selected. From hand-to-hand combat and bayonet training, to running miles every day in full gear, to hitting the firing range, here's a look at what it was like to undergo basic training for Vietnam from the recollections and accounts of veterans who actually made it through the experience.

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