roleofobjects (roleofobjects) wrote in little_details,

Boot Camp During the Vietnam War


I've checked through the tags and haven't really found an answer to a few of my questions re: boot camp for a drafted soldier during the Vietnam war.


I've read a fair amount on Vietnam, spent a month and a half on it in AP US History, and have read The Things They Carried and Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien. I've also watched "Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam" and the American Experience doc on war letters. My google-fu is hit or miss, and I really didn't want to take a chance messing up the details.

1) My characters are both eighteen and from the southern midwest; is there any specific training facility they would have been sent to? Or was Paris Island the norm?
2) What was transport like to the facility? Was a draftee responsible for his own transportation or was there a central locale from where everyone went?
3) I've heard that six weeks was an average length for boot camp; correct me if it's wrong, please.
4) What was phone usage like? Was it a privilege or a guarantee? Pay phone or not? How long did a draftee have on the phone everyday? Did that vary with quality of performance?
5) Were draftees ever granted free time off base while training was going on, or were they supposed to stay there? Would a drafted soldier still have a pair of street clothes with him in case he was able to go out on the town for a night?
6) After completing basic training, would a drafted soldier have gone onto advanced (and how long would that be) or been shipped straight to Vietnam? How long was the average lag between completing training and being sent overseas or did that vary from camp to camp?
7) Assuming the lag was long enough, could a drafted soldier waiting to be shipped overseas be granted a weekend furlough?
8) And another double check on accuracy: a soldier was drafted into the Army, not the Marines, correct?

Thank you!
Tags: usa: military: historical, vietnam: history

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