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11th Public Security Division (People's Republic of China)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

151st Division (1948–51)
142nd Division (1951–52)
11th Public Security Division (1952–55)
ActiveNovember 1948 - June 1955
CountryPeople's Republic of China
BranchPeople's Liberation Army
EngagementsChinese Civil War

The 151st Division (Chinese: 第151师) was created in November 1948 under the Regulation of the Redesignations of All Organizations and Units of the Army, issued by Central Military Commission on November 1, 1948,[1] basing on the 10th Independent Division of Northeastern Field Army, formed in January 1948.

The division was a part of 38th Corps, under which command it took part in many major battles during the Chinese civil war. In March 1953 it stationed at Longzhou, Guangxi.

In February 1951 the division was attached to the newly-formed 48th Corps and renamed as 142nd Division (Chinese: 第142师), and all its regiments were renamed as follows:

  • 424th Infantry Regiment (former 451st);
  • 425th Infantry Regiment (former 452nd);
  • 426th Infantry Regiment (former 453rd).

On April 1, 1952, the division was re-organized and renamed as 11th Public Security Division(Chinese: 公安第11师)(2nd Formation), and all its regiments were renamed as follows:

  • 31st Public Security Regiment (former 424th);
  • 32nd Public Security Regiment (former 425th);
  • 33rd Public Security Regiment (former 426th).

In December 32nd Regiment was detached from the division and entered Korea as a part of People's Volunteer Army.

In January 1953 the division moved to eastern Guangdong for coastal defense mission.

In June 1955 the division was disbanded. The divisional HQ was transferred to the People's Liberation Army Navy and became the division HQ, 5th Naval Aviation Division. 31st Regiment became Garrison Regiment of Nan'ao (now as 1st Coastal Defense Regiment of Guangzhou Military Region), and 33rd Regiment was transferred to 9th Public Security Border Defense Division.

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>> David Ferriero: Good afternoon and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives to hear Nick Brokausen talk about his new book, "We Few: U.S. Special Forces in Vietnam." I'm David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I'm very pleased you could join us, whether you are here in the theatre or joining us through YouTube or CSPAN. Today's program is part of a series of discussions, films, programs, lectures and other events related to the "Remembering Vietnam" exhibit upstairs in the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery. Before we bring out Nick Brokausen, I'd like to tell you about two programs that are coming up here later this week. tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. join us for a bipartisan discussion about how citizen movements have influenced policy makers. In a program called "Citizen Engagement in America's History," citizen activists will join a panel with former members of Congress to discuss civic engagement, civic education, and how to the petition the government. Then on Thursday June 21st at noon is the Robert F. Kennedy Legacy Program, and we will hear from Kerry Kennedy about her new book about her father, "Robert F. Kennedy: Ripples of Hope." Using interviews with those who have been inspired by him, Kennedy brings to life RFK's values and passions. A book signing will follow the program. To learn more about these and all of our public programs and exhibits, consult our monthly calendar of events online at Check our website or sign up at the table outside the theatre to get email updates. You'll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities. Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation: The foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Pick up your application for membership in the lobby or become a member online at Now I ask all Vietnam veterans or any United States veterans who served on active duty in the U.S. armed forces at any time during the period of November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, to stand and be recognized. Veterans, as I exit the McGowan Theater after today's program, National Archives staff and volunteers will present each of you with the Vietnam Veteran lapel pin. On the back of the pin is embossed, "A Grateful Nation Thanks and Honors You." The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration is a national initiative and the lapel pin is the nation's lasting memento of thanks. As I mentioned earlier, the program is related to our special exhibit, "Remembering Vietnam." For this exhibit, our curatorial staff combed through National Archives records here and across the country to find the documents that tell the stories recounted in the 12 episodes of the exhibit. These records came in many forms, typed reports, photographs, audio recordings, motion picture film and videotapes, and artifacts. "Remembering Vietnam" traces the long arc of the war from decisions that led to increased American involvement to the eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops. But it also brings us face to face with individual stories of people who lived, fought and died in Vietnam. In "We Few," Nick Brokausen brings us some of those stories from the perspective of one who served and fought side by side with them. His small company and its indigenous allies were the backbone of ground reconnaissance in Vietnam during the war. Let's hear from him now and learn the stories of those men and the hardships they faced. Nick Brokausen served 17 years in the U.S. military. After his time in Military Assistance Command Vietnam Studies and Observations Group, he participated in missions as diverse as being part of mobile training teams sent to countries in Africa, South America, and later within the divided city of Berlin, and as a member of the first counterterrorist unit in the U.S. military. Since leaving the military, Nick has built several businesses that provide training to law enforcement and the military as well as consulting for the resource development community. he has developed business interests in software and cyber securities, waste to energy and powerplant projects, as well as products such as the ballistic shield used by law enforcement, and armored vehicles. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Nick Brokausen. (Applause) >> Nick Brokhausen: Thank you. Thank you. I'll make this as short as I can so we are not we can get into the questions and answers and that. I'd like to say I wrote this book as a catharsis. I went to a period of my life where things had slowed down somewhat and I wanted to get some of my demons done away with so I sat down and I wrote this book in about six months. And then it sat around for two years and then finally I had a publisher, small publisher picked it up and printed it about 15 years ago, ten years ago, something like that. It has been out of print for ten years and just been republished by Casemate. I'm not a scholar, I'm not an archivist, I'm just a guy that went through this and decided to put it down on paper in the hopes that people after me would understand the incredible courage of my peers. It's not Sargent Rock and the Howling commandos, there's not a lot of me. I'm more of the narrator in it than the central figure but I wrote the book as a tribute to my peers. I'd like to read something to give you an idea of exactly what I'm talking about. This is the presidential unit citation that was awarded to MACVSOG and I was privileged enough to be at that ceremony in Fort Bragg with about 300 other survivors of MACVSOG that were there including several generals that were retired as major generals that had been staff sergeants and buck sergeants in those days. I'll read this if I can. I'm not a professional reader either. The presidential units citation for extraordinary heroism to the United States studies and observations group, United States military assistance command, Vietnam. The studies and observations group is cited for extraordinary heroism, great combat achievement and unwavering fidelity while executing unheralded top secret missions deep behind enemy lines across south each Asia. Incorporating volunteers from all branched of the armed forces and especially U.S. Army special forces, special operations groups ground, air and sea units fought officially denied actions which contributed immeasurably to the American war effort in Vietnam. Military assistance command Vietnam special operations group reconnaissance teams composed of special forces soldiers and indigenous personnel penetrated the enemy's most dangerous redoubts in jungle Laotian wilderness and the sanctuaries of eastern Cambodia. Pursued by human trackers and even blood hounds these small teams out maneuvered, out fought and out ran their numerically superior foe to uncover key enemy facilities, rescue downed pilots, plant wiretaps, mines and electronic sensors, capture valuable enemy prisoners, ambush convoys, discover and assess targets for B-52 strikes and inflict casualties all out of proportion to their own losses. When counter measures became dangerously effective. Special operations group operators innovated their own counters from high altitude parachuting payloads and unusual explosive devices to tactics as old as the French Indian war. Fighting alongside their Montyard Chinese, Cambodian and Vietnamese allies Special forces led hatchet forces companies and platoon staged daring raids against key enemy facilities in Laos and Cambodia, overran major munitions and supply stockpiles, blocked enemy highways to choke off the flow of supplies to south Vietnam. Special operations group cross border operations proved an effective economy of force of north Vietnamese Army to divert 50,000 soldiers to rear area security duties far from the battle fields of south Vietnam, period. Sorry. Supporting these hazardous missions were special operations group, United States and south Vietnamese pardon me, page turn air force transport and helicopter squadrons. Along with Air Force forward air controllers and helicopter units along with the US Army and US Marine Corps.These courages aviators often flew through heavy fire to extract special operations group operators from seemingly hopeless situations saving lives by selflessly risking their own. No truer statement can be said. Special Operation Group Naval Vietnamese naval forces instructed and advised by the U.S. Navy seals boldly raided North Vietnam's coast and won surface victories against the north Vietnamese Navy. While indigenous agent teams penetrated the very heartland of North Vietnam. Despite casualties that sometimes became universal Special operations group operators never wavered but fought throughout the war with the same flare, fidelity and intrepidity that distinguished the special operations group from the beginning. The Studies and Observations Group combat prowess, martial skills and unacknowledged sacrifices saved many American lives and provided a paragon for American forces future special forces. That was the presidential unit citation that was given to the unit. When I wrote this book there were only two other books out at the time. One was written by David Maurer (phonetic) which was a fiction account called "The Dying Place" and it was based on his experience at the same unit I was in. And the other was a scholarly work by a gentleman named John Plaster who had been at CNC central and ran recon. Most of the people that John Plaster tried to interview refused to speak to him as myself did when he first started writing books because these missions were classified. And as far as we know they were still classified. So a lot of the information in John's book he got from 1 or 2 people that were willing to talk to him and as in all cases eyewitnesses, every one of them has a different view of the same incident so there were things that were left out, little inaccuracies. Today more and more authors are writing about special projects. John Mayer has written two really fine books and Toby Todd and I think a couple of the others. I laud them to come forward to tell people about our peers. I didn't write this for myself, I wrote it for the guys I was there with. The most incredible people I've ever met in my life, all of whom are still friends of mine. I treasure them deeply. I hope the book gives you an idea of what it was like to be there in that time. It's not a scholarly work. There's a lot of profanity. It's the viewpoint of someone who was there at the time who witnessed it at the time and had the impressions of that time. I think it pretty well details what it was like on some of the missions. There is a sequel that I worked on at the same time that will come out after that details the last part of my tour in special projects. But I hope that if you get the book, that you enjoy it. I hope that you learn something from it. That it doesn't offend you. But at the same time that you get a feel for what we went through and why we went through it. So I can take questions now if that's all right. (Applause) >> Nick Brokhausen: Thank you. >> Folks, if you have questions, please go to the microphone. >> Audience Member: Thank you for your talk. Curious if you talked about it when someone came and asked you a bunch of questions if you thought things needed to stay classified at that time what were some of the things that we will find out when we read your book that you needed to get cleared after you experienced them, what kind of things have opened up or become less classified? >> Nick Brokhausen: I never got clearance when I wrote the book. It was 15 or 20 years ago when I wrote it. And there were things that I still don't tell. Portions of what we did and some of the target areas I'm sure are still sensitive because of the particular country they were in. Or a location. And there were other aspects that we still don't talk about because they're classified, I'm sure. But as far as the techniques and the way we operated and I had a good friend of mine to give you an idea of the complexity, when we were young staff sergeants and buck sergeants and young lieutenants, we were running operations, joint combat operations, combined arms, directing air support on the ground, running a combat mission, you're running to save your life at the same time fighting to get out the information you that you were there for. Today, One of our guys went all the way to major general and he was instrumental in the Operation Anaconda in Afghanistan. Somebody asked him aren't you afraid of the danger you're putting these young men in. He said when they're in as much danger as I was in in Laos I'll feel comfortable that they're doing their job. So it was challenging but it paid off in the end. >> Audience Member: Thank you. What would you describe I guess maybe again it's probably in your book and maybe you can touch on it, a path that you joined to the service and the type of people that go into special projects, how do they raise their hand or have their hand raised for them to go down those paths that you were involved with versus other divisions of the military? >> Nick Brokhausen: You heard the term Shanghai? >> Audience Member: Yes. >> Nick Brokhausen: I had people ask even current special forces guys go what kind of training and selection course did you go through to get into special projects? Blackmail. (Laughter). You had to be a triple volunteer first of all you had to volunteer for special forces. You had to volunteer for Vietnam. And you had to volunteer to be in projects. And any time you could quit. I mean that was the underlying and we had people that actually quit. And to this day there's no stain on their manhood or anything. This was about as high pressure as you can get. The only thing that comes close to it I think is being over 70 because every day could be your last one. So it's something that you recognize. But as far as special selection, we ran a onezero course. One zero was a recon team leader. That was a code selected for it and 11 was his assistant. And we ran a school in long time Vietnam that was run by former onezeros that had run missions. You could go from running missions down to be an instructor. I never saw that happen but they said it was possible. And the actual last exercise is an actual mission in war zone D where they put you in on the ground and you're live fire. You're going to run into somebody out there carrying an AK. And the whole idea was train you to survive and to think. We became masters of plan B. That's the one that when plan A fails you pull out of your back pocket and start working it out. But other than special selection for special forces, there was no real selection to get you into special projects. You were told when you got to the project you can be in the hatchet company and you can be in recon company and you can be in support. And recon was the only one that was voluntary. I think something else that most people don't understand, at the height of the war special forces only consisted of about 3500 people worldwide. So we were a small compact group in essence in the beginning. And then special projects became even smaller and more compact. I saw a statistic one time of the 7800 men that served in ground combat operations. There's a difference, not staff, ground combat operations. Guys that actually ran on the ground. Only about I think 1800 of us survived the war. So I mean we lost 18 teams that disappeared without a trace. That's usually eight men apiece or more that vanished off the face of the earth. And even more that were decimated. Each one of those recon companies consisted of between 30 and 50 Americans. You had supposedly 18 teams that were available but you had teams that were so shot up that they couldn't go back out, they needed to recruit new people, train new people up, get back in shape to get back on the roster. So towards the end in '70, '71, and '72 you're running more missions because there were less teams because the war had changed by then. We stopped being a reconnaissance unit and actually became bait. Get out there, stir them up, make them come up on the radio and we will send in B52's while they are getting a pedicure and bomb them into dust. I hoped I answered your questions. >> Audience Member: You mentioned locals in the area and relying on them and today in the theatre we are issues obviously trying to buildup trust and in some cases that trust failed. What was some of your experience with some of the areas that you participated in and being able to rely and trust the locals that you would rely on and trust and support in some of these missions. >> Nick Brokhausen: I've worn this, it's a Montagnard bracelet. John Wayne wore one all the time. I will be -- until the day I die. The Montagnard and the Nungs. The people we worked with, you became a warrior in their tribe. And the fidelity they served I've had yards lay on top of me to keep me from being wounded again. Some of the most dedicated, hardcore fighters you'll ever find. They were essentially an iron age tribe and then we trundled into the country and handed out rifles and mortars. They adapted to it like ducks to water. The Chinese Nungs pretty much the same story. The Vietnamese and the Cambodians, the other ones we used. up at north we used mostly Montagnards from the brew, Sedang tribe and some Vietnamese. Most of the Vietnamese were recruited out of prison and they were good recon people, hardcore. They were in prison for robbery, whatever, and we recruited them out of there and they got a chance to work their sentence off. That wasn't the prevailing thing but it happened in a couple of cases. I actually recruited my gunner, M79, was a former north Vietnamese sapper officer. He was in the POW camp next door. I recruited him out of the POW camp. Because he was a Brew-Montagngard. said he wants to come out and work with us and if they trusted him I was going to trust him. To this day we betrayed the Montagnards in the end, not us but the government. Basically when they signed away our POW's and signed away all the other stuff in the agreement with the north Vietnamese they basically gave the north Vietnamese license to do what they wanted to do which was destroy the Montagnard people. They were the victims of the yellow reign and out and out genocide after the war. I went back after the war and a lot of the little people that we had, they had their arms cut off. Most of them had SEU tattooed on their forearm that means special commando unit. Anybody found with that tattoo they would chop it off right above it. A lot of them went to the reeducation camps afterwards and a lot of them went back up in the hills. A footnote, at the end of the war we knew pretty much what they were going to sell out, the yards, the Vietnamese weren't going to be able to hold and if they did they wanted to get rid of the yards too so we were arming them. I don't mean a pistol here or a couple of cartridges there. When the big American units were pulling out they left stacks of ammunitions and weapons behind and we took it en masse and gave it to the yards in the hope they would be able to survive afterwards. They're a warrior nation. They have been that way for centuries. It's odd. In their oral lore they actually have a memory and stories about hunting elephants with long hair. Originally the Montagnard people came from an area in China and were gradually pushed south through the centuries until finally they ended up in the mountains of Laos and Vietnam. Very interesting people. I still hold them very close to my heart. Any questions? Yeah? >> Audience Member: This is a little outside the scope of your book but you served in special operations in counterterrorism and Berlin. Could you elaborate on that a little bit? >> Nick Brokhausen: Are you the sniper in the crowd? (Laughter) Thank you. Let's see. You have to first understand about special projects people, when I came back from Vietnam I went to the I think it was the sixth special forces and I arrived on a Friday, I got an interview at that time it changed from B team to company, company Sargent major. He said come back Monday and the old man wants to me you, company commander. I came back Monday and he goes you're going to have to find a new job. I said why? Company commander doesn't want you. I said why? Everybody knows that people from projects are either alcoholics or psychos. And apparently you're sober. So I had to find a new job. (Laughter) And my brother-in-law, he'll pay for this, he was the adjutant. He'd be in Vietnam with us. In the book he's known as captain psycho but he was the adjutant of the 10th special forces group. Everybody else that didn't want special projects people he got them at the tenth group and they become the core of the special forces group. The 10th special forces group has a separate unit that was always associated with it which was detachment A in Berlin. Detachment A starts hissing if I wander into sensitive areas. But it was a staybehind unit, basically. When the balloon went up and the Russians came through the folded gap we were supposed to blend into the local population using hidden caches of weapons and money, old coins, we were supposed to start a resistance movement to tie up basically the same thing we did in Vietnam was, you know, destroy their logistic chain because everything moves by rail with the Russian Army and the biggest rail yard was in East Berlin at that time. And oddly enough most of the people that were in A were former special projects people. They had gone there you had to speak German or speak a foreign language to get there. And you had to have a top secret clearance to get in there. It was pretty much the same thing. 12man teams. You had a different mission. That unit participated in both of the Iranian hostage rescue attempts. People from dead A. And then they had the mission of intelligence gathering and in case the balloon went up performing other functions for the Army. You look at the numbers today, there's 60,000 or 80,000 special operations troops in that. Where are they at? They have included a lot of people like the rangers and the seals in that category, but there's still a lot of people out there doing essentially the same thing. You would come back from Vietnam and might go on a mobile training team in Bolivia to work with the rangers in the mountains as a radio operator because they couldn't transmit. They were using single side-band. They were hunting down what they called bandits in those days. So you ended up doing different jobs in different places for different bosses. But still pretty much stayed special forces. >> Audience Member: Nick, would you be able to describe one of your actions that's not classified? >> Nick Brokausen: Have you been talking to my exwife? (Laughter) Yeah, sure. What is a good one? You mean in Vietnam, right? >> Audience Member: Yep. >> Nick Brokhausen: I think it's in the beginning of the second book we did wire taps. The first wiretap machinery that we got was God awful big. It was huge. Taperecorder like that with a reeltoreel. They got it down to about that wide but the problem was the tapes, they were normal speed, you had to change the tapes every four hours which meant crawling back down to where you put the wiretap in, change the tapes, re-camouflage it and get out of there without damaging any of the vegetation. Then they came out with a new system. They had coaxial cables which the north Vietnamese used a lot of which was much better. So we did a wiretap mission, first one I've ever run. And I go down, go to supply and draw the wiretap equipment, get the tutorial on it, sit down work it through, talk to a couple other guys on another the team who had done a wiretap a month before that. At that time we were trying to find out two things, how in the hell they were getting fuel down south without hauling it in 55 gallon drums and eventually we found out they had a pipeline. When all the 64 and T54 tanks, they were all down south and somebody, another team had gotten pictures of them. The Soviets used 55 not 55 but they looked like 55 gallon drums on the exterior rear of the T54. They had to have fuel somewhere. So we were going in wiretapping, trying to find out where their fuel dumps were. And that was our mission to try and do a wiretap in that area because they knew troop concentrations were route for us to find major headquarters. I got that set up in the Montagnards and my onezero and onetwo were behind me about thirty yards. We found a trail juncture where it came down and forked off to the west on the side of this old cauldera. (phonetic). We knew probably about a division plus in that area. So we found the wire, we put the tap on. And I'm lying there, I got to go back down and change the tap now every 24 hours which is much better. The next morning about 6:00, I'm down there, I crawled down to move them real slow because the north Vietnamese used wire walkers, trail watchers that would walk the trails, walk where the wire is and look they had a machine that detected load loss so they knew if had you a tap on it. Anyway, I'm moving real slow down there putting the tape in and hear two clicks on the emergency radio which means someone is coming. I'm lying there trying to look as small as I can and here comes about 25 north Vietnamese and sit down and start well, the first two guys came up with a detection device, one of those electromagnetic coils that detects load loss and that. They went away and they came back with about 25 troops and started giving a class. This is the M1 wire detecting device and this guy is droning on and I'm sweating bullets. I'm about where the cameraman is and they're sitting up on this slope and I just know one of them is going to see me out there. I'm sweating bullets and hear this typical thing some MCO yelling in Vietnamese and I hear a slapping sound, little more talking and the whole group moves off. I get up top and asked Matt what happened and three of them were sleeping in the back row and one of the MCO's jacked them up. We decided to move the tap. We just removed the tap and it pulled back up to move out in another direction and here they came back. And they came back with 40 guys that were not there for a class, they were looking for us. So they had seen something or the tap had been given away or whatever. We were going to leave it there and we left a tope (phonetic) hopper underneath it. The device was in there and we were going to put another one up the trail. And they found it and it went off. So they destroyed the device. Tope (phonetic) hopper is a little mine designed to blow your leg off from the knee down or whatever part is in the way. So that we got a lot of good intel. It was a technique. Sometimes it worked, sometimes you couldn't use them depending on who the unit was in the area. You have to understand our tactics were constantly evolving because theirs, they get on top of you in a minute. And the latter part of the war in '71 '70, '71 and '72 they started using antirecon teams and these boys were no slugs, they were seasoned, experienced troops, mostly MCO's. They used their green troops to take casualties to figure out where you were and send the anti-recon people in and they would drive you into an area where they could kill you, where you had no more terrain. Or the weather started socking in. Because Our life line was air rescue. As much as everyone likes to think there were giants of the battle field, aviation guys saved our tukus many, many times. Hope that answers your question. >> Audience Member: I was very excited last night when I saw online that you were speaking. I was talking with my dad over the weekend. He served in fifth special forces. He was at Da Nang during the Tet. He was at CCN '69 to early '70. >> Nick Brokhausen: What is your last name? >> Audience Member: Grissom. His name was Wayne Marvin Grissom. He was a captain. >> Captains are Spec 4s with manners. >>I'll make sure he knows you said that. >> Nick Brokhausen: He'll understand me. My brother-in-law was a captain >> Audience Member: The question I had for you had to deal with the beginning of your talk you mentioned the book about it being a cathartic experience for you. I know for several veterans including my dad, coming back home wasn't the best, you didn't have the support that you did for the other wars. So could you talk a little bit more about that cathartic experience and maybe how other veterans who maybe not have the gift of writing about the ordeal but other ways to express because he never talked about any battles or experiences he had and I feel part of that was because some of it was classified and some of it was that he just felt like it was going to be too emotional. Could you talk about that cathartic experience for you? >> Nick Brokhausen: Your father was there in '71? >> Audience Member: (Speaker off microphone) >> Nick Brokhausen: I think he was with the hatchet force in the beginning. I remember a captain Grissom from that time period. My onezero never read my book. I know it bothers him and that incident I've not written about. But brings back too many bad memories for him. But we have a reunion every year in Las Vegas called special operations association. We are getting older so there's less of us today from that era. But it's healing for us to get together and drink a hotel out of their Drambuie supply and scotch.And let it out. Because the only one who is going to understand you is another veteran. When you get right down to it, family wants to empathize, sympathize with you The only guy that really understands you is another veteran somebody that has been there and seen the elephant. War leaves an ugly scar on your soul. If you ask anybody they're going to tell you I'm not a liberal or a passivist. I still have the same spirit in me that I went to Vietnam with but I realize and your dad realized that things we did then were part of war and it shapes you and affects you. I worked a lot with the new special forces that invented armor products and I had a device that you can find a beating human heart under 55 foot of rubble and they used it to find targets in Iraq that were hiding behind a wall. I couldn't be prouder of these guys if they were my own children. They have the same spirit, they're having the same experiences that we had with dealing with PTSD and the other things that come with doing this type of a job. The government and the American people still haven't gotten their arms around what a tremendous debt they owe their veterans. When I look around I might be opinionated but I think that the people in this country should get down on their knees and thank God that they're able to produce men like this and women that will go out there and do this for the country. So I'd say Vietnam shaped me because when I later got in the private sector, that don't give up has done my well over the years. Don't get me wrong, I've had bankruptcies and things like that but I never quit. And I think that's one thing you come away with. Don't stop. Don't stop fighting. The minute you stop fighting you're dead. Yes? >> Audience Member: In the 1980s we saw a lot of movies, uncommon Valor, Rambo, and they're all about bringing prisoners home. Hanoi Hilton I believe there were attempts but nobody escaped and it's unclear if there were attempts to get them out. I'm curious as to what you were involved with if there were plans to find folks, bring them home, things that happened in Iran, we know what happened there, in hopes to bringing them home. Anything you can describe in regards to missions like that that existed from that perspective? >> Nick Brokhausen: We tried to do prisoner recoveries when we could find out about them. We did a number of things. There was a team of deserters from the United States Army they called salt and pepper, one black guy and white guy working with the North Vietnamese. They were high on that prisoner snatch list. They wanted to have question and answer period with them. The tail wind was an example of a mission that went really bad because it had all the potential to be bad in the first place, trying I don't know if anybody here remembers the tail wind where they accused several forces of all kinds of atrocities and trying to rescue prisoners in Vietnam. I think that stain against our honor is why we tried so hard to get hostages out of Iran.Dealing with the Persians. It's an exercise in futility.They are a true Janus. They had actually come to the decision they had to do something militarily. All the assets were there, all the proper tools were there. And luck just wasn't. Be successful on the battle field you have to have skill and luck on the same day. Can't have one and not the other. So there were a lot of failed attempts on privately after the war there was a number of groups that went back in there, guys from special forces that went back trying to recover people. We had an excellent intel network with the people we worked with that they were feeding information to us. One case in particular colonel Bob Howard, former sergeant first class, he was the most decorated veteran of Vietnam. He had been put in for the medal of honor twice, had a bunch of silver stars. Hard core, West Virginia, let's go get them type of guy. He was in Vietnam in I think '78 with some official function and a Frenchman journalist came up to him and handed him a note that had been handed to him by someone in the crowd that said don't forget me and it was signed by Tupelo flash. The only person with that name was Danny Entrican (phonetic). We had a thing we called bright light which is essentially you're so shot up you can't get your wounded to the helicopter and a bright light team comes in, shoots their way in, shoots their way back to the helicopter and hopefully everyone gets out. We had been listening to the radio at the time to I think it was Entrican that was talking on the radio. Hollingsworth had been shot up real bad. Another member of the team was already dead. Hollingsworth was badly wounded. When the bright light team got there we found Hollingsworth had been executed but we never found Entrican. but this note said don't forget me Tupelo flash. There was only one person who could have written that note. We were sure there were still POW's that were there from us. Normally they didn't capture us. The word was in the bush was if they got you, they had instructions to execute you in a particularly nasty way as a way of improving the morale of the troops.That meant being hung up for bayonet practice or what they could come up with. We were dealing not with the local malitias or anything like that but I hope I answered your question. I have a tendency to rattle on at times. There was a gentleman that was over here. >> Audience Member: A couple questions for you. What inspired you to join? You volunteered. I'm assuming you were in Vietnam for three years or four years? I mean so you stayed. Did you have to have a 3 or 4 year commitment? What was it like for your special ops? >> Nick Brokhausen: I was yeah, you enlisted. You had to be enlisted to get in special forces. As far as special ops like I said you went there you did your time, did the project and went on to another project. So what made me stay? Special forces is the greatest job in the world. And being a special forces team Sargent is the best job in the world. Anywhere in that 12man team, the things you do and the missions they give you are so diverse and challenging that I don't see how anybody wouldn't want to be in special forces. Hope I answered your question. >> Audience Member: You did. You said the American public doesn't embrace veterans the way they ought. What is your recommendation for a way the general public can do a better job? I'm not a policy maker. I have one friend that served in Afghanistan but some of the time I feel like the American public doesn't know how. We stand up at ball games and clap but I come here to listen to you because I respect what you've done and I'm grateful for it. But what is the way not at the government level but the average citizen can do a better job of embracing or thanking veterans? >> Nick Brokhausen: We are getting better at it, let's put it that way, the American public. People come up and thank you all the time for your service. I got to say when I see veterans today, I buy them lunch or I buy them a beer to try and show them that people out here think of them as what they are, fearless for being on the line. Being on the shield wall is what it's all about. The best way to have the American public get more involved I think is the positive stories about veterans. I agree with the president that the press at times is their own worst enemy and our worst enemy. They really it's slanted, let's put it that way. But we are getting better at it. I think we are becoming more open since I know people probably don't like the Donald being in office but he's done a lot to change the country so far. I can't believe that our country has gotten the way it is because when I grew up, Davey Crockett and you went off to war if you were called. If you were drafted, you went. If your dad and uncle served, you were going into the military. Your sworn duty as a citizen that if your country called, you went. That's why they had the draft. And the drafted soldier is what we won two wars with. The draftees that came in filled up are ranks and destroyed Germany and the axis powers. So and Vietnam. We fought Vietnam with draftees. We fought Vietnam with McNamara's hundred thousand which is a program that even the mentally disabled could die for their country. They drafted people of exceptionally low IQ's basically in McNamara's hundred thousand which I thought was an insult to the people they actually drafted but they did. They honored themselves by their performance. Any other questions? Okay. One more. By the way go ahead. >> Audience Member: (Speaker off microphone) >> Nick Brokhausen: And vice versa >> Audience Member: That's one of the things that really made up good soldiers because they hated the Vietnamese, they hated them with a passion. Like I'm saying there was a part of volunteering, you had to volunteer to go to jump school and then they gave you a test. I remember taking the test, they gave us a physical test to get into special forces. After you get in there it was like heaven. There was no place else like it. It was a great bunch of guys. They sent us down to South America and we it was Dominican Republic. And we were supposed to get the people on our side. So the first thing we did was dressed up like bandits, robbed the bank and paid the people and turned in all the bad guys. That's some of the things that special forces did. >> Nick Brokhausen: Sounds like a good special forces operation (laughter). I wrote a book about bank robbing men, there were guys that were professional bank robbers, we went to prison and talked to them, how do you finance a guerilla organization? Rob banks and trains. As soon as we got done they classified it and physically searched us for any notes we might have had at the time. It's a wonderful group. Proud to have served with them. (Applause) >> Nick Brokhausen: Thank you.


  1. ^ 《中央军委关于统一全军组织及部队番号的规定》, Chinese Website

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