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Mission Command Paper

In: Historical Events

Submitted By lyontra
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While being informed by a Vietnamese translator that he was fighting The Pride of Ho Chi Minh, or the highly elite 29th Regiment of the North Vietnamese Army (NVA), Lieutenant Colonel Weldon Honeycutt responded by saying “Tell him I’m glad to know they’re around here. Tell him that’s why we came here- to kill North Vietnamese soldiers-and if they are around, they’ll just be doin’ us a favor78-79.” This bold statement, stated by the commander of a unit tasked to take a hill with heavily fortified enemy positions, shows that he understood his mission- plain and simple. LTC Honeycutt, commander of the 3d Battalion, 187th Infantry (the "Rakkasans"), lead his unit in accordance with the doctrinal tasks of mission command. LTC Honeycutt was responsible for the United States victory on Hamburger Hill through the operations process activities by correctly understanding the operational environment, properly directing his unit and combat power, accurately assessing the evolving situation, and properly leading his subordinates to a successful mission.
A profane, outspoken, fiercely competitive man, Honeycutt was the prototype of the hard-nosed commander. Born in 1931 in the mill town Greensboro, North Carolina, Honeycutt had lied, at sixteen with only a sixth-grade education, about his age and enlisted in the army. At five feet eight, other officers thought he lacked having command presence. Because of this, he applied himself to the military life with a religious passion and quickly began an impressive rise through the ranks. In five short years he was moved from private to captain and was a company commander in the Korean War. During the Korean War, his aggressiveness in taking a key hill that two other companies had previously failed to do was the reason GEN Westmoreland nicknamed him “Tiger” which stuck with most of LTC Honeycutt’s superiors.65.
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