Lt Juri Muller

At one point, assigned to the 2/11th Arty, a 155mm outfit in support of the 2/9th.  While not officially a "member" of the 2/9th, Lt Mueller was in and around the same areas.

I had originally arrived in-country with the the 3/16th  (155mm) from Ft. Bragg where I had been a firing battery XO under the command of a battery commander who was also a 2LT but with more time in grade....until the Army hired some grown-ups to run the battery.  I wasn't much of an FDC officer (took me 38 weeks to get through the 23 week OCS course at Sill, having been set back twice because I just could NOT comprehend the math in spite of having scored 137 in the OCT and 152 in the GT while still an EM)...and to make a long story short, I screwed up a TOT early in '67 and was immediately re-assigned as an FO, which is what I should have been all along.  I was 19 when I was commissioned on 2Aug66...and admittedly not what one would consider mature.  Thank God I did not kill or wound any friendlies with my TOT f***-up!  My time was way off....don't remember how much, though.  So I was sent out for about 10 days or 2 weeks as Artillery liaison officer with an ARVN Ranger Group out of Quang Ngai first time in the woods, so to speak.  The MACV officers and NCO's who supervised these little tattooed brown bandits (I call 'em bandits because we returned to Quang Ngai City with a small herd of cattle and probably more than a hundred live chickens, and once we got back into town all the bars shut down because these boys, the ARVN Rangers, did not believe in paying their bar tabs once they got to hittin' the Ba Mouoi Ba pretty hard).  They were great mentors to me, and I think kept me on the up-side of the surface of the planet...especially CPT (dai uy) Pippin, an Airborne/Ranger/West Point graduate who took charge masterfully when we were ambushed shortly before getting back to Quang Ngai City.  Then, I was assigned to the 2/11th Arty.  Worked as an FO with tankers, 4/3d Inf, 1/14th Inf, 1/35th Inf, 2/35th Inf...and on and on and on and registrations with FACs and night-time observer on illumination runs in slicks and one short stint on an OP somewhere with LRRPs where nothing happened except for one of the LRRP boys getting stung by a scorpion.  I was a good FO, though, and actually kinda liked being a privileged grunt.  Viet Nam remains largely in a fog for me.  I remember many specific events, a few specific people; much of my experience remains a bit of the disembodied dream.  I tried very hard to put it all behind when I came back to civilian life...kind of a state of denial.  Have obsessed over the whole deal since 1968, though.  Slightly dien cai dau ("dinky dow"), one would suspect.


Served with CPT Pippin

(No, I don't remember his first name.  I called him Sir, Captain, or dai uy which is Vietnamese for captain.  He called me something that sounded like "ti uy", which meant second lieutenant.)  He was definitely a special ops kind of guy for whom I had great respect, a very cool-headed officer I would have followed almost anywhere.  He taught me all kinds of things in that short period:  Don't move at all at night because his little bandits were overly trigger-happy...and would on occasion take shots at each other! Some basic Infantry-type stuff that came in handy later in my tour...and he showed me how to be composed...well, sorta composed...under enemy fire. 

(ARVNs)  They WERE bandits...and most of 'em had a fair number of tats. BUT, they wore really great looking berets with a black cat insignia and even though they were cattle rustlers and chicken thieves, I NEVER saw them abuse the local peasantry or even captured chieu-hoi's (converts).  They were thieves, though, and liked to drink for free.

I had never jumped out of an airplane, had never had jungle-training...was OBVIOUSLY NOT A RANGER!!! Dai-uy Pippin really helped educate this formerly green NFG!