In terms of organization and hierarchy, each
province had a Province Headquarters and a Province Senior Advisor (PSA).
a Colonel, was responsible for the advisory districts within the
province. Each advisory district had a District Headquarters and a
District Senior Advisor (DSA). The DSA, a Major, was responsible for the MATs
within the district.
MATs ideally consisted of one Captain team leader, one 1st
Lieutenant assistant team leader, one Sergeant First Class (SFC) heavy
weapons specialist, one SFC light weapons specialist, and one SFC senior
medic. Each MAT lived at a “home outpost” with the
South Vietnamese soldiers it was advising, and it usually operated by itself,
not with other MATs.
By 1970, it was increasingly rare to find the ideal five-man MAT deployed
in Vietnam. As advisors rotated back to the United States after
completing their tours, replacements were not always sent. The Army
had started to cut back on advisor deployments, resulting in a certain
amount of doubling up of duties and missions for those who were
there. Attrition was taking its toll.
Russell Welch, an Advisory Team 43 member who was based
at Province Headquarters in 1970, declared, "Truthfully, I can’t imagine a much more dreary
assignment…the MAT would have basically spent the entire year in some
sort of home outpost with the South Vietnamese and not have a lot of
personal contact with other Americans stationed there.”
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