Myth: US troops were barbaricracist and hated gooks to the extent they saw the Vietnamese as a sub-human species.

Fact: US troops were commanded to treat the Vietnamese with respect and to act as guests in their country. Most did.

  • MACV's "Nine Rules" pocket cards were given to each member of the US Armed Forces in Vietnam. They also received "The Enemy in Your Hands" pocket cards. They were required to carry them at all times.
  • US military personnel were expected to treat Vietnamese with respect, to remember that they were guests in the country, to respect the local customs and laws and always give Vietnamese the right of way.
  • As with any large organization, there were people who did not abide by the Nine Rules, but they were the exception and they were punished through courts martial or administrative punishment.
  • It was common practice, once an area was secured, to provide medical and dental services to the Vietnamese people in the area where troops operated. Many had never had such service before.

Confirming Evidence

U.S. Military Pocket Cards Describe the Rules of War

Nine Rules

Nine Rules Card - Vietnam War Manuals & Paper Items

MACV Poket Cards

Medical Assistance to Vietnamese Civilians