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       The women in uniform of ARVN are perhaps the ones who have been most forgotten and not mentioned at all during the Vietnam war. Today, many of the next Vietnamese generation didn't know their existence in ARVN, their contribution and sacrifice they made in the defense of South Vietnam. This web page is a tribute to all the Women's Armed Force Corps (WAFC) members who dutifully served in ARVN as the supporting roles, and in many cases even participating in the combat action. There were the wives of many ARVN soldiers who picked up rifles and fought side by side with their husbands in the trenches, when their camp (sort of Vietnam ALAMO) was under heavy attack, on the brink of being overran by the Viet Congs (It was a common practice for soldiers' dependents living in the military remote outposts, especially at the Montagnard Ranger camps). For those women, they were known in ARVN as "the soldiers without serial numbers." They fought, without salary, never expect any medals or rewards, and of course they didn't have their own serial numbers like the other conscripts. All for their families' safety well-being and surviving.

WOMEN IN UNIFORM OF ARVN
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Remembering ARVN
WOMEN'S ARMED FORCE CORPS (WAFC)

       The WAFC Training School, completd in March 1965 is commanded by Major Ho Thi Ve, a petite who, like Colonel Huong, began her career in the Women's Auxiliary Corps. The lastest class of 60 completed the eight-week basic training course on March 7, 1970. In the center of the compound, the recruits gather early every morning for drill exercises and physical training. In class and on the range, the girls learn the structure of the armed forces, military customs, first aid, sanitation, and the use of weapons.

In October 1966 an officer training course was started. Officer candidates first complete the basic training course, then begin the 20-week officer training class. Seventy women are now enrolled. Subjects of the basic course are covered in more depth. The future officers also learn military tactics, leadership, public speaking, and military justice. Both enlisted and commissioned women then attend military schools for advanced training in whatever field they want to specialize in - signal corps work, social welfare, etc.

Each year seven top graduates are sent to the WAC School at Fort McClelland in Anniston, Alabama. Five take the basic training course for four months and two enroll for the six-month career course. Colonel Huong, who has attended both courses, finds them very helpful. "Our girls can see the organization of the American WAC which was established 35 years ago," she says, "and being able to travel is an experience for them."

After graduation and advanced training, the WAFCs are assigned to different units, usually close to their homes. Of the 4,000 WAFCs, 120 are attached to the Air Force, 45 to the Navy, and 16 to the Marines. The others are divided among the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), the regular units and military units of the Regional Forces (RF) and the Popular Forces (PF). At the present time 1,200 WAFCs are based in Saigon area, 600 in I Corps Tactical Zone, 500 in II CTZ, 800 in III CTZ, and 900 in IV CTZ.

Regardless of the military branch they are assigned to, all are in support role, AWAFC with the Vietnamese Air Force, for example, would be a telephone operator or a social worker, not a fighter pilot. Two months ago several WAFCs completed the rugged ARVN Airborne School course. These daredevil girls will not be spending their careers dropping into combat zone, however. According to Major Ve, they took the course "for fun and for the value of the physical training."

(Source: The above excerpt is part of the brochure "South Vietnam's Women in Uniform "- Published by The Vietnam Council On Foreign Relations, unknown dated)

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