18th MP

89th MP
Staff Elements
Long Binh Post ~ Bien Hoa Provence ~ III Corps Tactical Zone ~ Vietnam
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Staff Elements (S) that begin with "S" are found at brigade and battalion level, or equivalent. "G" staff elements are found at the division and corps level; the "G" denotes "general staff," for obvious reasons (that's where the generals are).
     Staff techniques and procedures are essential to the effective performance of mission by the entire unit.
    The battalion is the smallest unit which has a staff although even in the company level there are officers and noncommissioned officers who have duties which parallel those of staff officers.
    There are five functional areas of staff: (S1) Personnel; (S2) Military Intelligence & Security; (S3) Operations & Training; (S4) Logistics; (S5) Military-civil affairs.

Battalion Staff Elements

The staff of a battalion includes the Executive Officer, S1, S2, S3, S4, *S5 and Special Staff Officers.
     The Battalion Executive Officer (XO) serves as the second-in-command and as the principal assistant to the commanding officer.
     The executive officer usually directs, coordinates, and supervises the activities of the staff sections.
     Each “S” section was responsible for activities in support of the Battalion mission(s).
S-1 Administration & Personnel

        The S1 is charged with staff responsibility for personnel management, matters pertaining to unit strength, morale, discipline, and miscellaneous administrative tasks.

     Maintain unit strength reports; Process wounded in action - Process killed in action; Process prisoners of war (PW); Maintain unit morale; Maintain discipline, law, and order.

1966-1967 CPT John B. Doyle
1967 CPT Roger J. Gaydos
1968 CPT Carl F. Hopp
1968 Assistant Adjutant 1LT Charles H. Pattie
1969 CPT James L. Wilson
1969 Assistant Adjutant 1LT Ben A. Hinson, II
1970 CPT Paul S. Fiasconaro
1970 CPT Raymond F. Cox
1971 CPT Robert C. Farmer, Jr.
1971 CPT Richard L. Chamberland
1971 Assistant Adjutant CW3 George W. Wright
S-2 Intelligence & Security

        The S2 is responsible for the production and dissemination of combat intelligence and counter intelligence matters. The S2 assists the commanding officer and other staff officers in security matters including safes, filing, clearances, intelligence training, and related duties. To fulfill his primary responsibility of producing combat intelligence, he collates, evaluates, and interprets information regarding the enemy, weather, and terrain, which may influence the accomplishment of the unit’s mission. Of equal importance is the S1’s duty of disseminating this information to the commanding officer, other staff officers, subordinate commanders and adjacent units.

These are just some of the S2 responsibilities.

     Maintain current intelligence information; Develop and interpret intelligence information; Gather intelligence information; Determine likely and suspected enemy targets.

Some of the items S2 accomplished to complete his tasks, include;

     Updating the situation map based upon current intelligence reports; Collecting, interpreting, and disseminating information concerning the effects of, weather, terrain and the guerrilla force on the Battalion mission; Supervising the intelligence activities of the attached and supporting elements; Monitoring command and intelligence communication nets at all times; Requesting intelligence reports from various sources (higher units, attachments) and logging reports in the S2 journal; Ensuring that the S2 sections receives situation reports from the S3 section, coordinating tactical support fire missions; Evaluating and interpreting intelligence information and determining enemy probable courses of action; Disseminating intelligence information to his commander, staff, higher headquarters, units or attachments, and adjacent units according to SOP; Supervising and controlling reconnaissance and surveillance plans in coordination with S3 (Operations); Briefing and debriefing patrols operating within accordance of reconnaissance and surveillance plans; Determining reconnaissance patrol plans, reports and the use of scouts; Supervising the interrogation of PW's to include civilians who may have information of immediate tactical value; Examining captured enemy documents and expediting evacuation of PW's and captured materials to higher headquarters.

1967 CPT Maurice T. Fitzgerald
1968 CPT George A.  Loftin
1969 CPT Alvin W. Smith
1970 CPT Charles J. Rizzo
1972 1LT Daniel L. Goldstein
1972 CPT Torres

        The Battalion Commander was LTC Albert A. Ackerman, also from New Jersey as am I. There was no Officer In Charge (OIC) for S-2 but I was known as the intelligence officer even though I was a Specialist 4th Class (SP/4). I was the only one in S2 and got most of my information through written reports and briefings from the 18th MP Brigade Headquarters. On several occasions I flew reconnaissance over areas where our convoys would travel. This kept things real for me. Since I finagled my own jeep I also delivered documents to detachments and some civilian locations. I was with the Operations (S3) and the S3 Officer was CPT Paul Garwood (3-4 months) followed by CPT Torres. The NCO in charge was SSG Calvin Strong. SP/4 Ted Latham, HQ Detachment S2, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, February 1971 to February 1972.

S-3 Operations

        The S3 is responsible for operational directives, plans, orders, command post exercises, field training exercises, training aids, ammunition requirements, school allocations and quotas, and a host of related duties. The S3 staff has responsibility for the unit readiness of the command.

        The S3 (Operations) and the S2 (Intelligence & Security) work in close coordination if they are to successfully support the mission. More specifically, the S3 accomplishes the following major tasks:

        Receives and sends initial unit or attachment dispositions; Monitors the tactical situation; Analyzes, interprets, and recommends courses of action; Interacts and coordinates with other staffs; Maintains communications; Prepares for future operations; Supervises training.

1966 CPT Peter A. Davis
1967 MAJ Fred J. Villella
1968 MAJ David I. Bertocci
1969-1970 MAJ John R. Taylor
1970 MAJ Thomas L. Elliott
1970 MAJ Nicholas N. Chronis
1970 CPT Gary R. Gracon
1970 CPT Danny Griswould
1LT Denneth E. Pillsbury, Assistant Operations Officer
MAJ Thomas L. Elliott
S-4 Supply & Logistics
     The S4 is the battalion logistics officer and has staff responsibility for the logistic services and facilities available to the battalion.
     These are supply, transportation, maintenance, logistics plans and records, and other matters in the field of logistical support.
     He determines supply and other service support requirements and prepares the logistical estimate and logistical administrative plans.

Advises the commanding officer on all logistical matters.

    The S4 accomplished the following tasks; Maintains equipment readiness reports; Monitors support of units or attachments; Monitors the tactical situation; Supervises use of transportation assets; Prepares for future operations.

1967 CPT George A. Sunderland
1968 CPT William Pritchard
1968 CPT Alfred A. Alexander
1969 CPT Harold D. Lockhart
1970 CPT Virgil L. Sprayberry
CPT Surry P. Everett
1970 CPT Paul B. Hughes
1971 1LT Thomas E. Reynolds
Photo Courtesy of CPT Lockhart


     Like the 'Bushwhacker' sign at B Company when I was the company commander, this started out as a joke. Which I no longer remember all the details of.

     I think we were taking some flak as do-nothing, know-nothing, uncaring staff (the usual stuff).

     I resented it since we were out swapping mortar rounds for jeeps, for camouflage fatigues; requisitioning equipment we weren't authorized but needed, and doing the best we could with what we had; and generally violating or bending every regulation we could find to keep the materials that the men needed coming in.

        In other words, doing what every other S-4 shop did. Anyway, one day the sign 'appeared'. We had fun with it, answering the phone ....'S4...We care.' CPT Harold “Hal” Lockhart (LTC Ret.), Commanding Officer B Company & HQ Detachment S-4, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, March 1969 to March 1970.

     I remember when headquarters instituted a policy whereby when an enlisted man approached an officer he was to salute and say ...."You got to care sir".... and the officer was to return the salute and say ...."Charge on troop".... Most of the officers would give you a dirty look if you tried it though. It must have been about the time CPT Lockhart put up the sign. SGT Robert Plumlee, HQ Detachment S4, 720th MP Battalion, 89th MP Group, 18th MP Brigade, September 1969 to November 1970.

* S-5 Military & Civil Affairs

        The role of the S-5 is a major one in the inevitable interaction between battalion forces and the civilian population. The S5 prepares civil affairs estimates and portions of the operation orders. All operations have civil affairs value, and the S-5 ensures that this value supports the overall operation goals.

        To do this the S-5: Advises, assist, and makes recommendations that relate to civil affairs programs (CAP's); Makes recommendations to ensure operations are consistent with overall operation goals; Coordinates and implements the civil affairs tasks of the unit.

August-October 1967 The 720th MP Battalion formed an S-5 in order to increase civic action activities and to effect coordination in the Battalion Tactical Area of Responsibility (TAOR) between agencies desiring to participate in civic action projects.

        *Battalion records have shown only a temporary S-5 element who assisted the S-5 of the 89th MP Group, who appear to have been the primary Civic Action coordinator.

        For additional information, stories and photographs of the Battalion Civic Action Programs Click Here!

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