Uh... I thought that our unit was tremendously successful in the time that it was there. At the time we were enjoying these operational successes, we were also learning the terrain, because we were operating over terrain we'd never been over before. And in appreciation of the military and its operations, the terrain is a tremendous uh uh force multiplier if you occupy the right terrain. Uh, but you had to be familiar with it. It's one of the paramount considerations that you have any time you do anything. Uh, so I thought we were, in my company- A Company- we were extremely successful, and in the 1st Cavalry Division.
When we were designated the 1st Cavalry Division, the uh, my unit was designated as airborne or parachute outfit. And we didn't have the people in that unit uh that were parachute qualified. Consequently, I got a lot of my non commissioned officers- sergeants, corporals- from the 101st Airborne Division. And those people were, without a doubt, the backbone of my unit because they knew how to deal with soldiers. As far as the privates and the specialists, they came to us uh straight from Airborne School, Parachute School at Fort Benning, which is tremendous personal motivator.
And when they came to my unit they met the sergeants who were were good. They knew how to lead people, they knew how to explain things. They knew how to teach the rudiments of what soldiering was about. Then we were put on a ship to go to Vietnam where we were confined for thirty days. And these squad leaders who had charge of ten people would take their ponchos and put them on the walls of the ship and explain range cards, and tactics, and fields of fire, and where each weapon was supposed to go and what it was supposed to do.
We spent a lot of time like that in the confines of the ship where the sergeant really got to know his people, the people got to know his sergeant, the officers got to know their NCO's in a confined environment. And, uh there was a lot of esprit de corps that was generated there. As a matter of fact, uh from the time we got the word to go, our battalion...