The new book, “Improvising A War—The Pentagon Years 1965-1967,” reveals for the first time how ill prepared the United States Army was to meet the demands of the war in Vietnam. This was in great measure the consequence of President Johnson’s decision not to call to active duty the National Guard and the Reserves. Between 1965 and 1968, the Army almost doubled in size. That large increase was made up exclusively of privates fresh out of basic training and second lieutenants fresh out of OCS, ROTC, and West Point. In the buildup, the Army quickly ran out of experienced non-commissioned officers and non-field grade officers.
The author arrived to the Pentagon two days after the deployment of the first major combat units to Vietnam (First Infantry Division and First Air Cavalry Division) on the same day the Committee for Unit Deployments to Vietnam was created. On his second day of Pentagon duty, he was designated as the Representative of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel on that committee.
This book is the story of how that committee and the author met their responsibilities, not always successfully, to meet the requirements of the buildup of United States forces in Vietnam. “Although the reader may not be particularly excited by how the Army General Staff worked more than forty years ago, I believe he/she will be interested in learning how the Army was caught flatfooted by the war in Vietnam and how it did its best to cope,” explains the author.
This book is written from the author’s perspective, based on notes and memories documented 15 years after his departure from working at the Pentagon. It’s non-fiction exceptionally written featuring reminiscences of an untried warrior. Now available in paperback for purchase on Amazon.
About the Author
Benjamin L. Landis is a graduate of the United States Military Academy, 1946; the Infantry Officer Basic Course, 1947; the U.S. Army Airborne School, 1947; the Infantry Officer Advanced Course, 1952; the French Army General Staff School, 1957. He was awarded the Soldier’s Medal while as a Lieutenant Colonel for his actions during the Vietnam War. He retired from a career in the Army as a Colonel. He obtained a Master of Sciences degree with a major in Business Financial Management from George Washington University, 1972. He is also the author of “The Governance of Law Firms—The Business of Practicing Law” and of “Searching for Stability—The World in the Twenty-first Century”. He is also the author of numerous articles published by American Diplomacy Publishers on its website www.americandiplomacy.org.