Geoff Hazel - Working with the Vietnamese

Running time
1 min 48 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


On the second tour, because you went out with Vietnamese companies on operations, now, their ration system was pretty poor. I mean, when they went out all they had was their rice, you got meat when somebody went and shot a deer or something. So you found that a good company, the hunter went out just before dawn and got the deer. And then once you got it you packed up, moved, and then you did your cooking and had breakfast and then you moved on.

A bad company used to go out on dusk, get the deer and then you'd be sitting there where he's been shooting, thinking, "Oh, you've just told everybody, right, here we are". So really the companies were much dependent on the company commanders, you're good company commander, you had a good company. I mean, 445, they were brilliant. Company commander was absolutely spot on.

I was with another one for a brief period of time. And basically there was only a third of the company there any period of time the rest were back on their farms. They used to come in on Pay Day, get paid and give half the money to the company commander and then they go back to the farms. So yeah, there was, you had a lot of issues. But the majority of the people were good, I mean we got to know them, you got to live with them.

And once they got to know you, that was a big thing. You had to get to know them. It was no good standing off and saying, "You’ve got to do this". That didn't work, I mean as a corporal you’re trying to tell a major how to run his company or that. There are ways to do it.

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