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)