This is coolbert:
From the previous Ia Drang blog entry:
"Especially at Albany so many in leadership positions INSTANTLY AND MORE OR LESS IN SECONDS CUT DOWN BY SUPER-INTENSE ENEMY FIRE, THOSE HIGHLY VISIBLE AT THE TIME BADGES OF RANK IN PARTICULAR ALLOWING FOR CONCENTRATED NVA FIRE TO BE DIRECTED AT THOSE ATTEMPTING TO CONDUCT AN EFFECTIVE DEFENSE. Albany became a battle with privates in command of whatever unit structure remained or those remnants forming from the survivors of wiped out squads and platoons!!"
American infantry during the Battle of the Ia Drang Valley quite often finding themselves leaderless, their company grade officers either dead or wounded, removed from the action, lower ranking troops having to assume a command position, direct those personnel still effective, junior soldiers unaccustomed to assuming that role of a combat commander!!
Lieutenant Marm, awarded the Medal of Honor [MoH] for his heroics at Ia Drang [LZ X-Ray] having made the proper observations commenting in the aftermath of the battle that each and every non-commissioned officer [NCO] in the U.S. Army given a combat situation needs to be able to do three things [and do them well I would assume!]:
1. Organize a defensive perimeter.
2. Operate a radio in two different nets.
3. Employ indirect fire [artillery and mortars].
Each and every NCO [sergeant] regardless of specialty skill or branch [combat arms, combat support or combat service support] able at a moments notice able to lead troops in combat, even if only defensively A MUST!
With regard to # 3, NOT ONLY employ indirect fire but in the modern context employ ALL supporting fires, indirect and also close-air-support to include helicopter gunships!!
The extreme nature of Ia Drang somewhat negates the lessons learned? Devoted readers to the blog with combat experience can comment?