William Calley Sweetheart: The First Vietnam War

1385 Words6 Pages
“…I was caught up a little bit on the Domino Theory. That it truly was a necessary war.” (My Lai Video, Greg Olsen, machine gunner). “…their bombs and shootings. That was our misery, war from the Americans.” (My Lai Video, Pham Thanh Cong, My Lai villager). On December 1, 1967, Charlie Company heads to Vietnam after advanced training at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. Charlie Company was led by the well – known and well respected Captain Ernest L. Medina, also known as “Mad Dog” from his high expectations and his quick temper when these expectations were not met. William Calley was the Lieutenant of Charlie Company’s 1st Platoon. He was described as a weak leader who struggled with basic leadership and was often ridiculed and belittled by Medina, who called Calley “Sweetheart.” (My Lai: A Brief History with Documents, page 13). When Charlie Company arrived in Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, on December 3, 1967, they establish an 11th Brigade fire base at landing zone Carrington in the southern Quang Ngai Province. Work at Carrington is comprised of digging up bunkers, setting up latrines,…show more content…
A military commission investigating the massacre found widespread failures of leadership, discipline, and morale among the Army's fighting units. As the war progressed, many "career" soldiers had either been rotated out or retired. Many more had died. In their place were scores of draftees whose fitness for leadership in the field of battle was questionable at best. Military officials blamed inequities in the draft policy for the often slim talent pool from which they were forced to choose leaders. Many maintained that if the educated middle class had joined in the fight, a man of Lt. William Calley's emotional and intellectual stature would never have been issuing orders (My Lai: A . A Brief History with Documents, page 146, 162,
Open Document